Journal 2019.21 - ask.clojure.org, tools.deps
I took a summer break away from these journals due to vacation and just generally working on other stuff, but I’m back!
Probably the big thing to talk about is the new Q&A forum, https://ask.clojure.org! I’ve been working on this off and on for a few weeks. For a long time, we’ve been using jira as a single system to serve both Clojure users and Clojure developers. However, these are really very differnet audiences with very different needs.
Users want to ask questions, report problems, suggest ideas, etc with as few barriers as possible. There are lots of non-official places to ask questions about Clojure, but almost all of them are bad at archiving the results of those discussions in ways that are findable and searchable by others later. Because of this, the same questions get asked over and over, and the same brave souls help people out over and over. That’s never going to go away, but creating a search-indexed site of questions and (at least nominally checked) answers makes it much easier for someone to google their way to an answer and avoid asking the question in the first place.
This site also allows us to mark questions as either problems or requests for enhancement (via tags) and rank questions per category by vote. The dev team is looking forward to using this info as an input in understanding the most important problems from the community so we can plan our focus on future releases.
For development purposes, we will continue to use jira as a place to work on patches and manage work. Some manual work will be required to log bugs from the forum into jira or provide info back from jira to the forum, but the volume of this work is relatively low. If that becomes a burden, we may investigate automating some of it, which is probably possible but not a high priority as yet.
I’m sure we will have some more evolution as we get used to splitting things up this way, but for now, please try it out and see what you think!
In the last month there have been several releases of tools.deps.alpha and the clj tool. Most of the changes are really related to internal apis used by tools and not public features, however, the result of those changes are fixes to a number of annoying bugs that have existed for a while. One additional feature is support for Maven mirrors defined in the Maven settings.
Now that the forum is out, I’m looking forward to diving back into working on spec most of the time! I have been picking away at an overhaul of how closed spec checking is done that will have a bunch of API related additions. I hope that will be ready to talk about next week.
Other stuff I enjoyed this week…
I’m a bit of an enthusiast for space history stuff so the last few weeks have been amazing with all the 50th anniversary things from Apollo 11. I’ve been really enjoying two different things in relation to Apollo 11 lately:
- Apollo Guidance Computer restoration - totally awesome serious about restoring an original AGC back to working order. The level of skill involved in getting this old hardware and software running again is so much fun to watch. Still some more episodes to come out as they were working up to demo’ing this for some of the original Apollo computer guys this week.
- 13 Minutes To The Moon - really well done podcast exploring Apollo 11, with a bunch of first person interviews with the people involved. Really great series.
See you next week!