Building Web Applications with Clojure
Explore the secrets and tricks of building Clojure web applications
By Tomek Lipski
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Final Release Date: April 2014
Run time: 1 hour 59 minutes

Packt video courses are designed to cover the breadth of the topic in short, hands-on, task-based videos. Each course is divided into short manageable sections, so you can watch the whole thing or jump to the bit you need. The focus is on practical instructions and screencasts showing you how to get the job done.
A concise video tutorial that guides viewers through live web application development, brushing up on the theoretical concepts along the way, giving the viewers just enough time to take it all in.
If you are a Java programmer and you want to gain expertise in web application development and would like to begin the journey with Clojure, then this course is perfect for you. For all those of you who already know Clojure, this video will help you sharpen your skills.

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oreillyBuilding Web Applications with Clojure

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Many Caveats Required

By Fidnip

from Los Angeles, CA

About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Good Gradient
  • Helpful examples
  • Single Example Developed


  • Difficult to understand
  • Incomplete Code Download
  • Incomplete Code Examples
  • Missing Audio
  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Building Web Applications with Clojure:

This is about an hour forty-five minutes of listening to a guy talk while typing Clojure code. The video format seems like a dubious medium for these lessons, since the commentary is just annotations of the code delivered in a thick Polish accent. (The accent isn't usually a problem, but there were some passages I played over 3-4 times without getting them.)

Clojure web development is not the easiest topic to discuss: Because it's all about small bits of reusable code, it's not like (e.g.) Ruby on Rails or Cake where most decisions have been made for you, and you don't start looking under the covers until things have gone horribly wrong.

Therefore, this book is largely, "We're going to do =this=, but you'd never =actually do this= in real life." This is actually not terrible, because, presumably, with this understanding of how things work under the covers, you are at least somewhat armed to go choose from the many libraries available to do certain things.

In fact, the first four sections work out pretty well. I paused and replayed and typed in the code manually, and could figure out where I made errors (I didn't find any in the video; obviously Lipski knows his stuff). And even though you can't use this stuff directly, it felt at least like I was learning how things worked.

Things start to go south in the REST section: Lipski lays out a big piece of RegEx code to handle REST requests. It's not on topic, it's not interesting, it's not useful, and he doesn't really explain it well. There are only a handful requests the example covers; it would've made more sense to just do a dumb "cond" statement that handle specific cases, knowing it was going to be replaced anyway.

From here on out, as Lipski must get more specific, the topics are so lightly covered as to be nearly useless. The next section, the database section, talks about PostgreSQL—well, I think it does, there's actually no sound—before moving on to an ORM (Korma) and MongoDB.

Which brings up another issue: You can download the code, but it's only the completed code. As an author myself, I appreciate the challenge of maintaining different versions of code and keeping them in sync with text, but final code is nearly useless if you get lost in the middle.

You can get the basic mechanics of ClojureScript after that, and then an ever-so brief look at Compojure, Hiccup, Enlive and Liberator. Brief enough to where I wasn't clear on the distinction between Hiccup and Enlive, or Compojure and Liberator. I mean, I got it in the abstract but then in the actual code, it was so fleeting as to make me wonder if I really did understand.

It's a difficult, deep topic. One plus I didn't mention was that the code all worked, even with the latest version of the libraries, which were (naturally) all out of date. (Things change fast.)

Ultimately, though, this medium and approach strike me as useful only if you really don't like reading words, and you just like listening while looking at code.

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