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The Joy of Clojure: Thinking the Clojure Way Paperback – April 7, 2011
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About the Author
Michael Fogus is software developer with experience in distributedsimulation, machine vision, and expert systems construction. He's actively involved in the Clojure and Scala communities.
Chris Houser is a primary contributor to Clojure and has implemented several features for the language.
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I was really impressed that even though I bought off Amazon, I got an access code insertt that allowed me to download a well formatted and hyperlinked pdf copy on my iPad also.
Don't take my word for it though. The review from the "Land of Lisp" author (another great book) sums up some of the strong points of this book nicely.
But ultimately, it only served to tell me the things I already knew.... And refresh some of the theoretical concepts of fp...
The long winded explanations of simple concepts made me confused at times about things I thought I understood. This is, at best an advanced text reference for clojure-heads.
If you want to get clojure, get the "seven languages in seven days" book.....you will see the light in a matter of minutes.
I've been developing java for a while so maybe I'm just not smart enough for this book yet..... But either way, it needs a new title.
On the bright side ... It is well written - technically speaking.... And might be synergistic with other books on lisps...
1) It covers Clojure 1.2, which is the current version, and has some important differences from 1.0 and 1.1. The new features are pretty cool, but sometimes their purpose is a bit obscure when looking through the documentation.
2) It's so darn specific, while at the same time being very concise. Common sticking points, like the behavior of unquote splicing, are gone over with non-trivial but easily understandable examples. Structural concerns like refs vs agents vs futures vs promises are discussed with good explanations for when you should use each.
3) It explains why things are cool - for instance the explanation of "state" and "identity" in functional programming is one of the best I've seen. If only there was a section on monads, this book would be downright canonical.
Basically, if you're planning on writing Clojure, or you want to see if the language jibes for you, you should get this book.
"The Joy of Clojure" has been on my shelf for almost a year (I believe I could read its drafts a couple of months back when it was in the Manning Early Access Program). I knew the authors - Michael Fogus and Chris Houser - from the Clojure developer mailing list and twitter, and since they used to offer inspiring tips I was quite certain what I might've expected from their book. And I have not been mistaken!
I have already read "Practical Clojure" by Luke VanderHart, Stuart Sierra (Apress, June 2010) and "Programming Clojure" by Stuart Halloway (The Pragmatic Programmers, May 2009). I remember when I wrote "lots of how but not much where and why" about the former. With "The Joy of Clojure" I've certainly been given the "why" (there's the book "Clojure in Action" from Manning which they say should supply the "where" - I can't wait to give it a read!).
I'm an almost exclusively Java, object-oriented professional and functional programming paradigm had never been of my interest. Not in the slightest. It's just with the advent of Clojure when my interest sparkled. And the days of a kind of detoxification from object-orientation begun.
I'm far from understanding functional programming, but I feel enlightened after having read the book. The book offers a variety of topics ranging from Clojure philosophy, functional programming foundations to Java.next with mutation (without mutation as I knew from Java) so when I finally reached the last Chapter 13. "Clojure changes the way you think" I had no reason to think otherwise.
There are no mundane, never-ending chapters about the basics of Clojure, its syntax and even a subset of what could be called - the language reference. It's not to say there's no introduction to the language or functional programming. Quite the opposite, but they don't stand out and are woven so gently that it's hardly to be noticed and thus become bored from.
"This isn't intended as a first book on programming, and it may not be an ideal first book on Clojure either" as says the Foreword. I fully concur with that and I don't recommend it as the very first book about Clojure, neither.
"A picture is worth a thousand words" has its place here as the pictures in the book greatly support understanding of the outlined concepts.
I don't think it's a book for a single go as not only did the content touch the design decisions of Clojure, but also the functional programming in general which ultimately made the book very useful even outside Clojure's realm. The book's reading was quite a tremendous mental undertaking for me. I've been using Java for about 15 years with no functional programming ever (besides simple HelloWorld-like applications), and again proved myself to spend more time to grasp the merits of functional programming with Clojure.
The book's one of the very few books which I'm so proud to have read. I wish you to find some spare cycles to have the pleasure to read it as well. It'll surely be the time well spent.
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I have also read a fair amount of programming books.Read more
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