Microsoft TV have an interesting program about their LINQ project. It’s somewhat similar to parts of Phil Wadler’s LINKS project (from whom I found the link in the first place). The aim is to shrink the gap between general purpose programming languages and data query languages. It’s well worth a watch. They’re got these crazy things new things called lambdas, which they use to perform map and filter operations over collections (gasp). But the nice thing is that the query code you’d use to find an element in a linked list can also be used to query rows in a SQL database. There’s some neat stuff happening behind the scenes. They also make use of a new (well, new for C# anyway) kind of variable declaration: var x = "foo". This declares x to be a statically-typed variable, whose type is established by the compiler using type inference. Sound familiar yet? Finally, they’ve also introduce a ruby-style ability to open up an existing class definition and add new methods to the class. This allows them to add new methods like ‘where’ and ‘orderby’ to existing collection classes, without requring the original source.
Staying on the web theme, I got a lot our of reading Brad Fitzpatrick’s description of how the LiveJournal site is laid out behind the scenes.