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27 days ago | Pranav Modi: pranavmodi.com

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Frameworks and Why (Clojure) Programmers Need Them

about 1 month ago | Daniel Higginbotham: Flying Machine Studios

It seems like there's a strong aversion to using frameworks in the Clojure community. Other languages might need frameworks, but not ours! Libraries all the way, baby! This attitude did not develop without reason. Many of us came to Clojure after getting burned on magical frameworks like Rails, where we ended up spending an inordinate amount of time coming up with hacks for the framework's shortcomings. Another "problem" is that Clojure tools like Luminus and the top-rate web dev libraries it bundles provide such a productive experience that frameworks seem superfluous. Be that as it may, I'm going to make the case for why the community's dominant view of frameworks needs revision. Frameworks are useful. To convince you, I'll start by explaining what a framework is. I have yet to read a definition of framework that satisfies me, and I think some of the hate directed at them stems from a lack of clarity about what exactly they are. Are they just glorified libraries? Do they have to be magical? Is there some law decreeing that they have to be more trouble than they're worth? All this and more shall be revealed. I think the utility of frameworks will become evident by describing the purpose they serve and how they achieve that purpose. The description will also clarify what makes a good framework and explain why some frameworks end up hurting us. My hope is that you'll find this discussion interesting and satisfying, and that it will give you a new, useful perspective not just on frameworks but on programming in general. Even if you still don't want to use a framework after you finish reading, I hope you'll have a better understanding of the problems frameworks are meant to solve and that this will help you design applications better. Frameworks have second-order benefits, and I'll cover those too. They make it possible for an ecosystem of reusable components to exist. They make programming fun. They make it easier for beginners to make stuff. Last, I'll cover some ways that I think Clojure is uniquely suited to creating kick-ass frameworks. (By the way: I've written this post because I'm building a Clojure framework! So yeah this is totally my Jedi mind trick to prime you to use my framework. The framework's not released yet, but I've used it to build Grateful Place, a community for people who are into cultivating gratitude, compassion, generosity, and other positive practices. Just as learning Clojure makes you a better programmer, learning to approach each day with compassion, curiosity, kindness, and gratitude will make you a more joyful person. If you want to brighten your day and mine, please join!) What is a Framework? A framework is a set of libraries that: Manages the complexity of coordinating the resources needed to write an application... by providing abstractions for those resources... and systems for communicating between those resources... within an environment... so that programmers can focus on writing the business logic that's specific to their product I'll elaborate on each of these points using examples from Rails and from the ultimate framework: the operating system. You might wonder, how is an OS a framework? When you look at the list of framework responsibilities, you'll notice that the OS handles all of them, and it handles them exceedingly well. Briefly: an OS provides virtual abstractions for hardware resources so that programmers don't have to focus on the details of, say, pushing bytes onto some particular disk or managing CPU scheduling. It also provides the conventions of a hierarchical filesystem with an addressing system consisting of names separated by forward slashes, and these conventions provide one way for resources to communicate with each other (Process A can write to /foo/bar while Process B reads from it) - if every programmer came up with her own bespoke addressing system, it would be a disaster. The OS handles this for us so we can focus on application-specific tasks. Because operating systems are such successful frameworks we'll look at a few of their features in some detail so that we can get a better understanding of what good framework design looks like. Coordinating Resources Resources are the "materials" used by programs to do their work, and can be divided into four categories: storage, computation, communication, and interfaces. Examples of storage include files, databases, and caches. Computation examples include processes, threads, actors, background jobs, and core.async processes. For communication there are HTTP requests, message queues, and event buses. Interfaces typically include keyboard and mouse, plus screens and the systems used to display stuff on them: gui toolkits, browsers and the DOM, etc. Specialized resources are built on top of more general-purpose resources. (Some refer to these specialized resources as services or components.) We start with hardware and build virtual resources on top. With storage, the OS starts with disks and memory and creates the filesystem as a virtual storage resource on top. Databases like Postgres use the filesystem to create another virtual storage resource to handle use cases not met by the filesystem. Datomic uses other databases like Cassandra or DynamoDB as its storage layer. Browsers create their own virtual environments and introduce new resources like local storage and cookies. For computation, the OS introduces processes and threads as virtual resources representing and organizing program execution. Erlang creates an environment with a process model that's dramatically different from the underlying OS's. Same deal with Clojure's core.async, which introduces the communicating sequential processes computation model. It's a virtual model defined by Clojure macros, "compiled" to core clojure, then compiled to JVM bytecode (or