I think the problem might be that Arc doesn't support some of data types that you are getting from the json response. For example Arc does not support booleans true/false it only has 'nil' or not a nil value. That's why, in the past, I used Andrews library .
That said I haven't had a running install of arc in many years so I could be off base.
Looking through the Anarki logs I think I'm seeing signs of our first edit war. It's been very gradual so we haven't noticed until now.
Anarki used to use Andrew's library from http://awwx.ws/fromjson (perhaps an older version of your link, i4cu) I switched it out back in 2009 for a faster replacement (https://github.com/arclanguage/anarki/commit/dad4dc6662), not realizing that I was breaking the read side in this rather obvious manner. Since then a bunch of work has happened on emitting JSON, but apparently nobody tried parsing JSON until now.
We could retrofit these bugfixes, but I think it would just give up the speed gains to parse things character by character. May be worth just returning to Andrew's version.
But I'll try working with the existing version first, just in case it's still fast.
Just my two cents, but if I were using Arc today I'd consider doing what could be done to conform to the edn spec . It was born out of Clojure, but is not Clojure specific. Also, as I understand it json is actually a subset of edn thus the two would not collide. But for now I think just getting a json parser running would be a win.
But now that I look closer at the ac.scm history (now ac.rkt in Anarki), I realize I was mistaken to believe Arc treated #f as a different value than nil. Turns out Arc has always equated #f and 'nil with `is`, counted them both as falsy, etc. So this library was already returning nil, from Arc's perspective.
There are some things that slip through the cracks. It looks like (type #f) has always given an "unknown type" error, as opposed to returning 'sym as it does for 'nil and '().
So with that in mind, I think it's a bug if an Arc JSON library returns 'nil or #f for JSON false, unless it returns something other than '() for JSON . To avoid collision, we could represent JSON arrays using `annotate` values rather than plain Arc lists, but I think representing JSON false and null using Arc symbols like 'false and 'null is easier.
That documentation may be wrong. On the other hand, it may be correct in the context of someone who is only using Arc, not Racket.
There are a lot of ways to conceive of what Arc "is" outside of the Racket implementations, but I think Arc implementations like Rainbow, Jarc, Arcueid, and so on tend to be inspired first by the rather small set of operations showcased in the tutorial and in arc.arc. (As the tutorial says, "The definitions in arc.arc are also an experiment in another way. They are the language spec.") Since #f isn't part of those, it's not something that an Arc implementation would necessarily focus on supporting, so there's a practical sense in which it's not a part of Arc our Arc code can rely on.
(Not that any other part of Arc is stable either.)
> Really, #t and #f are not proper Arc booleans, so it makes sense that Arc can't tell what type they are.
Really, #t and #f are not proper Arc anything, but the language apparently handles them so IMHO Arc should also be able to know what type they are. Otherwise, I fear, this will become a Hodge Podge language that will lose appeal.
Personally I don't care if Arc supports booleans. I only care that it can translate booleans (when need be) to a meaningful Arc semantic. That said, if we're going to support booleans then let's not create partial support.
> This parameter determines the default Racket value that corresponds to a JSON “null”. By default, it is the 'null symbol. In some cases a different value may better fit your needs, therefore all functions in this library accept a #:null keyword argument for the value that is used to represent a JSON “null”, and this argument defaults to (json-null).
If you set the JSON null to nil before running your example, it works as you'd expect:
I think we should get rid of json.rkt and use the Racket built-in. It's way better documented, and we should use that one. (But I'm not going to delete json.rkt myself, particularly when I know someone is working with it.)
You're pointing to a repository that was created 6 years ago and has had no work done on it - at all.
Just my two cents, but maybe you should do some work + commits and get the ball rolling before putting out a call for help on a untouched dead repository of your making. Or even better, pick some of the items from here  and start by contributing to Anarki as a community member.
By PR I assume you mean Project? Any interest in providing details?
P.S. I read your post and had a flashback. Eight or nine years ago I was working at a mega corp and couldn't get the company's shared resource team to do any work. At the time I was a BA and had been learning arc in my spare time (as a first language). Long story short I ended up coding an ETL via arc to load annual budget data (template data) from spreadsheets.
The good news was that it worked (no bugs), the bad news was that it was a hack. I lacked two core libraries; One was a spreadsheet-parsing-api library and the other was an oracle DB library. If I remember correctly I created a defop service where people could copy/paste data from the spreadsheet to an input box. Upon submitting the form the data would go through a validator process and return with feedback indicating errors in the data. When successful it would embed the data into a generated SQL string that would be run from my machine via a command line call. All this coded in like 2 days or so.
