Learn Lisp the Hard Way


Learn Lisp the Hard Way

This is a book written to teach Common Lisp. But it seems to be done in the style of Learn Python the Hard Way, which is super-popular. I’m wondering if anyone would be interested in writing something similar in Clojure. Seriously, email me if you are :slight_smile:


Eric - I’d love to see a Learn Clojure The Hard Way!



Would you like to write it? Or do you know someone who you’d like to read it from?

I ask because I own the domain learnclojurethehardway.com and would like to usher it to a good home.


I’d also love to see a Learn Clojure the Hard Way. Not really qualified to write it at the moment, though. :smile:


The source code for the general Learn X The Hard Way is in a repo from Zed Shaw located here on gitorious, so if youre interested in creating a Learn Clojure The Hard way, maybe we should get it started like these Common Lisp guys did :smile:


Hey, thanks for linking to that!


I would write this. Absolutely. I was just thinking that there should be a “Learn Clojure the Hard Way”.

I may not have the expertise to write the entire thing, but I could at least start it. The content could be open source…


Hi @bsima,

I’m all ears for a proposal. Like I said, I want to pass it into good hands, so I am being cautious. Please write up some of the curriculum and I’ll see if we can do this.


@bsima @ericnormand did this get started at all? i’m interested in the idea.


@chadhs: I never heard back. I’m still interested if someone has a proposal for it.


Wish I had more free time in the next couple months. I can really imagine a fun website with personas who walk with you though Clojure (well, Clojurescript at any rate, at least at first before you’re enthused enough to install a Big IDE).

I liked the live editor (currently broken) at http://www.lispcast.com/the-most-important-idea-in-computer-science

Would be really nice to combine that with with coding fun Quil animations, saving sourcecode on cloud storage, and Parinfer.

ClojureBridge’s Friday install-fest really should be unnecessary. There’s something to be said about it as a rite-of-passage, but probably does more harm than good… sends the message that programmers actually can’t even automate running their own tools. (“What even is an install, anyway?”)

And one can add very light narrative structure… using a metaphor like climbing mountains. Different guides on each hill, which symbolizes the usefulness of finding different mentors.

“Players” could branch a bit, decide to not go linearly… when I used Common Lisp, I got the impression that it was like an old city, where you could see the seams between different generations. clojure.core is too clean for that, but returning to the mountain metaphor, there’s lots of little towns to explore, because of its library & platform reach.


Hi @tjg,

I think the difficulty of installing and getting set up is a shame. But I’ve heard a different perspective from a beginner who went through Rails Bridge and was also learning Clojure. She said that the nice thing about Rails Bridge is that you end the day with something that you can show to other people. And it’s on the web so it’s easy to show them. You can also continue working on it at home.

In general, I’m torn on this. I think I need more experience teaching in Clojure Bridge settings. I would like to run one soon.

Having a webapp that would host stuff for you would be a nice experience, especially for getting up quickly and being able to play and learn the syntax. But people wouldn’t leave with something resembling a real dev environment. Learning to use a real environment is one of the goals.

I guess a very smooth first experience is good for a solo learning experience. But when you’re in a group, you can use the setting and volunteer help to get people over a different hurdle.