JavaScript!), which then has to be executed by operating system processes. Interfaces follow the same pattern: on the visual display side, the OS paints to monitors, applications paint to their own virtual canvas, browsers are applications which introduce their own resources (the DOM and <canvas>), and React introduces a virtual DOM. Emacs is an operating system on top of the operating system, and it provides windows and frames. Resources manage their own entities: in a database, entities could include tables, rows, triggers, and sequences. Filesystem entities include directories and files. A GUI manages windows, menu bars, and other components. (I realize that this description of resource is not the kind of airtight, axiomatic, comprehensive description that programmers like. One shortcoming is that the boundary between resource and application is pretty thin: Postgres is an application in its own right, but from the perspective of a Rails app it's a resource. Still, hopefully my use of resource is clear enough that you nevertheless understand what the f I'm talking about when I talk about resources.) Coordinating these resources is inherently complex. Hell, coordinating anything is complex. I still remember the first time I got smacked in the face with a baseball in little league thanks to a lack of coordination. There was also a time period where I, as a child, took tae kwon do classes and frequently ended up sitting with my back against the wall with my eyes closed in pain because a) my mom for some reason refused to buy me an athletic cup and b) I did not possess the coordination to otherwise protect myself during sparring. When building a product, you have to decide how to create, validate, secure, and dispose of resource entities; how to convey entities from one resource to another; and how to deal with issues like timing (race conditions) and failure handling that arise whenever resources interact, all without getting hit in the face. Rails, for instance, was designed to coordinate browsers, HTTP servers, and databases. It had to convey user input to a database, and also retrieve and render database records for display by the user interface, via HTTP requests and responses. There is no obvious or objectively correct way to coordinate these resources. In Rails, HTTP requests would get dispatched to a Controller, which was responsible for interacting with a database and making data available to a View, which would render HTML that could be sent back to the browser. You don't have to coordinate web app resources using the Model/View/Controller (MVC) approach Rails uses, but you do have to coordinate these resources somehow. These decisions involve making tradeoffs and imposing constraints to achieve a balance of extensibility (creating a system generic enough for new resources to participate) and power (allowing the system to fully exploit the unique features of a specific resource). This is a very difficult task even for experienced developers, and the choices you make could have negative repercussions that aren't apparent until you're heavily invested in them. With Rails, for instance, ActiveRecord (AR) provided a good generic abstraction for databases, but early on it was very easy to produce extremely inefficient SQL, and sometimes very difficult to produce efficient SQL. You'd often have to hand-write SQL, eliminating some of the benefits of using AR in the first place. For complete beginners, the task of making these tradeoffs is impossible because doing so requires experience. Beginners won't even know that it's necessary to make these decisions. At the same time, more experienced developers would prefer to spend their time and energy solving more important problems. Frameworks make these decisions for us, allowing us to focus on business logic, and they do so by introducing communication systems and abstractions. Resource Abstractions Our software interacts with resources via their abstractions. I think of abstractions as: the data structures used to represent a resource the set of messages that a resource responds to the mechanisms the resource uses to call your application's code (Abstraction might be a terrible word to use here. Every developer over three years old has their own definition, and if mine doesn't correspond to yours just cut me a little slack and run with it :) Rails exposes a database resource that your application code interacts with via the ActiveRecord abstraction. Tables correspond to classes, and rows to objects of that class. This a choice with tradeoffs - rows could have been represented as Ruby hashes (a primitive akin to a JSON object), which might have made them more portable while making it more difficult to concisely express database operations like save and destroy. The abstraction also responds to find, create, update, and destroy. It calls your application's code via lifecycle callback methods like before_validation. Frameworks add value by identifying these lifecycles and providing interfaces for them when they're absent from the underlying resource. You already know this, but it bears saying: abstractions let us code at a higher level. Framework abstractions handle the concerns that are specific to resource management, letting us focus on building products. Designed well, they enable loose coupling. Nothing exemplifies this better than the massively successful file abstraction that the UNIX framework introduced. We're going to look at in detail because it embodies design wisdom that can help us understand what makes a good framework. The core file functions are open, read, write, and close. Files are represented as sequential streams of bytes, which is just as much a choice as ActiveRecord's choice to use Ruby objects. Within processes, open files are represented as file descriptors, which are usually a small integer. The open function takes a path and returns a file descriptor, and read, write, and close take a file descriptor as an argument to do their work. Now here's the amazing magical kicker: file doesn't have to mean file on disk. Just