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59 Posts Tagged 'Clojure' RSS

Keyword Arguments: Ruby, Clojure, Common Lisp

And suddenly I return to blogging, rising from the ashes like some kind of zombie phoenix. Turns out writing a book is a good absorber of time, like some sort of heavy-duty temporal paper towel. Now that I've gotten the terrible similes out of my system, let's talk about keyword arguments, one of my favorite features in any language that supports them.

Ruby, Clojure, and Common Lisp are all languages I enjoy to some degree, and they all have keyword arguments. Let's explore how keyword args differ in those languages.

June 24, 2011 @ 10:22 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming
Tags: Lisp, Ruby, Clojure

2010 in review

Another year down the drain. A good year, in the end.

2010 Geek Achievements

  1. Wrote some code...
    • cow-blog - The engine running this blog.
    • oyako - Clojure ORM library.
    • gaka - CSS compiler for Clojure
  2. Finished a huge project for work, my first AJAX-y web app (in Rails). That was fun, albeit stressful.
  3. Learned a lot of git.
  4. Learned a lot of Clojure.
  5. Learned a lot of Emacs.
  6. Learned a lot of Javascript.
  7. Learned a lot of PostgreSQL. It's good to be free of MySQL.
  8. Switched to ZSH. This was a good switch.
  9. Tried to learn a lot of Japanese, but kind of fizzled out at the end of the year.
  10. Alllllllmost got a Clojure gold badge on Stack Overflow. I'll get it soon though. Not losing any sleep over it either way.
  11. Read a lot of books. The best: probably Feynman's books of anecdotes.
  12. Blogged a bit. Got an article in Hacker Monthly. Was flamed repeatedly. Learned a lot in the process.

2010 Non-Geek Achievements

  1. Immigrated to Canada. A good move, without a doubt.
  2. Lost 25ish lbs. :)
  3. Learned how to cook better.
  4. My most important achievement from 2010 is actually non-geek: I finally obtained a bit of an offline social life. This is not an easy task for one such as myself.
  5. Continued to learn to appreciate good beer. Longwood Dunkelweizen, mmm.

2010 Failures

  1. Did not blog enough.1
  2. Did not write enough code.1
  3. Missed the first Clojure Conj. Maybe next year.
  4. Re-gained 10ish lbs. :( 2

Plans for 2011

  1. Re-lose 25ish pounds. I'd like to reach the weight I had in college.
  2. Finish my rewrite of oyako. I have ambitious plans for it, if I can just find the time.
  3. Finish my rewrite of cow-blog to match oyako.
  4. Keep working on the RPG my wife and I are creating (in Clojure).
  5. Attend the next Clojure Conj, I hope.
  6. Learn more Clojure.
  7. Learn Haskell? Trying and failing to learn Haskell has become somewhat of a tradition, no sense stopping now.
  8. Learn all 2000+ jouyou kanji by the end of the year.
  9. Supar sekrit projekt. But I haven't signed the contract for it yet so I won't talk about it until I do.
  10. Maintain social life at acceptable levels.
  11. Buy a house.

I feel like I have solid plans for completing each of these things. Blogging more often and finishing oyako are high on my list of priorities. I expect 2011 to be my most productive year to date.

  1. See also, non-geek achievement #4, "Obtained social life".

  2. See also non-geek achievement #3, "Learned how to cook better".

January 05, 2011 @ 2:10 AM PST
Cateogory: Rants
Tags: 2010, Clojure

gaka 0.2.0

Per many commenters' suggestions and thanks to code from Steve Purcell, you can now use maps for CSS attributes in gaka.

user> (println (gaka/css [:a {:color :red}]))
a {
  color: red;}

This looks more like vanilla CSS thanks to the curlies, which is nice. You just have to keep in mind that your key/value pairs could end up being printed in random order, and order is significant1 in CSS.

It just so happens that maps are implemented in Clojure right now such that if they only have a few entries (16 key/value pairs), the order will be preserved, because you get a PersistentArrayMap instead of a PersistentHashMap. But it's highly dangerous to rely on such a thing. It could change at any time in the future.

In any case, you can also mix and match maps, lists and "flat" keyvals. They'll all be flattened That can help preserve attribute order in those cases where you need to.

user> (println (gaka/css [:a :color "red" {:padding 0} (list :margin 0)]))
a {
  color: red;
  padding: 0;
  margin: 0;}

I've also enhanced "mixins" a bit further. You can now mixin entire tags as well as attributes. Or a combination of both. Say you want a mixin that means "Make my element have no padding, and make links within the element be red":

user> (println (gaka/css [ mixin :margin 0]
                         [ mixin])) {
  padding: 0;
  margin: 0;} a {
    color: red;} {
  padding: 0;} a {
    color: red;}

You can get gaka from github or Clojars.

  1. Order is only significant in cases where you're doing things like padding: 0; padding-left: 1px. This is arguably bad CSS style, but it's valid, and it's also possible you'll have this kind of thing if you're generating CSS procedurally. But most of the time, order is not significant. e.g. it doesn't matter if you set text color first and background color second, or vice versa. So maybe this isn't so much of a problem in practice.

July 29, 2010 @ 6:59 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming

Clojure syntax highlighting via SyntaxHighlighter

How do you syntax-highlight Clojure code for display on a website? The best way I can find is SyntaxHighlighter.

