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Writing the Next Clojure Book

Jan 11, 2010

Now available for purchase!

Some of you may already know this, but for those unaware I have teamed up with Chris Houser to write a Clojure book for Manning Publishing. The precise details of how this came about are too numerous to recount here and in all likelihood would just work to bore you. The book The Joy of Clojure will be intended as the next book on Clojure, delving not only into the how, but also the why of Clojure.

Working with Chouser has been awe-inspiring and humbling as the guy solves complex Clojure problems in his sleep. He is without question, the best possible co-author that I could have. We will talk more about the book as time passes and as time allows. Aside from the content of the book, we’ve been hacking together a pretty cool set of writer workflow tools rooted in a basterdized version of Markdown using Clojure. We will likely open source that code one day.

In the meantime, more information for The Joy of Clojure can be found1 on the official website. We now have an early access (MEAP) version available on Manning’s “Joy of Clojure” page. If you decide to purchase please consider sending us feedback — any and all is welcome.

The Joy of Clojure

I would like to thank2 the many people who have helped along the way by providing valueable feedback including (in no particular order): Rich Hickey, David Edgar Liebke, Phil Hagelberg, Tim Wee, Allen Rohner, Sari Connard, Rick Moynihan, Roland Sadowski, Patrick Li and a host of anonymous reviewers. Without your constructive comments this book would never have had a chance.


  1. The table of contents listing for chapter 1 is likely to change soon given some recent discussions. 

  2. If I left your name off please let me know. It was not intentional. 

9 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Congratulations!

    Why Markdown? Why not PLT’s Scribble or Knuth’s TeX?

  2. Kanak Kshetri

    The table of contents looks very nice. I like the fact that there seems to be a lot of focus on “Why / When to use feature X” rather than enumerating the features. Looking forward to the book.

  3. Wow! Manning planning to release so many interesting books

  4. @Rettke

    No particular reason but we both knew Markdown so could just focus in on the content instead of learning something new.

  5. rodjure

    No doubting the extreme quality of the Authors. However I had hoped for something different from the fourth clojure book but this seems too much like another “me too” clojure book. The basics have been explained in 3 books announced before this one (pragprog, apress, manning 1). I had hoped for something more hardcore perhaps at the level of a “Let over Lambda” for Clojure, advanced macrology stuff, leave out yet another explanation of the key Clojure features. Perhaps that’s another book.

    Which version of clojure is it going to be based on?

  6. @rodjer

    I can’t speak for Let Over Lambda or the other new Clojure books as I have not read them. However, if you’re looking for advanced macrology then we will attempt to satisfy. As for the version we will cover the latest version that exists prior to the book’s final release which at the moment looks to be 1.2, but even if we release before then we’ll be covering 1.2 features.

  7. no

    I also hope you both will not waste your talent and experience on yet another introduction, but concentrate on some specialized topics. I don’t even care what these topics are (I would fully trust your choices), but I think a lot of people want a deeper book on Clojure. I’ve been pretty much disappointed by Stuart Halloway’s book since I already had a few month’s worth of Clojure experience. If you somehow hit the philosophical angle of Rich’s more recent presentation(s) about identity and state and their importance on design, I could not be happier.

  8. @no

    It would be difficult to write a better intro book than Halloway’s. This is why Chouser and I are trying to provide something deeper. If you like the discussions on state, time, and identity then I think you’ll like our book.

  9. Hi Fogus,

    Firstly thanks for the acknowledgement, I’m glad that my feedback was of some use to you… Having dug through my emails it looks like in my discussions with Manning that they mixed up your proposal and table of contents with that of Amit Rathores Clojure in Action book.

    Regardless, I’m very excited by the material that you’ve chosen to cover, and completely agree with others that what the Clojure community needs is an in depth Clojure book. The topics you’ve chosen to cover are everything I want to read about!

    I’m especially glad to see that you’re not making the mistake of covering lots of additional libraries and API’s in superficial detail… Cool as they may be; we want to learn how to use Clojure to build those API’s and programs ourselves. Your book looks like it’ll deliver on this front.

    Incidentally if you are to mention other API’s then I think it might be nice where possible to explore how they themselves are built, and specifically how they leverage Clojure’s features to maximum effect.

    Anyway, I’ll certainly be ordering a copy out of the MEAP soon!

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