as Rails implements the ActiveRecord abstraction for MySQL and Postgres, the OS implements the file abstraction for pipes, terminals, and other resources, meaning that your programs can write to them using the same system calls as you'd use to write files to disk - indeed, from your program's standpoint, all it knows is that it's writing to a file; it doesn't know that the "file" that a file descriptor refers to might actually be a pipe. Exercise for the reader: write a couple paragraphs explaining precisely the design choices that enable this degree of loose coupling. How can these choices help us in evaluating and designing frameworks? This design is a huge part of UNIX's famed simplicity. It's what lets us run this in a shell: # list files in the current directory and perform a word count on the output ls | wc The shell interprets this by launching an ls process. Normally, when a process is launched it creates three file descriptors (which, remember, represent open files): 0 for STDIN, 1 for STDOUT, and 2 for STDERR, and the shell sets each file descriptor to refer to your terminal (terminals can be files!! what!?!?). Your shell sees the pipe, |, and sets ls's STDOUT to the pipe's STDIN, and the pipe's STDOUT to wc's STDIN. The pipe links processes' file descriptors, while the processes get to read and write "files" without having to know what's actually on the other end. No joke, every time I think of this I get a little excited tingle at the base of my spine because I am a: This is why file I/O is referred to as the universal I/O model. I'll have more to say about this in the next section, but I share it here to illustrate how much more powerful your programming environment can be if you find the right abstractions. The file I/O model still dominates decades after its introduction, making our lives easier without our even having to understand how it actually works. The canonical first exercise any beginner programmer performs is to write a program that prints out, Wassup, homies?. This program makes use of the file model, but the beginner doesn't have to even know that such a thing exists. This is what a good framework does. A well-designed framework lets you easily get started building simple applications, without preventing you building more complicated and useful ones as you learn more. One final point about abstractions: they provide mechanisms for calling your application's code. We saw this a bit earlier with ActiveRecord's lifecycle methods. Frameworks will usually provide the overall structure for how an application should interact with its environment, defining sets of events that you write custom handlers for. With ActiveRecord lifecycles, the structure of before_create, create, after_create is predetermined, but you can define what happens at each step. This pattern is called inversion of control, and many developers consider it a key feature of frameworks. With *nix operating systems, you could say that in C programs the main function is a kind of onStart callback. The OS calls main, and main tells the OS what instructions should be run. However, the OS controls when instructions are actually executed because the OS is in charge of scheduling. It's a kind of inversion of control, right? 🤔 Communication Frameworks coordinate resources, and (it's almost a tautology to say this) coordination requires communication. Communication is hard. Frameworks make it easier by translating the disparate "languages" spoken by resources into one or more common languages that are easy to understand and efficient, while also ensuring extensibility and composability. Frameworks also do some of the work of ensuring resilience. This usually entails: Establishing naming and addressing conventions Establishing conventions for how to structure content Introducing communication brokers Handling communication failures (the database is down! that file doesn't exist!) One example many people are familiar with is the HTTP stack, a "language" used to communicate between browser and server resources: HTTP structures content (request headers and request body as text) TCP handles communication failures IP handles addressing Conventions The file model is a "common language", and the OS uses device drivers to translate between between the file model and whatever local language is spoken by hardware devices. It has naming and addressing conventions, letting you specify files on the filesystem using character strings separated by slashes that it translates to an internal inode (a data structure that stores file and directory details, like ownership and permissions). We're so used to this that it's easy to forget it's a convention; *nix systems could have been designed so that you had to refer to files using a number or a UUID. The file descriptors I described in the last section are also a convention. Another convention the file model introduces is to structure content as byte streams, as opposed to bit streams, character streams, or xml documents. However, bytes are usually too low-level, so the OS includes a suite of command line tools that introduce the further convention of structuring bytes by interpreting them as characters (sed, awk, grep, and friends). More recently, more tools have been introduced that interpret text as YAML or JSON. The Clojure world has further tools to interpret JSON as transit. My YAML tools can't do jack with your JSON files, but because these formats are all expressed in terms of lower-level formats, the lower-level tools can still work with them. Structure affects composability. The file model's simplicity is what allows it to be the "universal I/O model." I mean, just imagine if all Linux processes had to communicate with XML instead of byte streams! Hoo boy, what a crazy world that would be. Having a simple, universal communication system makes it extremely easy for new resources to participate without having to be directly aware of each other. It allows us to easily compose command line tools. It allows one program to write to a log while another reads from it. In