Clojure's Popularity, a Tango with Java

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

“trapped in the Java train, northbound is Clojure, southbound is Scala.”

i had a revelation yesterday, about why clojure is intertwined with Java. Hear me out this tale. 3 min saga.

in past year, i've red basically the whole 〈Racket Guide〉 of racket lisp, and done somebody's homework 4 $$$.

[see Racket: Using Emacs racket-mode]

[see Racket Start (Install, Setup)]

in past month, i've also red the whole 〈A Tour of Go〉 of golang.

[see Golang Tutorial]

i didn't feel any difficulty in understanding either racket lisp nor golang. Both are rather simple.

i have over a decade of experience with emacs lisp and Mathematica too.

[see Practical Emacs Lisp]

[see Wolfram Language]

O, but clojure! which, i've spent about 4 months intensively, red ALL Hickey's ref essays, i feel am clueless.

[see Clojure Tutorial]

why is clojure dense? (1) lisp (paren, symbol, macro, “reader”) (2) never-before advanced concepts (3) abuse of lisp syntax (4) mixin Java doc.

[see Why Clojure is Dense]

but i think the №1 reason clojure is “dense”, is because, its doc is thoroughly intertwined with JAVA.

even trying to understand clojure basics, collection/sequence, drags you into the Java abyss.

Java, with its one thousand classes, interfaces, gargantuan tree, inflexibility.

unbelievable that Rich Hickey just rap Java in his clojure reference essays. rap rap rap! ISeq, Iterable, gangsta rap!

Ice Cube - “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It”

clojure the lang really should be called JaclojureVa. Java is baked-in in doc

We lispers, want to get away from java, but, clojure, goes all out mingling with java.

and one particular characteristic of clojure is that, its doc, is extremely TERSE! and assumes you have a decade of enterprise Java.

Somebody must have suggested that clojure doc be independent from Java??

this brings the question of future popularity of clojure. Saw bloggers vouch clojure as the next big thing.

also, a paradox, about lots clojure fans. How is it possible??

first of all, just how many clojure coders? statistically, comparative to other pop langs, i think, really not much. Maybe say 5% of golang.

given the fact that clojure is heavily intertwined with Java AND enterprise software field, and extremely complex to understand

it puts a question that clojure will ever become popular. Perhaps, even less popular than Haskell will ever be.

well, one chance of clojure is to ride the popularity of Java. Indeed, as a replacement.

then, it dawned on me! clojure doc doused in Java, is highly advantageous to clojure's growth!.

java coders looking at clojure doc, immediately understand it with just few words.

Clojure is somewhat popular, BECAUSE, it's escape route of the most popular lang: Java

trapped in the java train, north bound is clojure, south-bound is scala.