Episode 11 with Jim Crossley and Toby Crawley: the Immutant two-step

jcrossleytobyToby Crawley (@tcrawley) and Jim Crossley (@jcrossley3) (shown to the left, respectively), among other things, are the primary instigators behind Immutant, the Clojure application platform built on top of the JBoss Application Server.  The tl;dr on Immutant is that it provides many of the same infrastructure services that many “platforms” provide (e.g. clustered queuing, caching, distributed transactions, etc), but with a single set of well-integrated Clojure APIs that you can (relatively) easily deploy and manage on your own infrastructure.

Further, regardless of the project, Toby and Jim are always good company; it was a hoot to hang out with them for a spell! We had a great time, I hope you enjoy listening in…

(Recorded on November 16th, 2013; my apologies to Jim and Toby for the particularly bad latency on the release of the recording.)


Or, download the mp3 directly.

Discrete Topics

(Remember to follow @MostlyLazy so you know who’s going to be on next, and can send us topics and questions!)

  • All about Immutant…
    • (…which Chas happens to use as a foundation for Docuharvest, yet another of his side projects)
  • “Platform as a service” services, e.g. Heroku & Elastic Beanstalk
  • Grizzly, a Java-based HTTP server designed to be embeddable (much like Jetty), which happens to be used as the basis for Glassfish’s web stack
  • Using nREPL and all the middleware available for it (like Piggieback via Austin for ClojureScript REPL-ing) in conjunction with Immutant
  • clojurescript.test, a maximal port of clojure.test to ClojureScript
  • double-check, a fork of Reid Draper’s simple-check property/specification testing library that can be used portably in both Clojure and ClojureScript
  • Plans for Immutant 2.0, a.k.a. “The Deuce”
  • The Immutant mascot (inspired by the Hypnotoad), probably the best thing to ever come out of a JIRA ticket:
  • TorqueBox, the Ruby application platform built on top of JBoss, analogous to Immutant
  • Chas’ various Immutant hacks around programmatic queue and logging configuration (the former of which is apparently slated for addition to the official API in some form)
  • Infinispan (JBoss’ distributed in-memory key-value store) & Hotrod (its wire protocol for un-clustered client communication)
  • Shout-out to Bob McWhirter, founder of the ProjectOdd group at Red Hat (which houses Immutant, Torquebox, and others)
  • Caribou, a “dynamic web application generator with antlers”, one of the latest entries in the Clojure web framework explosion
  • Clojure Conj 2013 “recap”
  • vert.x, an “asynchronous polyglot application platform for the JVM”, and the Clojure vert.x support, which Toby wrote/maintains and talked about in his Conj talk
  • Recent fixes to Clojure (which landed in 1.6.0 alphas) to prevent memory leaks in dynamically-deployed applications
  • /ht Andy Fingerhut and Alex Miller for their recent contributions to the Clojure development process, etc.
  • ClojureScript releases are versioned in an “interesting” way, e.g. 0.0-XXXX instead of X.Y.Z. Toby asks, “Why, why, why‽”.
    • The mentioned mailing list post where this versioning scheme originally arose is here, and the ongoing documentation of it looks to be here.
  • Results from the 2013 State of Clojure and ClojureScript
  • Michael Fogus’ post and talk about the ClojureScript compiler pipeline
  • cljx, an implementation of “feature expressions”, enabling one to target both Clojure and ClojureScript from a single codebase
  • Not much of a news flash, but Mac OS X is no longer a reasonable option for (some, many?) software developers. What follows is some navel-gazing on our collective migration to Linux.
  • Powercenter 120, the first computer that Chas bought new
  • Russ Olsen’s “To the Moon” Conj 2013 talk


Just prior to finishing these show notes, I asked Jim and Toby what pictures of themselves they wanted to go along with the episode. Their (mostly) prosaic, perfectly-fine twitter avatar headshots came first, but then Jim was kind enough to direct my attention to this gem:


Yes, that’s a kitten t-shirt / patriotic fanny pack ensemble. Don’t mind the haters, Toby, this is why we love you.

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