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Clojure vs Swift: What are the differences?

Developers describe Clojure as "A dynamic programming language that targets the Java Virtual Machine". Clojure is designed to be a general-purpose language, combining the approachability and interactive development of a scripting language with an efficient and robust infrastructure for multithreaded programming. Clojure is a compiled language - it compiles directly to JVM bytecode, yet remains completely dynamic. Clojure is a dialect of Lisp, and shares with Lisp the code-as-data philosophy and a powerful macro system. On the other hand, Swift is detailed as "An innovative new programming language for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch". Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.

Clojure and Swift can be primarily classified as "Languages" tools.

"It is a lisp", "Concise syntax" and "Persistent data structures" are the key factors why developers consider Clojure; whereas "Ios", "Elegant" and "Not Objective-C" are the primary reasons why Swift is favored.

Clojure and Swift are both open source tools. It seems that Swift with 48.2K GitHub stars and 7.71K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Clojure with 7.82K GitHub stars and 1.25K GitHub forks.

Slack, Lyft, and Zillow are some of the popular companies that use Swift, whereas Clojure is used by Weebly, Tolq, and CNCFlora. Swift has a broader approval, being mentioned in 979 company stacks & 526 developers stacks; compared to Clojure, which is listed in 95 company stacks and 76 developer stacks.

What is Clojure?

Clojure is designed to be a general-purpose language, combining the approachability and interactive development of a scripting language with an efficient and robust infrastructure for multithreaded programming. Clojure is a compiled language - it compiles directly to JVM bytecode, yet remains completely dynamic. Clojure is a dialect of Lisp, and shares with Lisp the code-as-data philosophy and a powerful macro system.

What is Swift?

Writing code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next iOS and OS X project — or for addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.
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What are some alternatives to Clojure and Swift?
Scala
Scala is an acronym for “Scalable Language”. This means that Scala grows with you. You can play with it by typing one-line expressions and observing the results. But you can also rely on it for large mission critical systems, as many companies, including Twitter, LinkedIn, or Intel do. To some, Scala feels like a scripting language. Its syntax is concise and low ceremony; its types get out of the way because the compiler can infer them.
Haskell
Common Lisp
Lisp was originally created as a practical mathematical notation for computer programs, influenced by the notation of Alonzo Church's lambda calculus. It quickly became the favored programming language for artificial intelligence (AI) research. As one of the earliest programming languages, Lisp pioneered many ideas in computer science, including tree data structures, automatic storage management, dynamic typing, conditionals, higher-order functions, recursion, and the self-hosting compiler. [source: wikipedia]
Elixir
Elixir leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low-latency, distributed and fault-tolerant systems, while also being successfully used in web development and the embedded software domain.
Julia
Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing, with syntax that is familiar to users of other technical computing environments. It provides a sophisticated compiler, distributed parallel execution, numerical accuracy, and an extensive mathematical function library.
See all alternatives
Decisions about Clojure and Swift
StackShare Editors
StackShare Editors
Rails
Rails
Node.js
Node.js
Python
Python
React
React
Java
Java
Ruby
Ruby
Go
Go
Swift
Swift
Objective-C
Objective-C
jQuery
jQuery

By mid-2015, around the time of the Series E, the Digital department at WeWork had grown to more than 40 people to support the company’s growing product needs.

By then, they’d migrated the main website off of WordPress to Ruby on Rails, and a combination React, Angular, and jQuery, though there were efforts to move entirely to React for the front-end.

The backend was structured around a microservices architecture built partially in Node.js, along with a combination of Ruby, Python, Bash, and Go. Swift/Objective-C and Java powered the mobile apps.

These technologies power the listings on the website, as well as various internal tools, like community manager dashboards as well as RFID hardware for access management.

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StackShare Editors
StackShare Editors
| 2 upvotes · 29.6K views
atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
Java
Java
Swift
Swift
Gradle
Gradle
Objective-C
Objective-C

At the heart of Uber’s mobile app development are four primary apps: Android rider, Android driver, iOS rider, and iOS driver. Android developers build in Java, iOS in Objective C and Swift. Engineers across both platforms land code into a monolithic code base that ships each week.

They use some third-party libraries, but often build their own, since “Many open source libraries available are general-purpose, which can create binary bloat. For mobile engineering, every kilobyte matters.”

On Android, the build system is Gradle. For the UI, Butter Knife binds views and callbacks to fields and methods via annotation processing, and Picasso provides image loading.

As for iOS, all of the code lives in a monorepo built with Buck. For crash detection, KSCrash reports crashes to the internal reporting framework.

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Jake Stein
Jake Stein
CEO at Stitch · | 13 upvotes · 120.1K views
atStitchStitch
Go
Go
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon Redshift
Amazon Redshift
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
AWS OpsWorks
AWS OpsWorks
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Python
Python
JavaScript
JavaScript
Clojure
Clojure

Stitch is run entirely on AWS. All of our transactional databases are run with Amazon RDS, and we rely on Amazon S3 for data persistence in various stages of our pipeline. Our product integrates with Amazon Redshift as a data destination, and we also use Redshift as an internal data warehouse (powered by Stitch, of course).