other words, it enables loose coupling and all the attendant benefits. Communication Brokers Globally addressable communication brokers (like the filesystem, or Kafka queues, or databases) are essential to enabling composable systems. Global means that every resource can access it. Addressable means that the broker maintains identifiers for entities independently of its clients, and it's possible for clients to specify entities using those identifiers. Communication broker means that the system's purpose is to convey data from one resource to another, and it has well-defined semantics: a queue has FIFO semantics, the file system has update-in-place semantics, etc. If Linux had no filesystem and processes were only allowed to communicate via pipes, it would be a nightmare. Indirect communication is more flexible than direct communication. It supports decoupling over time, in that reads and writes don't have to happen synchronously. It also allows participants to drop in and out of the communication system independently of each other. (By the way, I can't think of the name for this concept or some better way to express it, and would love feedback here.) I think this is the trickiest part of framework design. At the beginning of the article I mentioned that developers might end up hacking around a framework's constraints, and I think the main constraint is often the absence of a communication broker. The framework's designers introduce new resources and abstractions, but the only way to compose them is through direct communication, and sometimes that direct communication is handled magically. (I seem to recall that Rails worked with this way, with tight coupling between Controller and Views and a lack of options for conveying Controller data to other parts of the system). If someone wants to introduce new abstractions, they have to untangle all the magic and hook deep into the framework's internals, using -- or even patching! -- code that's meant to be private. I remember running into this with Rails back when MongoDB was released; the document database resource was sufficiently different from the relational database resource that it was pretty much impossible for MongoDB to take part in the ActiveRecord abstraction, and it was also very difficult to introduce a new data store abstraction that would play well with the rest of the Rails ecosystem. For a more current example, a frontend framework might identify the form as a resource, and create a nice abstraction for it that handles things like validation and the submission lifecycle. If the form abstraction is written in a framework that has no communication broker (like a global state container), then it will be very difficult to meet the common use case of using a form to filter rows in a table because there's no way for the code that renders table data to access the form inputs' values. You might come up with some hack like defining handlers for exporting the form's state, but doing this on an ad-hoc basis results in confusing and brittle code. By contrast, the presence of a communication broker can make life much easier. In the Clojure world, the React frameworks re-frame and om.next have embraced global state atoms, a kind of communication broker similar to the filesystem (atoms are an in-memory storage mechanism). They also both have well defined communication protocols. I'm not very familiar with Redux but I've heard tell that it also has embraced a global, central state container. If you create a form abstraction using re-frame, it's possible to track its state in a global state atom. It's further possible to establish a naming convention for forms, making it easier for other participants to look up the form's data and react to it. (Spoiler alert: the framework I've been working on does this!) Communication systems are fundamental. Without them, it's difficult to build anything but the simplest applications. By providing communication systems, frameworks relieve much of the cognitive burden of building a program. By establishing communication standards, frameworks make it possible for developers to create composable tools, tools that benefit everybody who uses that framework. Standards make infrastructure possible, and infrastructure enables productivity. In this section I focused primarily on the file model because it's been so successful and I think we can learn a lot from it. Other models include event buses and message queues. I'm not going to write about these because I'm not made of words, ok?!? Environments Frameworks are built to coordinate resources within a particular environment. When we talk about desktop apps, web apps, single page apps, and mobile apps, we're talking about different environments. From the developer's perspective, environments are distinguished by the resources that are available, while from the user's perspective different environments entail different usage patterns and expectations about distribution, availability, licensing, and payment. As technology advances, new resources become available (the Internet! databases! smart phones! powerful browsers! AWS!), new environments evolve to combine those resources, and frameworks are created to target those environments. This is why we talk about mobile frameworks and desktop frameworks and the like. One of the reasons I stopped using Rails was because it was a web application framework, but I wanted to build single page applications. At the time (around 2012?), I was learning to use Angular and wanted to deploy applications that used it, but it didn't really fit with Rails's design. And that's OK. Some people write programs for Linux, some people write for macOS, some people still write for Windows for some reason (just kidding! don't kill me!). A framework is a tool, and tools are built for a specific purpose. If you're trying to achieve a purpose the tool isn't built for, use a different tool. More Benefits of Using Frameworks So far I've mostly discussed how frameworks bring benefits to the individual developer. In this section I'll explain how frameworks