The UK Government should take a look at Clojure

Today saw the launch of a UK Government White Paper on Open Data.

In his forward, Francis Maude writes :-

“Data is the 21st century’s new raw material…”

At EuroClojure this year I spoke about the numerous strengths of Clojure as an
enabling technology to release trapped data and onto the web. I think
this is one of Clojure’s best kept secrets.

Then there are examples of Clojure’s strengths in processing data in
order to find new insights.

And at last Tuesday’s London Clojure Dojo I witnessed a powerful example
of how Clojure can consume and leverage data on the web.

Perhaps to mark the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth, 4 fellow
Clojurians chose to create a chatbot that could engage humans in
conversation. In the space of an hour-and-a-half they had created a demo
from nothing. The code, written using LightTable, showed how they had
‘cheated’ by using the user’s input to drive a search against Twitter,
processing the JSON results and printing back a response. (I, for one,
was totally taken in at first however).

The impressive thing for me was not the ‘fake AI’ but the speed at which four
developers could craft something that sourced data from the web and
manipulated it in such an effortless, almost nonchalent, manner.

I commented after the demonstration that I strongly felt this is how
programming will be in 10 years time. Future programmers just won’t
understand why things were seemingly so difficult for us today – the
industry is awash with chatter about efficient serialization formats,
parsers, DSLs, middleware, integration technologies – and yet these guys
made it all look so easy. Once you’ve mastered Clojure, of course, it
is.

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