Running Racket CS on iOS

As of iOS 14.4, non-debugged builds (i.e. ones run outside of XCode) fail with a dynamic code signing error and there is no way to work around this at the moment.

A couple of weeks ago, I started working on getting Racket CS to compile and run on iOS and, with a lot of guidance from Matthew Flatt, I managed to get it working (with some caveats). Those changes have now been merged, so I figured I’d write another one of these guides while the information is still fresh in my head.

I was watching Systems with JT the other day and he demoed a hobby operating system called skiftOS. During the demo he ran one of the built-in apps called “neko” which looks like a clone of an old Windows “pet” program I remember from my childhood, also called “neko” (or “neko32”). It’s a really simple program: when you start it up, a cute little kitten shows up on your screen and starts running around, trying to catch your mouse cursor.

Racket Web Development with Koyo

Inspired by Brian Adkins’ RacketCon talk from yesterday, I decided to record a screencast on what it’s like to write a little web application using my not-quite-a-web-framework, koyo. You can watch it over on YouTube and you can find the resulting code on GitHub. It’s unscripted and I don’t go too deep on how everything works, but hopefully it’s easy enough to follow and I’ve left the various mistakes I’ve made in since it’s usually helpful to watch someone get out of a tricky situation so look forward to those if you watch it!

Deploying Racket Web Apps

Someone recently asked about how to deploy Racket web apps on the Racket Slack. The most common answers were install Racket on the target machine, then ship your code there or use Docker (basically a “portable” variant of option 1). I wanted to take a few minutes today and write about my preferred way of deploying Racket apps: build an executable with the application code, libraries and assets embedded into it and ship that around.

Announcing http-easy

Yesterday I released http-easy, a high-level HTTP client for Racket. I started working on it after getting annoyed at some of the code in my racket-sentry package. The same day I wrote that code, someone started a mailing list thread asking for a “practical” HTTP client so that served as additional motivation to spend some time on this problem. Here’s a basic example: 1 2 (require net/http-easy) (response-xexpr (get "")) It might not seem like much, but even just that gets you automatic connection pooling.

Continuations in Racket's Web Server

In The Missing Guide to Racket’s Web Server, I said that dispatch/servlet is equivalent to: 1 2 3 (lambda (start) (lambda (conn req) (output-response conn (start req)))) That was an oversimplification. It does apply its start argument to incoming requests and it does take care of writing the responses to the appropriate connections, but it has another important job: to handle responses returned from continuations and to dispatch incoming requests to captured continuations.

Using GitHub Actions to Test Racket Code (Revised)

A little over a year ago, I wrote about how you could use the GitHub’s new-at-the-time Actions feature to test Racket code. A lot has changed since then, including the release of a completely revamped version of GitHub Actions and so I thought it was time for an update. A Basic Package Let’s say you’re working on a Racket package for computing Fibonacci sequences. Your main.rkt module might look something like this:

Announcing racksnaps

Racket’s package manager doesn’t currently have the notion of locking package sets to specific versions1 per project so, as someone who operates a couple production Racket applications, I’ve been concerned about the possibility that new deployments could introduce bugs in production due to changing dependencies. To solve this problem, over the past weekend I’ve put together a service that creates daily snapshots of the official package catalog. You can find it at racksnaps.