PurelyFunctional.tv Newsletter 247: Clojure SYNC, Guy Steele, Zach Tellman

Sign up for weekly Clojure tips, software design, and a Clojure coding challenge.


Issue 247 - October 16, 2017


Hi Clojurers,

I recently got back from Clojure/conj 2017. I've included some of my favorite talks, but I haven't seen all of them yet. However, I left the Conj very proud of the community we have. Despite the drama we sometimes see online, the people in the community really care. They are listening. And they are working to make things better.

Be sure to check out the message about Clojure SYNC below.

Please enjoy the issue.

Rock on!
Eric Normand <eric@purelyfunctional.tv>

PS Want to get this in your email? Subscribe!


Watching a Language Grow YouTube

My favorite talk was by The Joy of Clojure authors Chris Houser and Michael Fogus. They reviewed the development of Clojure, its features, and its community. Such good memories.


Rich Hickey's Opening Keynote YouTube

Rich Hickey talks about the reasoning behind the design of Clojure—what problems it was meant to solve. Along the way, he ruffles some feathers, especially in the static typing world. I was a surprised by some of the statements he made, and I was baffled by others. I'm sure others are in the same boat. This talk is worth another listen and I hope to shed some light on his ideas.


Clojure SYNC

I talk about SYNC every week, yet I met many people at the Conj with questions like "when are tickets available" and "are there speakers lined up yet?" I asked a lot of people at the Conj for advice on this, and they all said to talk about it more. So here I am!

If Strange Loop is about the confluence of Industry and Academia, Clojure SYNC is about the connections between our skills, our work, and the history of technology, using Clojure as a lens.

  • The complete speaker lineup is here; most notable speaker: Dr. Gerald Jay Sussman.
  • Tickets are available here
  • The venue and hotels are beautiful
  • Dates: February 15 & 16, 2018, just after Mardi Gras
  • Remember: Clojure/West is merging with the Conj in 2018, so only the Conj will happen (I'm guessing in the Fall). The Clojure calendar around SYNC is wide open.

And here's a little secret that I'll share with you: the ticket sales are not at break-even yet. If you are even thinking about coming, please email me if there is anything to help you make up your mind.

Also, start talking to your managers about getting it in next year's budget. Or pay for it now with this year's leftover budget! The conference would also make a great company retreat for remote teams. Get out of the cold of February!


Homoiconicity It is What It Is YouTube

Stuart Sierra researches and presents the history of the term homoiconic and how it applies to Clojure.


It's Time for a New Old Language YouTube

I cannot resits a Guy Steele talk. This one does not disappoint. Guy Steele examines the history of the notation used in Computer Science papers to describe the syntax and semantics of type systems and languages.


All I needed for FP I learned in High School Algebra

My own talk at the Conj went pretty well. I talk about the process of programming and of analyzing the properties of the operations in our domain. Unfortunately there was a problem in the recording equipment and my slides weren't recorded. They were added in later, without all the nice animations and a little out of sync. Still, it's pretty good!


Baishampayan Ghose (BG) to speak at Clojure SYNC

BG has been a big part of the Clojure community and an inspiration to me since I first started learning Clojure. As the CTO of Helpshift, he's built a team of 80 Clojure programmers in India. He'll be speaking about the reality of building a company on Clojure.


Elements of Clojure

Zach Tellman hosted an Unsession discussion at the Conj. It inspired me to finish reading his book, which I did on the plane home. It's a good book, filled with useful nuggets of wisdom. But the last chapeter (the one I read on the plane), which is all about Indirection, was a gem. It starts technical but then gets wonderfully personal and vivid, calling on examples from literature and Tellman's own life. Highly worth a read, even before it's released.

Oh, and Zach Tellman will speak at Clojure SYNC.