A refresh of Clojure Atlas

I’m sorry to admit that I let the Clojure Atlas wilt a bit over the past year or so. (I was a little busy!)  However, I am conversely quite happy to say that that’s over now; Clojure Atlas has been refreshed to add editions for Clojure v1.3.0 and v1.4.0.

(If you don’t know what Clojure Atlas is, head on over and check out the snazzy new demo/tour video.)

Other highlights include:

Pricing changes

I think the previous pricing was too high.  (You never know until you try.)  Pricing has been lowered, and I’ve added a fun option whereby you can get any edition of Clojure Atlas for just $5.  I don’t quite know what I’ll end up doing for upgrades going forward, but you will definitely be able to stay current without paying the full boat each time.

Free upgrades

Between the too-high pricing and the far-too-long period between the initial release of Clojure Atlas and now, those that prepaid for access to the Clojure v1.3.0 Atlas how have access to all of them, up to and including v1.4.0.  Those early significant supporters will also get free upgrades to all future Clojure Atlas revisions.  Thanks, guys and gals.

If you only purchased the Atlas for Clojure v1.2.0 previously, your account has been upgraded to include the Atlas for v1.3.0.

Ontology improvements

Aside from the obvious additions that needed to go in to reflect changes in Clojure v1.3.0 and v1.4.0, the ontology has been improved significantly to be more comprehensive and more accurate.  In addition, I’ve started adding detailed documentation (for example) to subjects/nodes within the ontology that I’ve added (in contrast to vars, which in general already have documentation of their own).

Visualization improvements

The graph visualization is certainly far from perfect, but I’ve tweaked it a fair bit to get it to “settle” faster than it did before.  I’m also pondering a complete reworking of the visualization to make it deterministic (rather than using a particle simulation as it does now).

No more PayPal

Many people balked at using PayPal — and believe me, no one is happier than I to be rid of it at this point.  Payments are now all handled courtesy of Stripe, which has been a dream to work with.

Clojure Atlas now available

A few weeks ago, I previewed Clojure Atlas; I’m happy to announce that it is now publicly available:

Clojure Atlas, an experimental visualization of the Clojure language and its standard library

There’s a free demo available which will nag you after a bit; if you find it useful, interesting, helpful, or even just a little fun, it would be great if you purchased Clojure Atlas for whichever version(s) of Clojure you’re interested in.

For some limited period of time, you can pre-order an Atlas for the forthcoming Clojure v1.3 at a $10 discount, so grab that soon if you are interested in it.

Please note that Clojure Atlas is by no means Done, or even “done”.  I’m opening it up for use and purchase now in the spirit of release early, release often, so you are sure to find rough edges in the UI and straightforward incompleteness in the ontology that drives the Atlas.  You can read more about the current status here.

As for what’s in the future for Clojure Atlas, my personal to-do list is far too long to go into.  Part of why I’m releasing it “early” is to get a sense of what people want, and what will be most useful.  Doing otherwise would surely lead me to fritter away precious days and weeks honing features interesting to only a few.  There are links all over the site and in the Atlas itself where you can submit ideas, suggestions, and bug reports via all sorts of channels; I’ll be keeping a close eye on the email, tweets, and UserVoice threads submitted in order to filter and prioritize future work.

Why are you still reading this post?  Go check out the Clojure Atlas!

P.S. I’d like to thank all of the early-access testers that provided valuable feedback leading up to this release.  In particular, Edmund Jackson spent far more time with me on irc than he needed to, helping to ferret out issues in the earlier revisions of the graph visualization, and making a variety of excellent suggestions for future development.

Clojure Atlas (Preview!)

Today, I’m opening up a “preview” site for Clojure Atlas, a new side project of mine that I’m particularly excited about.

Clojure Atlas is an experiment in visualizing a programming language and its standard library.  I’ve long been frustrated with the limitations of text in programming, and this is my attempt to do something about it.  From the site:

While Clojure Atlas has a number of raisons d’être, it fundamentally exists because I’ve consistently thought that typical programming language and API references – being, in general, walls of text and alphabetized links – are really poor at conveying the most important information: not the minutiae of function signatures and class hierarchies, but the stuff that’s “between the lines”, the context and interrelationships between such things that too often are only discovered and internalized by bumping into them in the course of programming. This is especially true if we’re learning a language and its libraries (really, a never-ending process given the march of progress), and what’s standing in our way is not, for example, being able to easily access the documentation or signature for a particular known function, but discovering the mere existence of a previously-unknown function that is perfect for our needs at a given moment.

This is just a preview – all sizzle and no steak, as it were.  I’m working away at the ontology that drives the visualization and user experience, but I want to get some more early (quiet) feedback from a few folks to make sure I’m not committing egregious sins in various ways before throwing open the doors to the world.

In the meantime, if you’re really interested, follow @ClojureAtlas, and/or sign up for email updates on the site.