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Island in the Sun

A new episode, raising prices, and a summer of testing.

Howdy dear friends of Lambda Island!

June has come and with it the sun which turns Berlin into one big delightful playground.

New Lambda Island Stuff

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. Discussion about Clojure community flared up for a while, and I wrote a post sharing some of my views, in particular speaking as a former Ruby programmer. It got a lot of positive reactions. I think there’s a lot of goodwill to make things better, and I’m really curious to see what people will get up to.

A far less controversial post was about including libraries into your projects directly from Github. It’s just a little thing, but sometimes it really comes in handy, so it’s the kind of thing you want to make a mental note of for when you need it.

Lambda Island Episode 31 is up, it’s a long one, a follow up to episode 26 about Component and System. While the first one explains Component itself, this one walks you through all the little things you want to set up around component. How to initialize your initial system, how to use reloaded.repl and tools.namespace, and how to use Aero for a more systematic approach to configuration.

Open Source and Community

This episode also shows off the newly released Chesnut (github and release announcement). Chestnut provides a solid yet minimal foundation for building CLJ+CLJS web apps. I consider part of my mandate as Chief of Island Affairs to help build up and improve the Clojure ecosystem, especially for newcomers, and to that end I released the first version of the Chestnut application template, almost three years ago. Since then it’s kept evolving, both to keep up with the changing ecosystem, and with my own changing insights.

One thing that Chestnut doesn’t include is a database access library. When building Lambda Island I went with HoneySQL, which I quite like, but I have to admit it’s rather low level. Lately I’ve started using Toucan, which builds on top of HoneySQL. Toucan is still a young project, and I did run into some snags, but I submitted several pull requests, and I do plan to use it more often in the future.

In Berlin organization for the next ClojureBridge workshop has kicked off. The exact date is still to be announced, but it will be some time in fall. Sign up for the mailing list if you’re interested in attending, coaching, or just staying in the loop. This will be the first ClojureBridge Berlin where I’m not intimitaly involved with organizing, but that only means I will finally get a chance to be a coach, something I’m really looking forward to.

Raising Prices 15 June

I’ve hinted at it several times, but this time it’s for real. Two weeks from now Lambda Island prices are going up, from a base price of 12$US per month, to 18$US. This may seem like a big increase, but considering that there is ten times the content now that there was when Lambda Island launched, a correction was long overdue.

Naturally exisiting members or people who sign up before the 15th will keep their current plans. They get “grandfathered in”, as that is called. It’s also worth pointing out again that students, unemployed, or anyone who needs it because of financial difficulty can get a permanent 50% discount. Just get in touch to get your discount code.

Establishing a healthy base price is an important step towards making Lambda Island sustainable. It also opens the door to introducing lower tier products besides the “all-areas pass”, such as selling individual episodes or themed sets.

The Summer of Testing

Testing has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m a big proponent of good testing practices, and it’s a topic I’ve thought and read about a lot throughout my career as a software developer. So far none of the 31 existing Lambda Island episodes talk about testing though. I’ve often thought of doing episodes that show both how to write the code, as well as the tests that go with it, but there’s only so much you can do in a 15 minute episode, and I didn’t want to do it half-heartedly.

So instead I decided to do a special series on testing, which will be the focus for the coming months. Let’s make the summer of 2017 the summer of testing! (Or whatever season it is in your part of the world).

Thank you for your support, and till next time!

Arne