LOL. Companies have processes, but when things can't get done by the standard process watch every manager in the company thank you for saving the day. Sadly I think I got a bigger bonus than anyone on the dev team even though they probably would have done it right. I guess life rewards results over all else.
Although I do consider it a personal project to fix the forum as much as I can and eventually spin off a lightweight, anonymous fork.
The most ambitious coding I've done was writing a custom CSV parser to add parts catalog data to the web backend of a lawnmower parts store, but that was in PHP. This is my first practical experience using a lisp, though.
One thing to consider is that the code is really, really old and was built before cloudflare became a thing. Even the auth code is now fairly outdated (no captcha, no CSRF, etc. etc).
Don't get me wrong it's still useable, but depending on why you're doing this it may not be worth it. If it's to learn arc then swing away, but if I was looking to set up a forum today I's sooner look into installing the open source version of discourse.
edit: also check out shaders post on "Next Steps"  and more specifically . Some of these items might overlap with your plans and if so maybe you can put a call out to others already doing the same thing to share in the workload.
What's the thinking behind implementing captcha? I really, really hate ReCaptcha. For most sites the payoff to a spammer isn't really worth even the simplest robot test. A new site that throws ReCaptcha is an instant bounce.
>What's the thinking behind implementing captcha? I really, really hate ReCaptcha.
It might be useful if it only shows up on the login/signup page after failed attempts, but it might also be overkill. Personally, I prefer overt solutions to opaque ones like shadowbanning and throttling IPs. But mostly it seemed like a good way to figure out some basics (managing keys, how the app server manages the form loop, API responses and JSON.)
I could finish the test I have, push that and leave integration for later.
I agree with overt vs shadowbanning. My tendency is to just add tools for moderation. Let bots sign up and spam, but make it easy to take them down and ban them at that point. Arc is reasonably decent there.
Sorry, my comment was rather lazy. Let me try again.
I get the impression many of the people who want to start a HN like clone are considering using it as a content delivery platform. For example http://arclanguage.org/item?id=20452 notes a revenue sharing model for specialized content. Now, if that's the case these site owners will have both spammers and content scrapers to contend with. So my initial comment was also referring content scrapers too.
However there's another thing to consider: Session storage costs. About 6 months ago I went through a process to reduce the cost of data held in memory for session storage (redis in this case). The session data was continually analyzed for determining both who the bad users were and for knowing what value the good users are getting out of the app (feature planning etc). It was an interesting process, where just by reshaping the session data, thousands of dollars per month could be saved in db fees. Now I realize the someone starting a HN clone is probably not dealing with that, but I'd be willing to bet that part of the reason Captcha was implemented in HN proper was to reduce fees associated with the volume of requests, session costs and even network load. It's my feeling that, generically speaking, adding captcha functionality is a good Option to have.
> I'd be willing to bet that part of the reason Captcha was implemented in HN proper was to reduce fees associated with the volume of requests, session costs and even network load.
Let me add some info to that.... I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but HN has implemented new session management strategies. You can see this as your login is now maintained across multiple devices, where the arc code (that we have access to) logs you out upon logging in elsewhere. I also believe that when pg handed over the HN code significant changes occurred including how session data is stored and how that data is utilized to integrate with cloudflare. Obviously I'm making big guesses, because I don't have access to the code, but I'm willing to bet the changes HN has put in place would surprise everyone here.
Sadly everyone who sees HN today will come here and look for the source code not realizing what's available here is not modern nor comparable.
> For most sites the payoff to a spammer isn't really worth even the simplest robot test.
Maybe I am missing something.... Isn't captcha just a fairly simple robot test (and thus preventing spam)? Or are you suggesting something even simpler? Because I've run a few sites and had tried implementing very simple programmatic obstacles and it really didn't stop the spammers.
Maybe the better question is - what would you suggest?
This is probably going to sound super crazy, but I have to say it...
I know you (akkartik) have a google account, because I remember when you moved your blog over to google's services (I think they call it 'circles' or some such). I also remember you created a news aggregator application that scraped content. Yes, I know, it was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..., but still...
I'm thinking that google identified your scraping work and deemed you a risky robot type, but they also probably correlated your IP from the scraping to your IP from your google services login and tagged you that way. So now, even if your IP changed, they'll continue to have you in their cross-hairs for, like, ever.
