Clojure, Cursive and Emacs

J. Pablo Fernández has recently posted a piece with the incendiary title of “Emacs is Hurting Clojure“.

I disagree with the idea behind the title, but then again, he seems to do so himself. He promptly clarifies:

The way Emacs is hurting Clojure is by Clojurians maintaining this myth that you need to use Emacs for Clojure. This is not done by simple statements but by a general culture of jokes saying things such as “you are wrong if you don’t use emacs”.

That’s one point I can agree with.

I can see how being pushed in the general direction of Emacs would turn people off. I’ve never been a fan myself. Some of this Emacs advocacy is just “follow the leader”, some of it is religious adherence to their own ecosystem, some of it is a stubborn refusal to pay for tools (sadly, an argument I have heard more than once).

Luckily there’s Cursive. Yes, it is a paid tool, but there is a free license for non-commercial or student work. Yes, it requires IntelliJ IDEA… but there’s also a free community edition of IDEA you can use. And yes, you are expected to pay for Cursive if you’re doing commercial work in Clojure. Considering how much it helps, why wouldn’t you want to?

If you’re looking to getting started with Clojure, aren’t into Emacs and don’t want to have to learn both a language and an environment at the same time, I’d strongly recommend it. And if you’re already an experienced Clojure developer, I expect you’re going to almost immediately see how much of a difference Cursive makes.


Ricardo J. Méndez