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Functional Programming: A PragPub Anthology by Michael Swaine

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Chapter 7Getting Clojure: Why Lisp Still Matters

by Michael Bevilacqua-Linn

Clojure is a dynamically typed, practical programming language that targets the JVM and other modern runtimes. It is a language in the Lisp tradition, and in this chapter we’ll examine one of the things that makes Clojure—along with other Lisps—special.

Lisp is the second oldest high-level programming language. It was originally created in 1958 by John McCarthy, and has gone through more than fifty years of evolution. One of the most recent branches of this evolution is Clojure, a fairly new language targeted at working programmers.

Newcomers to Lisp—Clojure newbies included—are often put off by what seems like a strange syntax. Those oddly placed parentheses—and ...

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