I’ve been using clojure actively for almost a month now. Here are some of my experiences so far.
- Getting started with the language is not that hard. Mastery is going to take a long time.
- Cursive is a good extension of Idea with clojure support. Additional tooling like build via Leiningen, git, debug just work as expected.
- Clojars is a great resource to find community built clojure libraries. Since leinigen can also download from maven repositories, there is not much of a library problem. There exist quality libraries for web stuff, testing, databases etc.
- Clojuredocs is a life saver for understanding functions especially because of the examples.
- core.async which implements CSP is pretty neat.
- Getting used to basic lisp syntax with parentheses does not take that long.
- Java interop takes some time taking getting used to with the order of object and method name, but it works great.
- Functional programming.
- Focus on data rather than classes.
- Server start times are slow. Either leiningen or class generating is taking a whole lot of time. I guess I am not using the REPL correctly. Or I need to figure out hot-reloading of code.
- So far I’ve not been able to figure our Paredit mode.
- I’ve incorrectly matched the braces at times completely changing the meaning of the code. My return value from say a let expression changed completely and I’ve taken quite a bit of time to get back on track.
- Code becomes pretty compact very easily making it less readable. I’ve wanted to add log lines in an if-else block and then adding a complete do block feels dirty. Code reviews are also harder as a consequence.
- Java debug fails since generated code reuses the same code line and so next does not work as expected.
- Being a lisp, some libraries are implemented DSLs which makes code less readable initially. Even destructuring trips me off right now. I’m just about getting comfortable with the -> and -» macros.
Essentially most of my negative comments are early pain points getting started with a language and ecosystem.