benefit communities, how they make programming fun, and (perhaps most importantly) how they are a great boon for beginners. First, to recap, a framework is a set of libraries that: Manages the complexity of coordinating the resources needed to write an application By providing abstractions for those resources And systems for communicating between those resources Within an environment So that programmers can focus on writing the business logic that's specific to their product This alone lifts a huge burden off of developers. In case I haven't said it enough, this kind of work is hard, and if you had to do it every time you wanted to make an application it would be frustrating an exhausting. Actually, let me rephrase that: I have had to do this work, and it is frustrating and exhausting. It's why Rails was such a godsend when I first encountered it in 2005. Frameworks Bring Community Benefits Clear abstractions and communication systems allow people to share modules, plugins, or whatever you want to call framework extensions, creating a vibrant ecosystem of reusable components. If you accept my assertion that an operating system is a framework, then you can consider any program which communicates via one of the OS's communication systems (sockets, the file model, etc) to be an extension of the framework. Postgres is a framework extension that adds an RDBMS resource. statsd is an extension that adds a monitoring resource. Similarly, Rails makes it possible for developers to identify specialized resources and extend the framework to easily support them. One of the most popular and powerful is Devise, which coordinates Rails resources to introduce a new user authentication resource. Just as using Postgres is usually preferable to rolling your own database, using Devise is usually preferable to rolling your own authentication system. Would it be possible to create a Devise for Clojure? I don't think so. Devise is designed to be database agnostic, but because Clojure doesn't really have a go-to framework that anoints or introduces a go-to database abstraction, no one can write the equivalent of Devise in such a way that it could easily target any RDBMS. Without a framework, it's unlikely that someone will be able to write a full-featured authentication solution that you can reuse, and if you write one it's unlikely others would see much benefit if you shared it. I think it's too bad that Clojure is missing out on these kinds of ecosystem benefits. Another subtler benefit frameworks bring is that they present a coherent story for how developers can build applications in your language, and that makes your language more attractive. Building an application means coordinating resources for the environment you're targeting (desktop, mobile, SPA, whatever). If your language has no frameworks for a target environment, then learning or using the language is much riskier. There's a much higher barrier to building products: not only does a dev have to learn the language's syntax and paradigms, she has to figure out how to perform the complex task of abstracting and coordinating resources using the language's paradigms. If your goal is to create a mass-market product, choosing a language that doesn't have frameworks for your target environments is a risky choice. Finally, frameworks become a base layer that you can create tooling for. The introduction of the filesystem made it possible for people to write tools that easily create and manipulate files. Rails's abstractions made it easy to generate code for creating a new database table, along with an entire stack - model, view, controller - for interacting with it. Frameworks Make Development Fun If you still think frameworks are overkill or more trouble than they're worth, believe me I get it. When I switched from Rails to Clojure and its "libraries not frameworks" approach, I loved it. A framework felt unnecessary because all the pieces were so simple that it was trivial for me to glue them together myself. Also, it was just plain fun to solve a problem I was familiar with because it helped me learn the language. Well, call me a jaded millenial fart, but I don't think that this work is fun anymore. I want to build products, not build the infrastructure for building products. I want a plugin that will handle the reset password process for me. I want an admin panel that I can get working in five minutes. Frameworks handle the kind of work that ideally only has to be done once. I don't want to have to do this work over and over every time I want to make something. For me, programming is a creative endeavor. I love making dumb things and putting them in front of people to see what will happen. Rails let me build (now defunct) sites like phobiatopia.com, where users could share what they're afraid of. The site would use their IP address to come up with some geo coordinates and use Google Maps to display a global fear map. A lot of people were afraid of bears. Frameworks let you focus on the fun parts of building an app. They let you release an idea, however dumb, more quickly. Frameworks Help Beginners Frameworks help beginners by empowering them to build real, honest-to-god running applications that they can show to their friends and even make money with, without having to fully understand or even be aware of all the technology they're using. Being able to conjure up a complete creation, no matter how small or ill-made, is the very breath of wonder and delight. (I don't know exactly what this means, but I like how it sounds!) There's a kind of thinking that says frameworks are bad because they allow beginners to make stuff without having to know how it all works. ActiveRecord is corrupting the youth, allowing them to build apps without even knowing how to pronounce SQL. There's another line of thinking that says it's bad to try to make things easier for beginners. It's somehow virtuous for people to struggle or suffer for the sake of learning. Hogwash. Fiddlefaddle. Poppycock. Joy beats suffering every time, and making learning more joyful allows more