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Re: Clojure mode

From: Danny Freeman
Subject: Re: Clojure mode
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2023 09:48:12 -0400

Philip Kaludercic <philipk@posteo.net> writes:

> Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:
>> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
>> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
>> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>>   > > This could be done by getting copyright assignments for code in the
>>   > > NonGNU ELPA package, or by writing new code to replace it, or by a
>>   > > mixture of the two.
>>   > The issue here is, that the clojure-mode developers are mostly averse to
>>   > assigning their code to the FSF.
>> What those people think should not be a crucial issue, because writing
>> a major mode to handle a language is not a big job.  We have dozens of
>> them in Emacs.  Lots of us here would be able to replace it.
> IMO it really depends on the level of integration one is aiming for.  As
> mentioned in my last message, if it is just basic syntax support, then I
> guess anyone with a language specification could do it.  But since
> Closure is some sort of a mock-lisp, a user might be interested in
> having more complex features such as REPL integration and perhaps some
> kind of proper indentation for macros (assuming Clojure has macros). 
>> The trick is to start thinking of it as a module to be written,
>> rather than as a need for something that we can't have;
> I still question the need for replicating the labour, if the only
> advantage the user has is that they don't have to M-x package-install
> the existing major mode from NonGNU ELPA.  Especially when given
> functionality like what the "gnu-elpa" package provides, in being able
> to suggest the right packages for a file type (which is currently
> underutilised and IMO should be moved into package.el itself).

I should say to anyone considering writing yet another Clojure major
mode, who is asking for this? I do not see any Clojure developers
anywhere in this thread, or anywhere else, expressing a desire for
another clojure major mode. It would be largely a wasted effort.

Clojure-mode was created 15 years ago as a derivative of lisp-mode. It
pairs with a SLIME-like package called CIDER that has been in
development for almost as long. Any serious Clojure developer will 
eventually learn to install these battle tested packages over anything
that comes out of this conversation. I believe adding a third Clojure
mode would just confuse users and be a wasted effort.

To further re-iterate how much of a non-problem this is, the most recent
survey done of Clojure developers found that 42% use Emacs as their
primary development environment. If not being available out of the box
was such a big issue for users of clojure-mode, then that number would
not be so high.

Danny Freeman

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