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JUST an introduction
on June 8, 2010
Presently there are two books out on the clojure language: Stuart Halloway's Programming Clojure and this one (hereafter referred to as V&S). Both are quick romps through the main concepts and features of the 3-year old language.
Generally, I found V&S conceptually better organized and with better prose. Halloway's prose is a frenetic interleave of brief 1-3 sentence paragraphs and single-line repl examples. V&S actually uses whole paragraphs and graphical diagrams which I found more conceptually elucidating, in some cases tying up loose ends from reading Halloway.
Somewhat ironically then, a major setback of V&S is the almost complete lack of example application code. Whereas Halloway develops at least two programs throughout the book (the Lancet example and the Snakes game) in addition to the plethora of repl snippets, V&S rely entirely on short illustrative repl snippets. V&S would have benefited greatly from including more complex applications than singular repl functions.
Both books are useful introductions to the main conceptual novelties of clojure (stm, java interop, etc.), but neither will produce competent functional programmers from those coming from the imperative mainstream. Do not buy this book if you have no functional experience and expect to be an idiomatically competent clojure programmer after reading it.