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Programming Clojure (Pragmatic Programmers) 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1934356333
ISBN-10: 1934356336
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stuart Halloway is a member of Clojure/core and CTO at Relevance, where he spends his time on secret projects for world domination, and watching Phineas and Ferb.


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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (June 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356333
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,014,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly Jones on December 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
It is hard to be objective when reviewing this book. I have struggled to separate my enthusiasm for "Clojure The Language" from my honest opinion of "Clojure The Book".

Clojure is a remarkable language.

Clojure The Language deserves five stars every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Clojure "The Book", on the other hand, is simply passable. The book is "okay".

Clojure is remarkable partly because Lisp is remarkable, and partly because Clojure has taken the difficult concept of concurrency and turned it into an exhilarating, attractive, efficient, sensible tool. I highly recommend that all curious programmers try the Clojure language.

Unfortunately, I cannot give this book a high recommendation. This is not a bad book. But it is definitely not a 5-star book.

The 5-star score would place this book in the same category as such beloved books as the Flanagan/Matsumoto Ruby book, or Meyers' Effective C++, or even Rossum's original (now deprecated) An Introduction to Python. Scoring the Stuart Halloway book as "on par" with those other books just simply does not ring true.

The Stuart Halloway book is a fast and easy read. However, it is more like a series of really nice blog entries than a solid introductory programming language book. I enjoyed Stuart's writing style, and I even enjoyed all of the sample code.

However, at the end of the day, "there is no there there".

I needed to refer to other books in order to become PRODUCTIVE with Clojure. When I purchased the Halloway book, no other Clojure books had been written yet, so I relied upon books that were written about coding techniques in other flavors of Lisp.
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Format: Paperback
The chances are slim that you are considering buying this book because your job requires you use Clojure, but rather, like me, you are wondering whether Clojure is worth your time. Is it just another programming language fad? What can I do with it that I can't with more established languages like C++, Java or Python? If and only if you are satisfied that it is worth your time will you begin to want to know all of the details of how to use Clojure.

Programming Clojure strikes a nice balance between these two jobs, both justifying Clojure's existence, and lucidly explaining its key features. After a Foreword by Rich Hickey, the language's founder, the preface highlights its key features, and provides a frame of reference for how to think about Clojure from a variety of perspectives (coming from an OO, functional or lisp background). From there it's off to the races.

I bought a preview of this book and actually spent the better part of a Saturday plowing through much of it on my laptop, switching over to the command line to play along. Since then, I have gone back to re-read different sections as needed. Though the public documents at clojure.org are quite good, this book is definitely worth paying for if you are serious about learning Clojure.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that my experience buying the ebook / print combo directly from the publisher's site was good, providing both pdf and a variety of ebook formats (including one that looks nice on the kindle).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book lacks anything close to sufficient depth. Clojure is a deep language and Programming Clojure simply fails to do it justice. Most of the book reads like API documentation. The example code, mostly one liners, leave the reader feeling unsatisfied. What if I want to write a program that's more than five lines of code?

Stuart Halloway glosses over Clojure's fundamental language paradigms, like functional programming, recursion, and Java. While I suspect it would be near impossible to explain functional programming without devoting an entire book to it, Stuart Halloway doesn't even try, instead hoping that the reader will magically figure it out on his own.

The layout of the book is plain frustrating, leading me to wonder if Halloway actually wrote the chapters in the order that they're presented. More than once, Halloway uses the obnoxious literary device of referring to chapters after the current one. "We'll talk about this more in Chapter 18!" Just let me read the chapters in order, Stuart!

Save yourself some mental anguish and purchase The Joy of Clojure: Thinking the Clojure Way or Practical Clojure (Expert's Voice in Open Source) instead.
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Format: Paperback
Clojure is a breath of fresh air as well as a history lesson to all of us Java programmers who were raised on object-orientation and (possibly) over-medicated with design patterns. Functional programming with a dynamic, Lisp-based language that has the power of the libraries within the Java ecosystem is both extremely freeing as well as extremely fun.

Progamming Clojure provides gentle yet thorough coverage to what is a new world for many of us. I've found Clojure great for new, green-field development projects but it's also very nice in existing Java environments. For example, I've used the skills acquired in this book to use Clojure for writing Eclipse plug-ins, JSR-286 portlets and even for REST/JSON services running on Google App Engine. Frankly, coming from a person who has also tried out many other alternative languages (including Python, Groovy, Scala, Ruby, etc.), Clojure has made programming more cerebral, productive and exciting all at the same time.
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