Lisp has a poor reputation. It really doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the second-oldest high-level programming language family still in use today or the speech impairment; both have their admirers and their detractors.

One of the various dialects of Lisp, which has occurred with many fundamental languages, is Clojure.

Then, what is Clojure? What role does it play in contemporary systems, programs, and services?

Many people criticize Clojure because they either had a bad introduction to it or are locked in a JavaScript paradigm and find the differences so infuriating that they question their sanity.

The reality is that it works well and has a contemporary programming language feel to it. There really are numerous advantages and disadvantages, just like with everything, but if you haven’t already, you must consider Clojure on its own merits and show it some love. Lisp and Clojure both allow you to achieve some things that other programming languages do not. In the end, you can never have too many weapons in your armory.

What is Clojure?

In a nutshell, Clojure is a dialect of Lisp. ‘Rich Hickey’ created it in the beginning in an effort to address issues he was running into when building situational applications. The outcome was the same regardless of the programming language he tried: software that demanded an enormous amount of time and effort only to make very minor modifications to the coding. Not optimal.

His team appreciated working in a framework with immutable data structures and a uniquely created functional library, therefore the project was a success. Clojure was created by merging Lisp, a functional programming language, with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that was made for concurrent programs.

Clojure Uses

While many Lisp features have found their way into other programming languages, two of them—using code as data and a special macro system—remain distinctively Lisp. The way that maps and vectors are included in the code-as-data system in Clojure goes beyond the list of words enclosed in parentheses (s-expressions). This allows for the literal reader representation of maps and vectors and their usage in the macro syntax.

The reader reads Lisp data, which depicts the data structure in all of its forms. By creating these data structures that represent code as part of the procedure that calls out to macros, Clojure expands on this.

When this takes place in Clojure, the macro is called, the forms themselves are sent as arguments, and the macro’s return value is then used in place of the macro itself.

These macros are routines that are utilized during compilation to change the code itself. Every code is information, and all data is code, therefore the entire Clojure library is a resource that can help with code transformation.

In essence, macros are used the same way functions are used in other programming languages: to reduce the duplication of phrases in the code. When orders to carry out a particular job cannot be provided via functions, a macro can be used to control evaluation and produce identifiers that are defined by the task.