Bathroom Reading Material

TryClojure - a Call to Action

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For those of you who do not know what tryclojure is, it’s a website that hosts a Clojure REPL, and is designed with newbies in mind. The idea behind tryclojure is to provide a no-barrier-to-entry point for people to give Clojure a try. It should have a tutorial to introduce people to the language and give them something to do with their pretty REPL.

The Problem

Tryclojure was my very (very) first web development project in any language. I did not know HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or anything else that would have qualified me to write it. Even now, I’m definitely not the person to be asking questions about web development. I do very, very little of it. Tryclojure gets very little love. The only reason that I had the audacity to try to author such a big and important project was because I was almost certain that the community would jump on the chance to contribute to it the moment that they laid eyes on it. This has not happened. Tryclojure has been sitting idle for months now. Tryclojure has problems that need worked out. I have a brief list of things along with some other stuff here: if you’re interested in this project, it’s important that you read that. There are things that tryclojure needs that I don’t yet have the skill to provide. I’m not ashamed to say that I need help.


Tryclojure is a very important project. A site like that is sometimes the difference between a new, excited user, and a disappointed, bored user. Lots of people were very excited when tryclojure first emerged from the abyss. This is your chance to be a part of it. If you desire an open source project to contribute to, this could very well be it. Even if you only write pieces of the tutorial, you’ve done tryclojure a huge service. Tryclojure has the potential to stand proud with the crowd of try sites, but right now, it isn’t on that level. I’d hate for tryclojure in its current state to become symbolic of Clojure. Clojure isn’t a half-assed language, so tryclojure shouldn’t be a half-assed website. Tryclojure can become an important part of Clojure, but I can’t do it alone.


So, you’ve drunk the kool-aid, and now you’re interested in doing some work. I’ll try to help you out a bit. The official repository is here: What needs to be done, among other things is here: You can run tryclojure by running a REPL in the project, bringing in tryclojure.core and calling the tryclj function. Tryclojure is currently compatible with both Leiningen and cake. It uses nothing specific to either. I, personally, use cake. If anything, I’d like to keep it compatible with both build tools, but if we need to use something specific to either, please use cake. I don’t particularly care how you contribute. If you want to do it Clojure style and submit patches on issues, that’s great. Pull requests are fine too. An important thing is that we keep things public. If you’re fixing something, adding something, changing something, etc, please make an issue for it beforehand. Also, you might want to discuss your changes on the tryclojure mailing list. Even if only for the purpose of keeping things public. So, that’s my call to action. Clojurian JavaScripters and Web Developers come! Hear my call! Together, we can conquer them all!