Thursday, 9 March 2017

First project with Luminus and Reagent... impressions.

Ok I have started a project for a friend, it's web application to charge customers for calls done.
I'm using Luminus with Reagent as frontend... how it is going...
I will compare this with my experience in doing something similar using Java, with Spring and Vaadin. During this development I had more feeling coming out, these are the things I want to share (not ordered by relevance)

  • Fun: Well, this is a totally new experience, I have Terminator with 3 windows, one with lein test-refreh, one with lein run and one with lein figwheel. I really enjoy that I see happening in my browser while I change them. It's a new experience because with Vaadin every little change I had to restart the application server (it does not take long though)
  • Creativity: Because there is not a clear path written (with Spring a Vaadin you are taken by hand and they guide you to the final result like a parent with a child) I was able to come out with my solutions for problems, like the creation of a paginated-table that handle the rendering of a table that automatically resize when the browser window change size.
  • Frustration: well also this feeling come out a lot... I'm using swagger to create Rest API, and I'm calling them using ajax.core Get and POST methods. Using a dynamic language is very hard because if you can't find documentation on Internet you are not able to figure how you should use these functions. For example it took me a good evening to make the upload of a file working because I was using the :params key in the POST configuration map instead of the :body, and there was really no feedback to understand that
  • Productivity is still very low: Unfortunately the horrible stacktrace of clojure and the error messages make me think that there is still work to do in that direction in clojure to make it more productive.
Next steps:
  • Improve my paginated table to make it easier to use, I was not able to encapsulate it fully.
  • Move to clojure 1.9 to check if errors are a little more useful
  • Luminus is a good framework, but still documentation is poor on simple tasks (like doing a full rest application with clojurescript as frontend, lots of common problems (like timeout or security using tokens, ..) don't have a documented solution leaving open the implementation. These are problems that are "old", production tested solution should be documented in the framework and should take less time to set it up.
If any of you want to go through the code and give me some advice I will gratefully accept that, I feel that I still have to learn a lot on how to write functional programming but I only have my free time to try it :), help from someone is great, also if you have a project where you need some help, let me know.

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