A review of Clojure In Action by Amit Rathore

Clojure In Action

Clojure In Action, by Amit Rathore. Manning, 2012. About 400 pages.

This is a lucid and interesting introduction to Clojure and the LISP family of programming languages. It’s been years since I programmed in LISP and I found myself recalling those days, at the same time as I learned a lot more than I used to know. Indeed, I realized that my knowledge of LISP was only superficial, and that I probably ought to take some time at some point and learn it deeply enough to have the epiphany people talk about. (Can I plead that I’ve had the epiphany with SQL? No? How about XSLT – it’s basically LISP in XML? Drat.)

The book is in two parts. First you learn about the fundamentals of Clojure, how it works on the JVM, state and concurrency, and so forth. In the second part there’s a lot of deeper and more specific topics. You could say that the first part is about learning the language and environment, and the second part is about how to really put Clojure, um, into action. Conventions, idioms, and the like make their appearance in both parts, but in the second part there’s a lot of specific topics like building web applications with Clojure and creating DSLs.

I haven’t read the whole book. I saved parts of it for later. Perhaps that’s a shame, but perhaps I’m just not ready for them yet, either. In any case I found the parts that I read to be well worth my time.

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I'm Baron Schwartz, the founder and CEO of VividCortex. I am the author of High Performance MySQL and lots of open-source software for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. I contribute to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB. More about me.