Daniel Gómez wrote a brush to give SyntaxHighlighter Clojure support. I tweaked it a bit myself and integrated it into cow-blog. I also converted my favorite color scheme to a SyntaxHighlighter theme. So when I write this code:

(defn- ip
  "Given a request, return the IP.  Looks for an x-forwarded-for
  header, falls back to :remote-addr on the request."
  (or (get-in request [:headers "x-forwarded-for"])
      (request :remote-addr)))

You should see something like this:

Syntax highlighting example

...unless you're reading this via RSS, or in a browser without Javascript enabled, in which case you'll see plain, depressing black and white. But that's one nice thing about SyntaxHighlighter. It degrades nicely.

One bad thing about SyntaxHighlighter is that it doesn't play nicely with Markdown. Or rather, Markdown isn't powerful enough to let you specify the class of any markdown-generated HTML tags. If you want the <pre class="brush: clojure"> that SyntaxHighlighter requires, you have to write out the HTML by hand. But I hacked Showdown a bit to let me specify classes more easily, so I can avoid having to do that.

The code for all of this is on github with the rest of my blog.

July 21, 2010 @ 8:17 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming

Goodbye Tokyo Cabinet, hello PostgreSQL?

The first version of this blog used MySQL; then I switched to Tokyo Cabinet. But now I've switched back to PostgreSQL. Here's why.

June 29, 2010 @ 4:32 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming

Introducing Gaka

The CSS for my blog is now being generated via gaka, a CSS-generating library I wrote this afternoon. It's extremely simple, but it got the job done for me. I turned around 600 lines of CSS into around 250 lines of Clojure without much effort. It looks like this:

user> (require '(gaka [core :as gaka]))
user> (def rules [:div#foo
                  :margin "0px"
                   :color "black"
                   :font-weight "bold"
                    :text-decoration "none"]]])
user> (println (gaka/css rules))
div#foo {
  margin: 0px;}

  div#foo {
    color: black;
    font-weight: bold;}

    div#foo a:hover {
      text-decoration: none;}

Gaka is partly inspired by Sass, which I found very pleasant to work with recently. And it's partly inspired by Hiccup, which is a delicious way to generate HTML in Clojure.

There's more info and more examples on github.

June 28, 2010 @ 10:59 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming

New blog engine up and running

Well, my new blog is up and running. Sorry for the temporary lack of cows in my layout. I'm dogfood-testing the blog engine in a fairly vanilla state until I work out some of the bugs. This layout is based upon barecity, a minimalist Wordpress theme that I adapted easily enough to my blog.

As a bonus, I applied a dirty hack to my RSS feed that I think should help avoid screwing up people's RSS readers with duplicate entries.

I'll write again soon with some info about the blog engine and some things I learned writing it.

(As mentioned previously, here's the code.)

June 23, 2010 @ 8:48 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming

Breaking links is easy to do

I apologize in advance to everyone who subscribes to my blog's RSS feed, but this week your RSS reader is probably going to suddenly find 25 "new" posts from me.

My blog currently uses /blog/title as the URL scheme, with similar URLs for categories and tags etc. Soon, I'm probably going to change it to /blog/123/title, as part of the impending release of version 0.2 of my blog engine. (The code-in-progress is in a branch on github, for the daring and foolish among you.)

This way, I can change the title of a post without breaking everything. I have heretofore lacked this ability. It's easy to code, you just tell Compojure to ignore everything after the number in a route. Something like this:

(defroutes foo
  (GET ["/blog/:id:etc" :id #"\d+" :etc #"(/[^/]*)?"] [id]
    (pages/post-page id)))

It's only a few lines of code to change, but the ramifications are widespread. It'll instantly break every link to my blog, for example. At least it's pretty easy to set up a bunch of redirects in Compojure to avoid that. I think this'll work:

(require (blog [db :as db]
               [link :as link])
         (oyako [core :as oyako])
         (ring.util [response :as response]))

(defn redirect-post [name]
  (when-let [post (oyako/fetch-one db/posts :url name)]
    (response/redirect (link/url post))))

(defroutes redirect-routes
  (GET ["/blog/:name" :name #"[^/]+$"] [name]
    (redirect-post name)))

(Oyako here is the experimental ORM-like library I'm using to interface with PostgreSQL nowadays, having ditched Tokyo Cabinet.)

Changing my URL scheme is also going to mess up RSS though, because I (foolishly) used post URLs as the GUIDs in my RSS feed up to this point. This problem I don't know how to avoid. I might reduce the number of posts included in my feed temporarily, to limit the damage.

June 22, 2010 @ 4:23 PM PDT
Cateogory: Programming

Emacs creating zombie buffers

Note to self:

Using bleeding-edge swank-clojure and Slime, Emacs was creating buffers that didn't point to any file, every time C-c C-k wanted to display warnings. This was really quite annoying as it resulted in a mess of empty buffers being created. This fixed it:

(setq slime-highlight-compiler-notes nil)
June 14, 2010 @ 8:44 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming
Tags: Emacs, Clojure

Clojure, from a Ruby perspective

Fogus' recent article "clojure.rb" speculates about why there seem to be so many Ruby users adopting Clojure. As a Ruby user who adopted Clojure, I figured I'd write about my experiences.

What do Ruby and Clojure have in common, that would attract a Rubyist to Clojure? A lot. Obviously, this is somewhat subjective and I don't expect anyone else to agree, but this is what did it for me.

June 09, 2010 @ 6:22 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming
Tags: Ruby, Clojure