Posted by invalidname
on December 14, 2005 at 6:20 AM PST
Chapter 8 introduces Continuation Servers: "A new class of web servers called continuation servers is starting to make some real noise. A continuation server uses a programming construct called the continuation to keep enough information about a request to be able to completely reconstruct the context. In technical terms, a continuation saves the execution environment, including the call stack. In practical terms, using continuations in a web server lets the server maintain context for you, freeing you to program in a more natural way."
What's the big deal? "When you've got an application that spans multiple computers with synchronous request/response communication, you often want to suspend control until the remote system responds. When you need to scale this solution, suspending control while you wait frees the system to handle other requests. The system can conveniently resume your application without disruption when the remote system responds, simply by calling a continuation."