Atom packages with ClojureScript – upgraded

Last time I talked about plug-ins in atom with ClojureScript, I was using Weasel. Since then, I tried figwheel but it never worked as good as I wanted.

Then, I’ve decided to try shadow-cljs. Also, with shadow, we can build a node library instead of a “generic node application”, and this helped a lot in my current tests. So, right now, I’m going to show how I am developing the next version of Clojure Plus plug-in, and what to expect in the future.

Also, I must add that this is so far the best experience ever on creating Atom packages, so I’ll probably stick with ClojureScript for every future package too (I just need a way to make atom’s spec tests work better with ClojureScript – I’m thinking about using a helper library or something).

Preparation

First, you’ll use atom to create a package. It doesn’t matter if you produce a CoffeeScript or Javascript version, because we’ll delete all source files.

On package.json, we’ll modify the entrypoint: on the key "main":..., we’ll write "main": "./lib/main".
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Two new libraries in Clojure

Last week, I was looking to some old code I wrote in my last job and my spare time. Then, I’ve decided to publish two new libraries for Clojure and ClojureScript.

One is Paprika, available in Clojars at version 0.1.0-SNAPSHOT.

The other is Check, also available in Clojars (but at version 0.0.1-SNAPSHOT).

The reason for the early publishing is to push forward some simple libraries to fix a simple problem that I had while working with Clojure: the absence of abstractions.
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Atom Packages with ClojureScript

One of the best things in Clojure (and ClojureScript) is that you can design your code connected in a live environment – so, your auto-complete abilities reflect exactly what’s running right now. Then, you can evaluate code with real data, to catch bugs or just test things. Then comes Atom, an editor that, in my opinion, is one of the easiest editors to create plugins (packages), using technologies we already know – mostly, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. To program with Clojure, you can use proto-repl – an awesome package that, combined with ink, allows us to run clojure code and display right on the editor, Light Table style.

But then I became greedy and wanted more. I created clojure-plus, a package that extends proto-repl to be able to work with multiple projects, specially when these projects are not configured to be “refresh-friendly” or something. Most of the things I have in clojure-plus are simple helpers that I found missing in proto-repl, at least in the beginning.

But, after that, I began to work professionally with Clojure. And then, most of the projects had some kind of “strangeness”, mostly because everyone was using InteliJ with Cursive – a lot of people I knew didn’t even run the code, with exception of midje tests. So, I changed my package to work around these “strangeness”, and after a while, I saw that I was creating a big mess of code. Then, came ClojureScript support, and things became even more complicated… so, came the idea to port my package to ClojureScript, and after trying several things (Figwheel, Ajom, and other packages) I discovered that they could not solve my problems. The only one that worked, with restrictions, was Weasel, but then with some hacks things worked fine. So, here are the steps to make things work:
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Clojure, LightTable, e uma nova forma de programar

Esses últimos meses tenho estudado Clojure, ClojureScript, e me entendendo com o ecosistema de tudo isso. Mas sobre a linguagem fica para outro post. Por hora, vamos a uma frase famosa: A language that doesn’t affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing, ou Uma linguagem que não afeta a forma que você pensa sobre programar, não vale a pena aprender. Essa frase, de Alan Perlis, mostra muita coisa do que eu penso antes de aprender uma nova linguagem, e vai explicar muito ao aprender sobre Clojure.

Antes de mais nada, vejamos como as linguagens evoluíram – C++ e Java são linguagens orientadas a objeto. Ruby, Python, e Scala também. Mas vejamos como usar uma lista em Java: abrimos o Java, numa IDE lenta como o Eclipse (que precisa de instalação, etc), importamos a lib…. qual lib mesmo? Bom, entramos num Javadoc, procurarmos a lib…. isso em C++ é pior ainda, já que em Java, pelo menos a IDE completa automaticamente os métodos (e algumas vezes, até os imports) pra nós.

Em Scala e Ruby? Abrimos o console, criamos uma lista, atribuímos a uma variável e digitamos: variable., seguido de alguns tabs e o console completa para a gente. Esse é o poder de um REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop, ou console, IRB, etc), e o REPL muda completamente a forma de escrever, explorar, entender e até mesmo de pensar em programação. Precisamos um dado no banco de dados? Entramos no REPL, digitamos User.create!(login: “foobar”), e voilá – temos um objeto criado. Não precisamos criar uma tela de cadastro para criar esse dado, não precisamos abrir o gerenciador do banco, etc.

Isso, com Clojure, é elevado ao limite.

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