Any takers? If you'd like I can also look into who killed JFK...
a) My cookie acceptance policies are non-standard. (I no longer even remember what they are anymore.)
b) I'm often behind a VPN for work.
c) I'm often on my phone, or tethering from my phone.
Complaints about ReCaptcha are fairly common if you look on HN and so on. You don't have to have run a scraper to hit it, I don't think. I think you may be a robot from the future for never having problems with the pictures of signs and cars :p
Final minor correction: I've played with Google+ in the past (I actually worked at Google on Circles for a year) but I never moved my blog there. I just linked to my blog posts from there.
> Complaints about ReCaptcha are fairly common if you look on HN and so on.
Yeah I'm aware of the complaints, but in my mind HN wouldn't be the best resource of information for such an assessment. By default HN members are non-standard in most ways that would matter to ReCaptcha.
It's an interesting dilemma and one that I'm coming up on soon as I plan to release a new app in a few months time. In my case the intended audience for the app is very widespread and not specific to a tech audience. It could be that the vast majority of my users (if I get any - lol) would never have a problem, because the vast majority of people using the net don't know what a VPN is or how to change a cookie setting (just as examples).
I'll have to give it some more thought, but in the mean time, are you aware of any resources on the matter that would be more reflective than HN?
edit: I often find info like this :
"Different studies conducted by Stanford University, Webnographer and
Animoto, showed that there is an approximately 15% abandonment rate when the
users are faced with CAPTCHA challenge."
But really I do expect to take some loss when using reCaptcha. The question really becomes is it worth it? After all spam can also cause users to leave and content scrapers can also de-value your product.
I think it's less important to have Recaptcha or not than it is to have a working POC for interaction with a remote JSON API, and for parsing JSON in general, since that opens up a lot of possibilities. Recaptcha itself is just the low-hanging fruit for that, since it's so simple.
As far as integration goes, we could just leave it up to whomever wants to do the work or make it easily configurable with the default being not to use it at all.
It's great to see a JSON API integrated in Arc. :)
I took a look and found fixes for the unit tests. Before I got into that debugging though, I noticed some problems with the JSON library that I'm not sure what to do with. It turns out those are unrelated to the test failures.
The JSON solution is a quick and dirty hack by a rank noob, and I'm sure something better will come along.
And in hindsight the problem with the (body) macro should probably have been obvious, considering HTML tables are built using (tab) and not (table). I'm starting to think everything other than (tag) should be done away with to avoid the issue in principle, but that would be a major undertaking and probably mostly just bikeshedding.
I enjoyed watching the video and thought the speaker did a great job, but I can't say I agree with her.
When you start to have spreadsheets that require even a moderate level of analysis, tooling and refactoring then you need to move to a real programming language and environment where you get the benefits of a development eco system that establish application integrity (i.e. user access control & applied methodologies).
I've been involved in projects where companies create these MOASS apps and no spreadsheet or spreadsheet tooling will solve these problems. You may not spend the 'X' months and 'X" dollars to develop the app, but your spreadsheet app will produce incorrect results often and more easily, which will cost you more in the long run (forget the fact that employees will leave which only compounds the problem).
After responding in this thread I ventured a little further into what GDPR would look like within the apps I am building and OMG the ability to comply could be horrendously challenging.
For example, some of my apps use Datomic, which contains both an append only log file for data storage as well as bulk storage data facilities provided by 3rd party db systems. And that doesn't even take into consideration indexes. So deleting user data would be a non-trivial exercise.
Simply put: modern day data system architectures have grown in complexity to the degree that you simply just can not push a button and remove user data anymore.
Here's some further discussion if anyone is interested.
Well practically speaking it only applies if there is something the EU can do about it and if you're doing business in the EU they certainly can do something. Even FB, for example, needs to conform otherwise all that ad revenue from EU companies can vanish if the EU governing bodies sees fit to do so.
But the most the EU could do about the Arc forum would be to block EU users from accessing the site (which would be a political nightmare for them in censorship terms). And, in reality, this site doesn't hold any real data worth worrying about and I somehow doubt PG is sitting around worried about what the EU thinks (regarding this site).
None of this has anything to do with what I think of the laws they are creating. Frankly from the little that I've read I kinda like what I see, but still the world doesn't abide by whatever the EU says, as a parallel example... just look at how much trump cares about nafta right now and that's an agreement they signed. (I'm Canadian btw).
