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Clojure is a dynamic, general-purpose programming language.
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Why we chose the Clojure programming language

Clojure is often lauded, but you don’t see too many teams actually using it to build production systems. “Why Clojure?” is what the Penpot team gets asked the most, so they lay their reasoning out in this article. The TLDR:

Though it is not a mainstream language, Clojure was the right language for Penpot to choose because of its key features: stability, backwards compatibility, and syntactic abstraction.


The future of Clojure

What does Cognitect’s acquisition by financial services firm Nubank mean for the future of Clojure? Will it remain fully open source? Will its new corporate overlord make it into a purely financial services language? Listen to this podcast episode from ThoughtWorks or grok the transcript if you want to skip the listen…

Clojure’s license and contribution model has been consistent since the beginning and continues to be that today. And that’s important because it’s something that businesses build on, and if you don’t have confidence about that… And it’s designed not only to do that, but to actually make it not capable of being rolled back. It’s part of what these licenses are about. Obviously, anybody who has contributed to Clojure can choose to stop contributing tomorrow. I can take my toys and go home. Well, actually, I can’t. I can just go home. That’s right. Any toys I’ve made already, they’re there for everybody. And so, that’s important, and it’s important to Nubank. … I say “they” because this is I’m thinking about pre-deal. They wanted to do this deal because they want a thriving ecosystem around something that’s working for them. And we would be happy to see Clojure as the dominant language for financial services worldwide.


Nubank and Cognitect are joining forces

Edward Wible, Nubank’s CTO, shares his perspective on the future of Clojure and Datomic, and how the powerful ideas that guide these technologies helped shape Nubank’s culture and business.

Funny timing. Just the other day José Valim was telling us how Nubank is big on Clojure:

Come to think about it, they are one of the biggest cases of large companies using Clojure at a really large scale… So it’s actually interesting to hear about everything they are doing with Clojure, and the interesting cases, and how they are using the Clojure stack… And they write about it, they give talks, so it’s very interesting to check that out.

So in that sense, if they brought me, maybe they would be bringing Michael Jordan to play soccer… 😆 That’s not going to be a good fit, right?

If you’re wondering if José is audacious enough to compare himself to Michael Jordan… he didn’t. I did.


A testing library that turns your README into executable tests

This is a very cool idea coming out of the Clojure community. I dig it because the examples in your README are guaranteed to never become stale as your project evolves.

It works by parsing your README and looking for executable code samples with expected outputs. For each one it finds, it generates a test ensuring that executing the code produces the output.

There are, as you might expect, caveats.

Gene Kim

Love letter to Clojure (part 1)

Gene Kim shared part 1 of a “love letter to Clojure” inspired by Bryan Cantrell’s amazing “I’m falling in love with Rust” blog post in September 2018

In this blog post, I will explain how learning the Clojure programming language three years ago changed my life. It led to a series of revelations about all the invisible structures that are required to enable developers to be productive.

Without doubt, Clojure was one of the most difficult things I’ve learned professionally, but it has also been one of the most rewarding. It brought the joy of programming back into my life. For the first time in my career, as I’m nearing fifty years old, I’m finally able to write programs that do what I want them to do, and am able to build upon them for years without them collapsing like a house of cards, as has been my normal experience.


Open source is not about you

Strong, but important words coming from Clojure’s creator, Rich Hickey:

The only people entitled to say how open source ‘ought’ to work are people who run projects, and the scope of their entitlement extends only to their own projects.

Just because someone open sources something does not imply they owe the world a change in their status, focus and effort, e.g. from inventor to community manager.


Open source is a licensing and delivery mechanism, period. It means you get the source for software and the right to use and modify it. All social impositions associated with it, including the idea of ‘community-driven-development’ are part of a recently-invented mythology with little basis in how things actually work, a mythology that embodies, cult-like, both a lack of support for diversity in the ways things can work and a pervasive sense of communal entitlement.

There’s a lot more said, and undoubtedly some tension in the Clojure community that he’s responding to, but I’m not privy to it so I won’t read between the lines.

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