August 2019, Time to Recharge

Dear friends of Lambda Island,

I’m writing not from an island this time, but from the mountains. After a successful Heart of Clojure I decided to retreat to the Swiss Alps for a bit, to regroup after a few very busy months, and to get recharged and ready for an exciting fall season.

Heart of Clojure has been over a year in the making, and it was really magical to see it all come together in the end. Before I left on holidays I penned down some thoughts on the Lambda Island blog, in particular the things I thought we did well. My sincere hope is that other conference organizers will steal some of these ideas. On the blog: Fork this Conference.

We also started getting the first video files back from the video production company, these will go onto the Lambda Island youtube channel in the coming weeks. Subscribe if you want to be the first to know!

On the Island

A few new things went out on the site this month, the first being a new episode about clojure.core/for, a simple macro but with hidden depths. To illustrate the many things you can do with for I looked for examples in open source projects, which really helped to move from theory to practice.

There’s also a new post on the blog, Advice to My Younger Self, about The Churn and The Great Traditions. If you’ve been around the Clojure world for a while you’ll surely find some of it recognizable. Maybe something to share with your friends who aren’t convinced yet of the value of such a stable and reliable ecosystem.

And last but not least, we have a new landing page! The old one hadn’t changed much since launching in 2016, even though a lot has happened since. We’ve added some testimonials from happy users, and are now showcasing the logos of companies with team subscriptions.

Last Month’s Survey

Last month we asked you for blog and episode ideas, and we got several great suggestions.

Some requests were to cover topics we already covered more in-depth, for instance Warren would like to dig deeper into Datomic, and Juraj wants to see some practical data modeling with Clojure Spec.

A few responses mentioned build tooling and deployment, Paul and Bob both said they found it frustrating to figure out the tools when starting with a new project. Helping people over these hurdles has been dear to our heart going all the way back to when we created Chestnut, and we’re thinking about alternative formats to better show off how to get a project from inception to production.

There were also requests for timeless topics like core.async and macros (thanks, Benny), and some topics that were already high on the list: re-frame interceptors we still want to cover in the second or third installment about interceptors, reitit is our routing library of choice these days, and we’ll have to cover our very own Kaocha at some point as well. Thanks Bastien for the reminder!

New Survey

This month we have a single, simple question for you: what have you built using things you learned from Lambda Island? We want to know what our subscribers are making! It doesn’t matter if it’s a small hobby thing, an open source library, or a product you created as part of a team.

Go and answer the survey now!

Office Hours

Here at Lambda Island we’ve been thinking about ways to make Lambda Island more interactive, to better involve all of you in the process, rather than just being a one way stream. As a first step we’d like to start doing Office Hours, live stream events where we answers your questions.

The first session will take place on Friday 6 September, at 14:00 UTC (save the date!). This is an experiment, but if it goes well we’d like to do these regularly.

If you have any questions about the episodes, please send them to

Open Source & Community

Not much Open Source this month, with all the conference work taking up all spare time, but there are some improvements to kaocha-cljs that I’ve been working on, they haven’t been released yet, but they should provide a more stable foundation, hopefully fixing some of the issues people have been seeing with unreliable builds.

Magnar Sveen also just released a Kaocha integration for Emacs. This is hot off the press, so check it out, I know some of you have been waiting for just such a thing.

Around the ClojureVerse

To close off we’d like to highlights some ClojureVerse threads.

Thomas Heller is working on Upgrading React-native Support in shadow-cljs. Getting up and running with ClojureScript and react-native could still be a lot easier, and it’s great to see he’s using some of the Clojurists Together funds to work on this.

For people who love to geek out on their terminal setup there’s a great discussion thread going on, reminiscent of the mega “share your workflow” thread that we had two years ago.