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Getting Help

Getting Help

Here are some resources you can turn to when you need help.

The is an active community on the Clojurians Slack. There are many Slack channels devoted to ClojureScript and various ClojureScript libraries.

When looking for help with Figwheel and ClojureScript, you should start with the #figwheel-main and #clojurescript channels.

There is also an active ClojureScript Google Group.

ClojureVerse is a very active forum.

Don’t forget to use the ClojureScript website as it has many guides and references.

The ClojureScript cheatsheet is very helpful, as is this list of ClojureScript synonyms

Learning ClojureScript

There is a lot to learn when you are first learning ClojureScript, I recommend that you bite off very small pieces at first. Smaller bites than you would take when learning other languages like JavaScript and Ruby.

There are a couple of common pitfalls that happen to folks when they try to learn ClojureScript.

Trying to learn to much

First, folks try to learn too many things in parallel. They try to learn functional programming, persistent datastructures, ClojureScript tooling, hot reloading, using a browser connected REPL, Reactjs, a ClojureScript React wrapper like Reagent, Javascript, Ring(ie. Rack for Clojure), setting up a Clojure webserver all at the same time.

This layering strategy may be an efficient way to learn when one is learning an imperative programming language like Python, Ruby or JavaScript. It becomes a losing strategy when you start to work with ClojureScript. The biggest reason for this is that the language itself is significantly different than these imperative languages. There are enough differences that you will find it difficult to associate these new patterns with the programming patterns that you are accustomed to. This unfamiliarity is easily compounded when you then add several other paradigm breakers like Reactjs and hot reloading to the mix.

The solution is to keep things as simple as possible when you start out. Choose finite challenges like learning enough of the ClojureScript language to where you can express complex things before you attempt to manipulate a web page. From there attempt to simply manipuate the DOM with the goog.dom API. Once you have a handle on that start exploring React and how to use sablono to create a dynamic web site. Then start exploring Clojure and create a simple webserver with Ring.

Trying to create a sweet dev environment

Another thing that folks do, is they try to duplicate their current development environment. As developers, we become very accustomed to having tools set up just the way we like them. I’m very sympathetic to this.

I however strongly advise that you not invest too much time trying to set up a sweet development environment, and rather invest that time into learning the ClojureScript language with a simple set of tools.

The Clojure landscape currently has a diverse set of tools that is constantly in flux. As a result, it’s very difficult to suss out which ones will actually help you. If you spend a lot of time evaluating all these options it can become very frustrating. If you wait a while, and use simple tools you will have much more fun actually using the language itself and this experience will provide a foundation to make better tooling choices.

If you are new Clojure and ClojureScript I’d advise that you start with a terminal REPL and a decent editor.