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The Clojure programming language provides the simplicity of a Lisp programming language with the ability to run in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

After creating languages to make Common Lisp work with .Net and Java, in 2007 Rich Hickey began work on Clojure to port Lisp to run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and handle concurrent data processing. This would allow Lisp programmers to write code that could run on any computer using the Java Virtual Machine. Common Lisp is a dialect of LISP, created in 1958 and the second oldest programming language.

After two years work on Clojure, Hickey released the language publicly in 2009. A community of developers joined in to evolve the language and provide support and documentation. Hickey serves as BDFL (Benevolent Dictator for Life) for the project. Clojure now runs on JVM, Common Runtime Language, and JavaScript engines.

What Makes Clojure Special?

Clojure allows programmers familiar with Lisp to leverage the power of JVM. And it allows Java developers to extend their deployment, debugging, and profiling skills using familiar tools but with a different language.

Hickey created Clojure to modernize the power of Common Lisp as a functional programming language while also working with the established Java platform. Clojure also needed to handle multiple computations at the same time.

To handle multiple computations, or concurrency, Clojure uses software transactional memory (STM) to control access to memory space when two or more processes need the same data or resources.. STM is an alternative to lock-based synchronization where memory space or other resource is locked then unlocked for each access request.


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