Is Clojure dying?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.


The past week or so a lot of discussion and introspection has been happening in the Clojure community. Eric Normand responded to my one year Lambda Island post with some reflections on the size and growth of the community.

And then Zack Maril lamented on Twitter: “I’m calling it, clojure’s dying more than it is growing”. This sparked a mega-thread, which was still raging four days later. A parallel discussion thread formed on Reddit. Someone asked if their were any Clojure failure stories. They were pointed at this talk from RubyConf 2016, which seemed to hit a lot of people right in the feels, and sparked a subthread with a life of its own.

Meanwhile Ray, one of the hosts of the defn podcast reacted to the original tweet: “I’m calling it: Clojure is alive and well with excellent defaults for productive and sustainable software development.” This sparked another big thread.

Finally @phillmv, the person who did the talk that sparked so much debate, wrote his own summary of the discussion while reiterating some of his points in a blog post: Simple Ain’t Easy, but Hard Ain’t Simple: Leaving Clojure for Ruby.

It was all a bit much to be honest, but if we care about a healthy and growing Clojure community then it’s important that we have these conversations. Let’s try to unpack some of the points that were raised.

What does it mean that I missed all of this? I used to love to follow soap operas like this.

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