‘Clojure Programming’ book now available

Update [2011-08-23 18:49 UTC]: The Rough Cut of Clojure Programming has been updated significantly since this post originally went live.  Go check it out. :-)

Some time ago, I announced that I was coauthoring a book on Clojure for O’Reilly (see original announcement).  I’m very happy to report that an early and incomplete version of Clojure Programming is now available in Rough Cuts.

Rough Cuts is O’Reilly’s early-access program, similar to Manning’s MEAP.  By purchasing it now, you will be able to read the ebook via Safari as it progresses through its final stages, and leave feedback that we will take into account through that process.  Please make use of the comment/feedback facility on the book’s Safari page; we are eager to hear what you have to say about the book — though personally, I vacillate between hoping you’ll be gentle and hoping you’ll be brutal.

What’s in the first Rough Cut is actually the state of the book from about two months ago.  I dropped the ball on giving the final word to our editor to go ahead with the release, so I’m afraid you’re all getting this much later than you could (and should) have.  On the upside, there’s a lot of content queued up to be added to the Rough Cut, so you’ll be seeing new stuff stream in very rapidly from here on out.

I do want to apologize about (inadvertently) maintaining radio silence about the book since my original announcement.  Writing the book has ended up overlapping with a very busy time in my life, and I needed to recruit new coauthors mid-stream to boot.  Dave had some killer opportunities that he simply couldn’t turn down; his departure was unfortunate, but it gave me the great opportunity to work with two very well-known figures in the Clojure community:

  • Brian Carper, a stellar writer (I’d been a fan of his blog for some time) and former Ruby hacker (a perspective I wanted to make sure we serviced in the book well)
  • Christophe Grand, the author of a host of popular Clojure libraries such as Enlive, Parsley, and Moustache, and blogger of all things bleeding-edge in Clojure

I’m biased of course, but the book is shaping up to be what I think will be a great introduction to Clojure — especially for those coming from Java, Ruby, and Python — and simply none of it would have been possible if it were not for Brian and Christophe.  Thanks, guys! :-D

Preview and purchase the book: Clojure Programming

P.S. I just want to take a moment to let it settle in that, yes, O’Reilly is publishing a Lisp book, despite their explicitly discouraging Lisp topics in their book proposal guidelines.  (Sorry guys, a single friendly needling is warranted. ;-)) I know it’s not an old concept (they accepted our proposal, after all, and then there was the sadly ill-fated Lisp: Out of the Box), but now the bits are flowing, orders are being taken, and it can’t get much more official. Happy days indeed.

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9 Responses to ‘Clojure Programming’ book now available

  1. essdee says:

    Is there any way to get access to this outside of Safari – purchase a ‘Rough Cuts’ pdf?

    • Chas Emerick says:

      All of O’Reilly’s online content goes through Safari, but you don’t need a Safari subscription in order to purchase and access the PDF. Just go to the catalog page, and click “purchase options”; select one that includes a PDF, and you’ll see a download button after you complete the purchase.

      • Michel S. says:

        Frustratingly, Safari Rough Cuts do not seem to be integrated with O’Reilly’s sale of finished eBooks. With the latter, you get access to errata; with Rough Cuts, “once the manuscript is considered “final,” you will only be able to make one complete content download” (from the FAQ, http://oreilly.com/roughcuts/faq.csp)

        I’ll regrettably have to wait till the final book is released. I like being able to get errata for my books, in whichever convenient digital format (PDF or mobi for my Kindle)

        • Chas Emerick says:

          I’m not familiar with how O’Reilly handles errata, but I’d be surprised if errata were not generally available. I’ll make some inquiries as to how this is handled.

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  4. Octopusgrabbus says:

    I am glad I purchased your book. It is meaty with enough anecdotal flow to make it interesting. It has a different flavor than other Clojure books I have.

    However, I have a suggestion for an Act II. In Python, the kind of data I am processing — water meter read and meter/amr endpoint configuration — does not require — or at least I do not believe it requires — any of Python’s list comprehensions or maps. The libraries provide me with what I need to process the data.

    That does not give me a lot of exposure to constructs that approximate Clojure’s sequences. I believe there needs to be a book written that is a combination of a Clojure cookbook and transition guide for those of us who were raised on empirical languages and are interested in becoming more functional.

    I accept wholeheartedly what Fogus, you, and others are saying (at least to me in responses in Clojure Google groups) that recursion is a lower level tool and that Clojure programmers should first turn to the sequences API before using recursion.

    While 4clojure is a great site, a lot of my work does not involve calculating LCM or exercises like that. However, a lot of my work would benefit from becoming stronger with sequences.

    It’s just a thought.

    • Chas Emerick says:

      Thanks for the kind words and useful feedback. I’m hoping that the final version of our treatment of sequences (nearly there!) will provide you with some of the guidance you need.

      As for “Act II”, let me get this one under my belt before making big plans in that direction. ;-)

      • Octopusgrabbus says:

        Those of you working with Clojure seem to appreciate that others who were trained some time ago, both with formal instruction and learning from our era’s “luminaries”, want to grow. Even if I’m turned into Captain Pike, I want to stay current.

        I purchased your book on line, which according to O’Reilly gives me a final copy. If your final cut on sequences walks you through better than I’ve seen so far, then you won’t need an Act II, at least any time soon.

        I used to write technical manuals longer ago than I would like to admit. Aside from subject knowledge, writing a book requires a lot of “book mechanics” knowledge that must be understood. Again, I appreciate yours and your co-authors’ efforts.

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