‘Clojure Programming’ book finished

Yes — it’s finished! :-D

Early last month, after writing 190,000 words, editing away scads more, assembling and testing more than 1,000 code snippets and 20 full sample projects, and conceptualizing dozens of illustrations, Christophe, Brian, and I declared Clojure Programming done.  It’s been writhing its way through O’Reilly’s editorial process ever since.

I’d hoped that the book would be published before Clojure/West in mid-March, but alas, it was not to be.  It looks like it’ll drop in mid-April.

However, fret not! If you want to dig into Clojure Programming right away, you can read the final draft of it online.  Of course, you can preorder the dead-tree version of it as well; easy links to both options are available at clojurebook.com.  There, you’ll also find a full table of contents, some basic info on the book, and a way to join the clojurebook.com mailing list and a pointer to the book’s Twitter account.  We’ll be pushing various Clojure tips and links to useful tools and resources and announcing the availability of all sorts of book-related content on the site through the mailing list and Twitter feed; and, if things work out as I hope, some early access to and/or special offers for things that will help you get the most out of your Clojure experience in general.

So, thanks for your patience.  I think the book will end up being worth it.  Of course, I have to thank my coauthors; without Brian and Christophe, it simply would never have been finished, nor would it be as good as it is.  There’s a ton of other people that deserve credit too, but you’ll have to buy the book and read the acknowledgements to learn about them…

5 thoughts on “‘Clojure Programming’ book finished

  1. Hey, really nice. Congratulation for finishing up this big task. I’m interested in your progress in writing a book about a programing language.

    I writing currently a book too and i would like to know how long had it taken to write it? And all the process from the beginning. Can you give me tips? Thanks in advance.

    1. Overall, the project ran for around 16 months, but we were only writing for something like 12. Also, all three of us had (more than) full-time jobs throughout that time, and I think we all bought houses and moved as well. My impression is that we didn’t take an overly-long time overall given the book’s charter and subject matter. However, it certainly felt like things dragged on; I had absurd expectations at the start, and no notion of what it would take to write a book or effectively manage a book project (two very distinct tasks, BTW).

      As for tips, I’d say:

      1. It’s going to take waaaaaaay more time than you think. That’s true for all sorts of projects, but I think it’s fair to say that my experience with software projects did not translate well at all.
      2. If you can manage it, write a book while you are otherwise unoccupied; i.e. while in between jobs, gigs, companies, etc. Because there is a “shelf life” to the material in a technical book, you can’t just pick away at the writing with a hobbyist’s mindset, as you might be able to do if you were writing the next Great American Novel in the evenings or weekends.
      3. Writing a book is nothing like writing a blog post, or even a series of blog posts. I suppose that you could assemble a book from a bunch of blog-post-esque material — and I know that some people do and have — but when I tried that approach, I found the result to be disjointed…almost as if one were reading a collection of blog posts! :-P I very much wanted to have a consistent progression and narrative throughout the book, and I think we accomplished that in a way that an aggregation of separately-authored material generally doesn’t.
  2. Congratulations on the book being done. I already have Clojure in Action but a 2nd book is always welcome to see things from a different perspective.
    Looking forward to reading it. What I saw online, this will be a wonderful book!


  3. I’m considering buying this, partly because I already know you and Brian’s name from countless stackoverflow questions, blog posts, etc and I know the three of you have loads and loads of knowledge to share, but I’m not sure if a fourth book on clojure will be redundant. Any thoughts on whether this adds any significant wisdom/knowledge to the available Clojure library for intermediate-level clojure devs?

    1. The most significant advertised distinction from an introductory standpoint is that we assume familiarity with one of Java, Python, or Ruby, insofar as we establish points of similarity and contrast between those languages and Clojure throughout the book. I think that doing this provides very useful landmarks for those that are totally new to Clojure.

      For those that already are ankle- or knee-deep in Clojure, there are some very deep dives into the mental models that you should have when working with Clojure’s data structures and concurrency facilities, complete with illustrations that hopefully “lift the veil” a bit on the magic that goes on when you use them.

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