Friday, November 25, 2011

Hints for newbies

We received emails from interested folks who are new to Clojure. We hope they can find enough information about setting up a convenient environment for working with us so that they can provide us feedback. Here we give them a few tips. Please share your experiences in the comments!

Installing Clojure requires some expertise, this means you should be comfortable with your operating system. The easiest way to run Clojure, is downloading the clojure.jar file, and using the java -cp clojure.jar clojure.main command from the command line. However, this isn't the most effective way. Finding information about how to install Clojure on your platform is not impossible with a search engine. Ubuntu users find everything in Clojure on Ubuntu, please note the clojure github repo has been moved to and clojure-contrib also moved individual repos, so don't follow the description literally!
You'll also need to install Leiningen. Why? As you can read on its repo “Working on Clojure projects with tools designed for Java can be an exercise in frustration. With Leiningen, you just write Clojure”. We are going to use Java tools, and the Clojars community repository provides us with these tools. Although using Leiningen to include various Java libraries into our projects looks very tedious (have a look at the sample file), but taking some time before getting into coding can give us goodies like the Stanford parser, OpenNLP, WEKA.
If you haven't found your text editor of choice, emacs with SLIME is the stuff you need. The Clojure, Swank, and Leiningen with Emacs on Linux shows you how can you set up your development environment.
We won't speak about version control, but you using version control is good house keeping technique. If you are new to this theme, and haven't committed yourself to a tool yet, have a look at git, and github, and read the git community book.

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