Bathroom Reading Material

TryClojure Update

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I’ve been seeing quite a few complaints about TryClojure’s stability/uptime lately. Understandably. The uptime of the site has been unbelievably pathetic. When I started TryClojure, Licenser, the author of its original sandbox, bought the domain and hosted the site on his own server because I didn’t have anywhere to host it myself. His server used to run SunOS and now it runs OpenIndia. Both of which I am insanely unfamiliar with. This limited my ability to maintain the server and such. These complaints pointed out an obvious problem, and one that I am currently addressing and want to talk about here. My first step was to move TryClojure to Alan Malloy’s and my Linode VPS. As of right now, this server has been up for over 130 days since the very day we purchased it. Server uptime will not be a problem. Furthermore, I have the utmost control over the server and what happens to TryClojure. I can monitor errors and figure out problems that might make the site go down. A while back, I did a bit of a call to action for TryClojure. With the help of the people who participated, TryClojure was moved to Clojure 1.2, all dependencies updated, a new sandbox, and a fantastic new design. Unfortunately, some things didn’t get done, people lost interest, and once again TryClojure was left in the dust. I’ve been fairly busy lately. With the book and general everyday life, my whiny ass gets a little overwhelmed. Over the past week, I’ve been making time for TryClojure and I’ll keep doing that until TryClojure meets its expectations. My problem is that I’m just not that good at web development. TryClojure was my first and is my only serious webdev project. I can’t design a website for shit (thankfully, I know people who can) and I don’t know JavaScript. When I have to write JavaScript, I rely on JQuery and JS documentation to get me by. I’m learning slowly, but I don’t use it enough to know it at this point, which is unfortunate for TryClojure. However, I know people who do know JavaScript, and some of those people don’t mind helping out. This brings me to the actual point of this post. TryClojure is now live on my server with a huge update.

  • Everybody wanted a TryHaskellish interactive tutorial, well now you’ve got one! Thanks to mefesto from #clojure on IRC, we’ve been able to get an interactive tutorial up and running.
  • I’ve rewritten all the tutorial content and am working on adding more content to it over the next couple of weeks.
  • I’ve got rid of syntax highlighting in the tutorial and in the console, because it was never all that useful in the first place and required a jquery-console hack to work that meant I couldn’t update jqeury-console without doing that hack over again.
  • Because of this, I’ve been able to update jquery-console to the newest version which allows for copying and pasting! Copying and pasting was another of the big gripes (once again, understandably). You can do it now.
  • Clojail has been updated to the latest version (which is almost always the same version that sexpbot uses), and I’ll be updating the rest of the dependencies (ring and such) to the latest versions soon.

All of these changes are brand new and not guaranteed to be bug free. I’m still in the process of putting finishing touches on everything. Finally, I need to make one last point. Do you know how many TryClojure bug reports I’ve received since it was conceived (early last year, I believe)? Less than 10. Hell, maybe around 5. I don’t really use it, so I rarely find these bugs myself. If they are left unreported, I may never notice them. Remember google groups thread I linked earlier? That’s where these issues were raised. When those posts were made, TryClojure was down. As a matter of fact, that’s why they were made in the first place. I did not know that it was down. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even see those group posts until Alan mentioned it to me! I was kind of shocked that they were arguing about stability issues and TryClojure’s uptime without even letting me know that it was down in the first place so that I could figure out the problem. It is really easy to contact me. I’m always on IRC on #clojure and #sexpbot, my Github page is linked from TryClojure’s about page, and my Github page even has my email address on it. You can send a telegram if you want, I don’t care, just please let me know if something is wrong or else I can’t do anything about it. I am open to ideas as to how to make TryClojure better. If you’ve got an idea, by all means, pull the shit out of the repository and start implementing stuff. The great thing about open source is that we can all make TryClojure better together. I can’t do it alone.