[Haskell-cafe] Re: Any comments about Clojure language?

Benjamin L.Russell DekuDekuplex at Yahoo.com
Tue Aug 11 01:24:00 EDT 2009

On Mon, 10 Aug 2009 09:35:48 -0700, Don Stewart <dons at galois.com>

>> Hi all,
>> I start reading about Closure language (http://clojure.org) and it seems an
>> interesting language. I don't know much about this language especially in
>> comparison to Haskell feature by feature. Could it perhaps be what Haskell on
>> JVM would have been with the dressing of Lisp syntax?
>> Any one would like to chime in your comments about the language, in comparison
>> to Haskell?
>It's a Scheme-like language that targets the JVM. Most of the
>comparisons between Scheme-like languages and Haskell hold.
>It provides some form of built-in STM, and libraries for some persistant
>data structures, which is an interesting development.

One advantage to Clojure over implementations of Scheme is that there
is a packaged SLIME-based [1] editing environment available for
Clojure, called "Clojure Box" [2] (inspired by Lispbox [3]).  Although
there are a number of Scheme-modes available for Emacs, most notably
Quack [4], currently, there are no SLIME-based IDE's for any
implementation of Scheme, the most similar packaged Emacs-based tool
available being Gauchebox [5], which is not SLIME-based.

Another advantage is the ability to use Java libraries.

On the other hand, two disadvantages with Clojure compared to most
implementations of Scheme are the lack of first-class continuations
and tail-call optimization (TCO).

Another possible disadvantage of Clojure (depending on one's
perspective) is its emphasis on practical over theoretical aspects.
Once, I visited the #clojure IRC channel on Freenode to ask a question
about getting Clojure Box to work together with Lispbox, and when I
happened to mention the relevance of the field of "PLT" (Programming
Language Theory), one of the other users online didn't know what "PLT"
stood for; I had to explain the definition of the acronym, and then
explain what the field concerned.  Apparently, the other users online
at that time were more interested in industrial programming than in
research or hobby-related study.

Another possible disadvantage of Clojure is the lack of high-quality
free online tutorials.  When I asked about this issue on #clojure, the
other users there suggested that I look at code, rather than at a
tutorial, and when I persisted in asking about a tutorial, they then
recommended that I purchase a for-fee book [6].  Haskell, by contrast,
has many freely available online tutorials, and even some freely
available online books, including RWH [7].

-- Benjamin L. Russell

[1] Gorrie, Luke and Helmut Eller. "SLIME: The Superior Lisp
Interaction Mode for Emacs." Based on SLIM, by Eric Marsden, mid-2003.
15 Feb. 2008. 11 Aug. 2009. <http://common-lisp.net/project/slime/>.

[2] Hoover, Shawn. "Clojure Box." 9 May 2009. 11 Aug. 2009.

[3] Seibel, Peter. "Lispbox." 2005. 11 Aug. 2009.

[4] Van Dyke, Neil. "neilvandyke.org - Quack: Enhanced Emacs Support
for Editing and Running Scheme Code." 29 June 2006. 11 Aug. 2009.

[5] Kawai, Shiro. "Gauchebox." 2 Aug. 2009. 11 Aug. 2009.

[6] Halloway, Stuart. _Programming Clojure._ Raleigh, NC: Pragmatic
Bookshelf, 2009.

[7] O'Sullivan, Brian, Don Stewart, and John Goerzen. _Real World
Haskell._ Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2008.
Benjamin L. Russell  /   DekuDekuplex at Yahoo dot com
Translator/Interpreter / Mobile:  +011 81 80-3603-6725
"Furuike ya, kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto." 
-- Matsuo Basho^ 

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