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(feedback :clojurescript)

Lately I have being very entusiastic about clojurescript, but I keep running into small annoyances that I just can not get over with. I think it may be useful to provide a feedback form a user who’s primary language for the past decade was JS, which brings me to a folloing point:

1. Enable github issues

At the moment clojure discussion group is the only place for providing feedback. Group is very active and it’s clojure (not clojurescript) discussion group so most of the discussions are not really relevant to me. I find keeping up with all the noise there hard, and would personally have created bunch of issues reports already if I could have submitted them on github.

2. Accessing properties with computed names

I find API for accessing properties with computed names awkward:

#!env/scheme
(aget js/require.extensions ".cljs")

At least because documentation of get function, matches better my intent then aget’s. Also I find use case common enough, that I think a syntax sugar would be more appropriate.

3. Setting properties with computed names

API for setting properties with computed names is even clunkier:

#!env/scheme
(set! (aget js/require.extensions ".cljs") compile)

I think extending set! special form would make a lot more sense:

#!env/scheme
(set! js/require.extensions ".cljs" compile)

4. Regural expressions

I really enjoy how simple regular expressions translate to JS:

#!env/scheme
#"[^a-z\s]" ;; => /[^a-z\s]/

Although I could not find any way to create regular expressions with advance search flags, other then by using RegExp constructor:

#!env/scheme
(js/RegExp. "\\w+\\s" "g")        ;; => /\w+\s/g
(js/RegExp. "^\\-\\-\\w*$" "m")   ;; => /^\-\-\w*$/m
(js/RegExp. "foo" "i")            ;; => /foo/i

I wish literal syntax had support for search flags, maybe even via clojure tags.

5. Try / catch

In clojure and inherently clojurscript catch clause of the try special form takes error type, error name and expressions:

#!env/scheme
;; for Clojurescript use js/Object as type
(try
   (/ 1 0)
   (catch js/Object e
       (.log js/console e)))

I do understad that it makes sence on JVM, but it definitely does not on JS. I really wish that error type was either optional or was removed entirely in clojurescript.

7. Less dependency on JVM

While I fully understand rational behind dependency on JVM, it’s still painful for someone coming from JS who’s not comfortable with configuring class paths. Tools like leiningen also spend more time on booting JVM then on performing actual tasks. I think clojurscript could be significally more successful among JS developers if they could strat witout any dependencies (even if they will have to deal with them later once they’re more comfortable).

Overall I’m pretty happy with clojurscript, it’s pretty young project and I hope it will only get better and more accessible over time!

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