Clojure 2014 Year in Review

My unscientific, incomplete, thoroughly biased view of interesting things that happened with Clojure in 2014.

Who’s Using Clojure?

No doubt about it: Clojure is making inroads in big business.

Cisco acquired ThreatGRID, a malware/threat analysis company using Clojure.

There hasn’t been what I’d call an official announcement from Amazon, but it’s clear from tweets and job listings that they’re using Clojure in production.

Also on the sort-of-announced front, WalmartLabs showed their love for Clojure in tweets and job listings.

Puppet Labs announced a big move towards Clojure and released their own framework, Trapperkeeper.

The U.K. Daily Mail reported on how they use Clojure at a Newspaper.

Greenius wrote about their Tech Roots: Clojure and Datomic.

Beanstalk told us that Beanstalk + Clojure = Love (and 20x better performance)

Cognitect published case studies from companies succeeding with Clojure and/or Datomic:

On the education front, Elena Machkasova has started gathering references for Clojure in undergraduate CS curriculum.

Radars & Rankings

Thoughtworks Radar January 2014 (PDF) placed Clojure firmly in the “adopt” category, as did element 84’s Technology Radar 2014.

Also in January, Clojure entered the top 20 in The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings.

By the time of Thoughtworks Radar July 2014 (PDF), the editors didn’t even consider Clojure a question, having moved on to “trial” for core.async and “assess” for Om.

Conferences & Events

We started the year off right with Clojure/West in San Francisco (videos on YouTube). I introduced Component, my not-quite-a-framework. Aaron Bedra threw down the gauntlet for securing Clojure web applications, leading to a flurry of activity making Clojure web frameworks more secure by default.

EuroClojure 2014 came to Krakow, Poland (videos on Vimeo).

At Lambda Jam 2014 in Chicago (videos on YouTube), Rich Hickey introduced Transit (Transit on GitHub).

At Strange Loop 2014 in St. Louis (videos on YouTube), Rich Hickey introduced Transducers. Ramsey Nasser and Tims Gardner introduced Clojure + Unity 3D, now named Arcadia. Ambrose Bonnaire Sergeant talked about Typed Clojure in Practice. Michael Nygard talked about Simulation Testing.

Rich Hickey made an appearance at JavaOne 2014 in San Francisco with Clojure Made Simple (video on YouTube).

In November, Clojure/conj 2014 in Washington, D.C. (videos on YouTube) was the biggest Clojure/conj yet. Over 500 attendees filled the beautiful Warner Theater.

Meanwhile, ClojureBridge held workshops throughout the year in Sydney, San Francisco, Edinburgh, and Minneapolis, just to name a few.

Language Ecosystem

The Clojure language itself continues to feature new and innovative ideas, this time Transducers.

ClojureDocs got a huge update: it now covers Clojure 1.6 and some important libraries like core.async and core.logic. There are also two new additions to the Clojure documentation sphere: Grimoire and CrossClj.

I for one am loving the surge in diversity of Clojure tooling. Cursive for IntelliJ garnered some serious attention, while CIDER and Counterclockwise both got major new releases. Boot is a new build tool with a radically different approach from the still-solid Leiningen.

Generative testing really started to catch on. Quick-check creator John Hughes gave a great keynote (video) at Clojure/west. Ashton Kemerling talked about Generative Integration Tests at Clojure/conj (also blogged). And of course the Clojure library simple-check became test.check, and has grown steadily in both capability and adoption.

Most of the Clojure contrib projects have gotten improvements and new releases.

ClojureScript growth accelerated, with three (and counting) frameworks built on top of Facebook’s React: Om, Quiescent, and Reagent.

Speaking of frameworks, there was a fair amount of activity around Component. No, I haven’t ported it to ClojureScript yet :) but there’s another ClojureScript port. People have started building things on top of Component, including juxt/modular and danielsz/system. uSwitch published some Example Component-based Apps.

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, new Pedestal releases appeared with support for fully non-blocking I/O, Transit, and Immutant.

What else is going on? The State of Clojure Survey 2014 analysis gave some insight into what people are thinking about Clojure.

Onward to 2015!

Thanks to Michael Fogus, Lake Denman, Alex Miller, and Paul deGrandis for their help in assembling this post.

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