A bit of Clojure at RubyNation 2009

Just a quick post to mention how Clojure was mentioned at the RubyNation conference in Reston last weekend.

I gave a lightning talk on day 2. Slides are posted. I only had 6 minutes, so I kept it brief. I don’t think I convinced a lot of the audience members to try it out. Afterwards, though, I got to talk to Aaron Bedra of Relevance, who was a technical editor for Stu’s book. He reports Clojure is actually in use on commercial projects. He’s a swell fellow.

Russ Olsen gave an impromptu talk at the end of the day about Clojure, Scala, Erlang, and Reia. Two things struck me about his approach to new languages. First, he gives a lot of important to “curb appeal”, or how nice the code looks. The parentheses bother him about Clojure and other lisps, same old story. The second thing, though, is the importance given to metaprogramming, which Ruby has brought into the forefront of a lot of developers’ minds. As Russ pointed out, any Lisp makes metaprogramming easy. So that may be a selling point for Clojure among Rubyists.

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2 Responses to A bit of Clojure at RubyNation 2009

  1. Russ Olsen says:

    Hi,

    I just wanted to mention that my talk was so impromptu that I guess I didn’t actually say that of the bunch of languages that I talked about, clojure is my current front runner. Of the ‘new’ languages that I am tracking, clojure is the one that I am spending the most time with these days.

    I actually think that there is a ‘curb appeal’ type argument that could be made for Clojure, at least compared to something like erlang or scala. While the LISP syntax is a bit strange, it is not complex (scala) or really strange (erlang).

    I think the curb appeal thing is really important because the fate of languages is not really determined by language geeks like me, but by more middle of the road programmers. Perhaps I am a bit pessimistic in this area because I spend a lot of time trying to get (mostly) Java programmers to really understand Ruby. You have no idea how difficult closures are for many people – well perhaps you do.

    Anyway, thanks for coming to the talk.

    Russ

  2. Paul Barry says:

    It was nice to hear people talking about Clojure. A lot of Rubyists seem interested in it, which is great. Clojure is now up on Github, which should appeal to Rubyists as well. Who knows, maybe we will be talking about having a ClojureNation conference soon!

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