people to reap the benefits of whatever tool or product you've created. I am a photographer. I have a professional camera, and I know how to use it. Some of my photos require a fair amount of technical knowledge and specialized equipment: tea This isn't something you can create with a camera phone, yet somehow I'm able to enjoy myself and my art without complaining that point-and-shoot cameras exist and that people like them. Novices benefit greatly from expert guidance. I don't think you can become a master photographer using your phone's camera, but with the phone's "guidance" you can take some damn good photos and be proud of them. And if you do want to become a master, that kind of positive feedback and sense of accomplishment will give you the motivation to stick with it and learn the hard stuff. Frameworks provide this guidance by creating a safe path around all the quicksand and pit traps that you can stumble into when creating an app. Frameworks help beginners. This is a feature, not a bug. A Clojure Framework Frameworks are all about managing the complexity of coordinating resources. Well, guess what: Managing Complexity is Clojure's middle name. Clojure "Managing Complexity" McCarthy-Lisp. Personally, I want a single-page app (SPA) framework, and there are many aspects of Clojure's design and philosophy that I think will make it possible to create one that seriously kicks ass. I'll give just a few examples. First, consider how Linux tools like sed and awk are text-oriented. Developers can add additional structure to text by formatting it as JSON or YAML, and those text-processing tools can still work the structured text. In the same way, Clojure's emphasis on simple data structures means that we can create specialized structures to represent forms and ajax request, and tools to process those structures. If we define those structures in terms of maps and vectors, though, we'll still be able to use a vast ecosystem of functions for working with those simpler structures. In other words, creating specialized structures does not preclude us from using the tools built for simpler structures, and this isn't the case for many other languages. Second, Clojure's abstraction mechanisms (protocols and multimethods) are extremely flexible, making it easy for us to implement abstractions for new resources as they become available. Third, you can use the same language for the frontend and backend!!! Not only that, Transit allows the two to effortlessly communicate. This eliminates an entire class of coordination problems that frameworks in other languages have to contend with. In my opinion, the Clojurian stance that frameworks are more trouble than they're worth is completely backwards: Clojure gives us the foundation to build a completely kick-ass framework! One that's simple and easy. One can dream, right? My ambition in building a SPA framework is to empower current and future Clojure devs to get our ideas into production fast. I want us to be able to spend more time on the hard stuff, the fun stuff, the interesting stuff. And I want us to be able to easily ship with confidence. The framework I'm building is built on top of some truly amazing libraries, primarily Integrant, re-frame, and Liberator. Integrant introduces a component abstraction and handles the start/stop lifecycle of an application. re-frame provides a filesystem and communication broker for the frontend. Liberator introduces a standard model for handling HTTP requests. If my framework is useful at all it's because the creators of those tools have done all the heavy lifting. My framework introduces more resources and abstractions specific to creating single-page apps. For example, it creates an abstraction for wrapping AJAX requests so that you can easily display activity indicators when a request is active. It creates a form abstraction that handles all the plumbing of handling input changes and dispatching form submission, as well the entire form lifecycle of fresh, dirty, submitted, invalid, succeeded, etc. It imposes some conventions for organizing data. As I mentioned, the framework is not quite ready for public consumption yet becaause there's still a lot of churn while I work out ideas, and because there's basically no documentation, but I hope to release it in the near future. If you'd like to see a production app that uses the framework, however, I invite you to check out Grateful Place, a community site for people who want to support each other in growing resilience, peace, and joy by practicing compassion, gratitude, generosity, and other positive values. By joining, you're not just helping yourself, you're helping others by letting them know that you support them and share their values. Please click around and look at the snazzy loading animations. And if you feel so moved, please do join! I love getting to interact with people in that context of mutual support for shared values. One of the only things I care about more than Clojure is helping people develop the tools to navigate this crazy-ass world :D In the mean time, I'll keep working on getting this framework ready for public consumption. Expect another blawg article sharing some details on how Grateful Place is implemented. Then, eventually, hopefully, an actual announcement for the framework itself :) If you don't want to wait for my slow butt, then check out some ofthe amazing Clojure tools that already exist: Luminus Fulcro which probably does everything I want my framework to, only better re-frame remains my favorite frontend framework duct is great but its docs aren't that great yet Coast on Clojure, a full stack web framework (Sorry if I neglected your amazing Clojure tool!) Thanks to the following people who read drafts of this article and helped me develop it: Mark Bastian Dmitri Sotnikov aka @yogthos Joe Jackson Sergey Shvets Kenneth Kalmer Sean whose last name I don't know Tom Brooke Patrick whose last name I don't know (update: It's Patrick French!) Fed Reggiardo Vincent Raerek Ernesto de Feria Bobby Towers Chris Oakman The TriClojure meetup