Clojure is a general-purpose programming language and is a dialect of Lisp. Lisp and Clojure have their detractors but are worth some regard.
Clojure was designed to help with problems in functional programming in a practical way. Its language was fused with Lisp and run on the Java platform. This made the development process run more quickly. It is efficient, excellent for fast prototyping, easy to debug and functions do exactly what they are supposed to.
Clojure is used for processing large volumes of data and Big Data solutions. It uses code as data systems beyond s-expressions (used to represent both source code and data) into maps and vectors. As a result, maps and vectors can be used in macro syntax with literal reader representations.
Why is Clojure popular?
The data structure of Clojure cannot be changed while being accessed. If it is, Clojure separates the reference types and notes the changes and their values for review later.
Here are some of the advantages of using Clojure:
- Clojure runs on JVM: this is a functional language running on the JVM, interoperable with Java. Code is written once and is available across multiple platforms.
- It Isn’t Lisp: Clojure’s structure and operation names are consistent. It is also polymorphic. Lisp on the other hand has many hard-to-understand names and type-specific functions of the same function.
- You Won’t Miss Anything: making programmes small isolated functions means the data never changes.
- Tail/Snail: Unlike other functional programming languages, Clojure is very expressive and you don’t need to obtain head/tail-recursive processing as much.
- Concurrency: Even though Clojure is about making things simpler, there are still tools to use for concurrency if required.
- Parentheses: they don’t exist in Clojure.
And the disadvantages
- Clojure runs on JVM: also a disadvantage as there are no tail recursions or continuations.
- Complicated: Using namespace can be quite difficult. While flexible, it doesn’t have many keywords and it is a case of getting used to using it.
- It is different from others: programmers usually prefer large libraries. In Clojure, there are many functions with slight differences which can be hard to remember.
- While polymorphism is great, the downside is that the results of this are usually presented in seqs which is not always optimal when using hash maps. It is one of those things that you just need to get on with.
- Macros are great, but the syntax looks awful. You can tidy it up but it’s something you have to put up with, unfortunately.
- You’ll have to work with Java as Clojure runs on JVM. If you’re a developer who hates Java…sorry.
Clojure isn’t perfect but sometimes it is the best way to get a project complete. It’s definitely worth knowing and here are 5 ways to train online for better knowledge.
- Clojure Bridge Curriculum: A community-based support, this one is for the absolute beginners.
- Clojure From the Ground Up: A guide aimed at programmers which is written in a simple and inviting way.
- 4Clojure / Clojure Koans: aimed at post-beginners. Practice exercises and then move into Clojure Koans for more complex projects.
- Installation Guides: how to build applications to run Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Cheatsheets: get tips from the experts