We just published a long overdue page on the Cookbook: web development in Common Lisp. We have an ambivalent feeling about it since it isn’t really a recipe as in the other pages. Yet it is valuable content that required a certain amount of digging and tryouts. Indeed, it took us about two years to discover and advertise many projects, to learn, try and put a tutorial together. We also wrote a commercial application. During that time, we were taking notes on our web-dev/ page.
We present Hunchentoot, Clack (briefly), we have an overview of other web frameworks, of templating libraries, we introduce Weblocks, we give recipes for common tasks (such as checking if a user is logged in, encrypting passwords), and we speak about deployment.
Some people sell ten pages long ebooks or publish their tutorial on Gitbook to have a purchase option. I prefer to enhance the collaborative Cookbook (I am by far the main contributor). You can tip me on liberapay if you like: https://liberapay.com/vindarel/. Thanks !
For web development as for any other task, one can leverage Common Lisp’s advantages: the unmatched REPL and exception handling system, performance, the ability to build a self-contained executable, stability, good threads story, strong typing, etc. We can, say, define a new route and try it right away, there is no need to restart any running server. We can change and compile one function at a time (the usual C-c C-c in Slime) and try it. The feedback is immediate. We can choose the degree of interactivity: the web server can catch exceptions and fire the interactive debugger, or print lisp backtraces on the browser, or display a 404 error page and print logs on standard output. The ability to build self-contained executables eases deployment tremendously (compared to, for example, npm-based apps), in that we just copy the executable to a server and run it.