There's really not much happening in CL that can't be achieved in Clojure (or vice versa for that matter). Just grab a library and write your macros to obtain your desired level of brevity/utility. The first thing I did when moving from Arc to Clojure was port over the web service routing along with the html/json generators & parsers. Since then my server code has morphed into a custom unique hybrid, and now when I look at all of these other examples I think ugh, I'll pass thanks.
I think it is a killer feature in a round-about way. I believe the killer feature is actually generic and robust database integration. There's a whole lot of people who start with data on hand and need to hack together an app from there. The starting point to db integration is racket, which also gets you access to other libraries. Once in place arc libs can be created eliminating a need to even learn racket (just like there are plenty of clojure programmers who don't know java).
IMO doing package integration first is putting the cart before the horse.
> the killer feature is actually generic and robust database integration
That could be a killer feature, but I don't think we have it developed yet. I certainly wouldn't have thought of it. Basically, when I say "killer feature", I'm thinking of the specialization or distinguishing characteristic that we would emphasize in a Quick Start tutorial.
When arc was first launched, the "arc challenge" of building a multi-action website with a form in only ~5 lines of code was the "special feature." Right now, I think hackability and simplicity of the syntax are two of the better things, but we could probably specialize on more.
> IMO doing package integration first is putting the cart before the horse
The purpose for working on package integration is to enable further development. Without the ability to share code easily, it's a lot harder to build on and benefit from community effort. In itself, I agree, a package manager is boring and probably not a killer feature. However, making it really easy to start building something useful by searching for and loading relevant code straight from the interactive console would be a pretty big step.
Perhaps the specialty I'm looking for is exploratory programming, which we've mentioned before. Our interactive help system is pretty good. The only problem others have mentioned before was that Python is arguably better, just because there are already examples and libraries for doing most activities, whereas Arc requires a lot of development effort just to get fundamental components working.
> Without the ability to share code easily, it's a lot harder to build on and benefit from community effort.
I've just been dumping my Arc experiments into the Anarki repository. Akkartik manages it by the policy that pretty much anyone can commit anything, so I haven't had any issues sharing my code. I've recently put a Puredata compiler in Arc in there, https://github.com/arclanguage/anarki/blob/master/lib/pd.arc
The interactive help in Anarki is great, although there are some undocumented functions. A great improvement, which would be very easy to implement, would be to add the documentation from the various Arc sites to the Anarki interactive help.
Well there's that, but honestly... exploratory programming with a tool that can't provide basic functionality will limit how much you can explore. I think you mean 'language design exploration'? - if so I'll stop right there, since, well, frankly... it's not my wheelhouse. :)
> package integration first is putting the cart before the horse
I'm simply saying that features like db integration bring users, users bring manpower, manpower will provide package management in a way that ensures it accounts for more use cases, but again this is moot if what you're interested in is only the language development arena. Though I'm not sure how you could prove out a language unless you can actually use it for real world work.
P.S. If you want users, then killer feature would = todo list mobile app with local db in 30 lines of code!
> exploratory programming with a tool that can't provide basic functionality will limit how much you can explore
Absolutely true, which is why I do think the Racket integration is important, so we can just wrap its many and powerful libraries in lighter-weight arc libs, and also why I think a decent package system is important. It needs to be easy to share code, and to find solutions to problems. Otherwise everyone spends too much time rebuilding the same wheels.
> features like db integration bring users
Absolutely. I think better db support in arc would be awesome to have. Especially if we can build an ecosystem where "intelligent defaults" are the norm, so that 90% of the time the exploratory developer can get a db up and running with 1-2 lines.
> todo list mobile app with local db in 30 lines of code
An admirable goal. That's actually a great idea of something we could work toward as a community project, each building pieces that eventually come together to make a decent modern app.
> Were you thinking a mobile friendly web app, or trying to run it natively on a phone?
The java/js ecosystem has the largest reach making it the easy choice. One could work on a js compiler and target pouchDB as a starting point. That said choosing js also makes Arc go further down the path Clojure has already gone putting the two closer together, and with Clojure being so far ahead in that arena then maybe it's doomed to fail. The other way to go is to do what Clojure is not great at. iOS development? maybe integration with swift? At any rate I'm not a language development guy. I can only tell you what would appeal to me. I mostly use Clojure and a really easy to use arc->iOS app development ecosystem would be really cool.