[ANN] DC ALT.NET – 1/27/2010 - Clojure

The next meeting of DC ALT.NET will be held on January 27th from 7-9PM on Clojure with Craig Andera.  Previously, he gave a talk about spending some time in Common Lisp and some of the lessons learned during his adventures.  You may have noticed a lot of talk around this language, especially in the Java community.  Where trends are concerned, momentum has shifted from Groovy to Scala and now to Clojure just in terms of sheer interest.  It’s one that’s on the top of my list to dive deep into this year.  So, what is it and what should we care?

Getting Started with Clojure

Simply put, Clojure is a dynamic general purpose programming language that targets both the Java Virtual Machine as well as the .NET CLR.  This language, which is a dialect of Lisp, combines the ease of an interactive development scripting language with something that makes it stand out, which is a robust concurrency infrastructure.  Parts of the concurrency story that are interesting is both a software transactional memory (STM) system as well as a reactive agent system much like the Mailboxes we’ve covered here in F#.  What also makes Clojure interesting is that it is predominantly a functional language with a rich set of immutable data structures.

The Clojure site is the best place to get started which includes the language features reference, basic tutorials, screencasts and more.  For those who wish to get Clojure working on the CLR, there are great instructions at the Git repository for ClojureCLR.  In the future, I’ll cover more of the language, but these two references should be enough to get you started.

Locally Speaking

Given the momentum around the language, the Washington, DC community has set up the National Capital Area Clojure Users Group which is starting to meet on January 14th.  Should be a great time and hopefully I’ll get to learn a lot there.  Also, if you’re in the Washington, DC area, the Pragmatic Studios is holding a Clojure Programming session with Rich Hickey and Stuart Halloway on March 15-17th.


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