I got it wrong.
I thought Clojure was about being hosted and leveraging the power of host platforms such as the JVM and JS.
Now it is about reaching everything. Interop with the GPU, Python, the unix shell, the Truffle languages of GraalVM and R demonstrates that it can be everywhere. The same basic principles of simplicity can be brought to any platform. On one of the conversations, @joinr called it "the ultimate glue language".
I thought it mainly was about persistent data structures.
Yes, but . .
I thought it was about lightweight data modeling, as I learned from this post of Mark Engelberg – about having the power to do anything with JSON-like data structures, and using that to model everything.
It was about processing maps, maps of maps, sequences of maps, sequences of maps of maps, etc.
– a fun alternative to the popular way of thinking in tables, common to spreadsheets, relational databases and some programming communities.
I thought it was still a question, whether these two ways could be in harmony.
Not any longer.
tech.ml.dataset answers the question by bringing efficient table processing to Clojure. Also, as @cnuernber recently announced, it allows to seamlessly combine it with your beloved habits of working with sequences of maps, sequences of maps of maps, etc. This is may be the first time these two paradigms can live in such harmony that they are actually seen as the same thing.
I thought Clojure was about managing values and identities, and working with session state in a sensible way.
But it will be more than that.
Recent discussions with @generateme taught me that we can think beyond the single session, and use the same ideas of value and identity across sessions. Hopefully we will discuss that here further soon.
I thought it was about leveraging the power of the REPL, the text editor and s-expressions, combined in a way that practices the Lisp tradition of dynamic exploration.
But of course, these are also connecting to the visual world.
This is not new in the Clojurescript scene, where the REPL and the editor can be combined with a the browser in a live-reload experience.
What about backend Clojure?
What still remains to be figured out (I think) is how to tightly connect notebook interaction with a decent REPL and editor experience. But there are some ideas in that direction, suggesting how we can have both at the same time. More on that, soon.
I thought it was about decomplecting problems and solutions into small, composable functions and libraries.
But it is more than that.
We are seeing beautiful examples where kind people reach out to work together and have tight collaboration across libraries, looking to build a coherent ecosystem.
See, for example, this discussion. Six library authors working on
vega-lite rendering are patiently mapping the tradeoffs across their solutions, seeking agreement on a common foundation.
As @teodorlu recently explained to me, even if lots of very different approaches coexist here, this community might be overcoming The Curse of Lisp.
The developments of the last few months made me realize that Clojure was not about what I had thought it was about.
In this short list, I tried to share some links to conversations that made that understanding sink, for me.