The majority of our services run on stateless Amazon EC2 instances that are managed by AWS OpsWorks. We recently introduced Kubernetes into our infrastructure to run the scheduled jobs that execute Singer code to extract data from various sources. Although we tend to be wary of shiny new toys, Kubernetes has proven to be a good fit for this problem, and its stability, strong community and helpful tooling have made it easy for us to incorporate into our operations.

While we continue to be happy with Clojure for our internal services, we felt that its relatively narrow adoption could impede Singer's growth. We chose Python both because it is well suited to the task, and it seems to have reached critical mass among data engineers. All that being said, the Singer spec is language agnostic, and integrations and libraries have been developed in JavaScript, Go, and Clojure.

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Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 11 upvotes · 873.3K views
atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
RIBs
RIBs
Objective-C
Objective-C
Swift
Swift

Excerpts from how we developed (and subsequently open sourced) Uber's cross-platform mobile architecture framework, RIBs , going from Objective-C to Swift in the process for iOS: https://github.com/uber/RIBs

Uber’s new application architecture (RIBs) extensively uses protocols to keep its various components decoupled and testable. We used this architecture for the first time in our new rider application and moved our primary language from Objective-C to Swift. Since Swift is a very static language, unit testing became problematic. Dynamic languages have good frameworks to build test mocks, stubs, or stand-ins by dynamically creating or modifying existing concrete classes.

Needless to say, we were not very excited about the additional complexity of manually writing and maintaining mock implementations for each of our thousands of protocols.

The information required to generate mock classes already exists in the Swift protocol. For Uber’s use case, we set out to create tooling that would let engineers automatically generate test mocks for any protocol they wanted by simply annotating them.

The iOS codebase for our rider application alone incorporates around 1,500 of these generated mocks. Without our code generation tool, all of these would have to be written and maintained by hand, which would have made testing much more time-intensive. Auto-generated mocks have contributed a lot to the unit test coverage that we have today.

We built these code generation tools ourselves for a number of reasons, including that there weren’t many open source tools available at the time we started our effort. Today, there are some great open source tools to generate resource accessors, like SwiftGen. And Sourcery can help you with generic code generation needs:

https://eng.uber.com/code-generation/ https://eng.uber.com/driver-app-ribs-architecture/

(GitHub : https://github.com/uber/RIBs )

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StackShare Editors
StackShare Editors
Prometheus
Prometheus
Chef
Chef
Consul
Consul
Memcached
Memcached
Hack
Hack
Swift
Swift
Hadoop
Hadoop
Terraform
Terraform
Airflow
Airflow
Apache Spark
Apache Spark
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
gRPC
gRPC
HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine)
HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine)
Presto
Presto
Kotlin
Kotlin
Apache Thrift
Apache Thrift

Since the beginning, Cal Henderson has been the CTO of Slack. Earlier this year, he commented on a Quora question summarizing their current stack.

Apps
  • Web: a mix of JavaScript/ES6 and React.
  • Desktop: And Electron to ship it as a desktop application.
  • Android: a mix of Java and Kotlin.
  • iOS: written in a mix of Objective C and Swift.
Backend
  • The core application and the API written in PHP/Hack that runs on HHVM.
  • The data is stored in MySQL using Vitess.
  • Caching is done using Memcached and MCRouter.
  • The search service takes help from SolrCloud, with various Java services.
  • The messaging system uses WebSockets with many services in Java and Go.
  • Load balancing is done using HAproxy with Consul for configuration.
  • Most services talk to each other over gRPC,
  • Some Thrift and JSON-over-HTTP
  • Voice and video calling service was built in Elixir.
Data warehouse
  • Built using open source tools including Presto, Spark, Airflow, Hadoop and Kafka.
Etc
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Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
GitHub
GitHub
Linux
Linux
JavaScript
JavaScript
Swift
Swift
Java
Java
PHP
PHP
Python
Python
XML
XML
JSON
JSON
Git
Git
SVN (Subversion)
SVN (Subversion)

I use Visual Studio Code because at this time is a mature software and I can do practically everything using it.

  • It's free and open source: The project is hosted on GitHub and it’s free to download, fork, modify and contribute to the project.

  • Multi-platform: You can download binaries for different platforms, included Windows (x64), MacOS and Linux (.rpm and .deb packages)

  • LightWeight: It runs smoothly in different devices. It has an average memory and CPU usage. Starts almost immediately and it’s very stable.

  • Extended language support: Supports by default the majority of the most used languages and syntax like JavaScript, HTML, C#, Swift, Java, PHP, Python and others. Also, VS Code supports different file types associated to projects like .ini, .properties, XML and JSON files.

  • Integrated tools: Includes an integrated terminal, debugger, problem list and console output inspector. The project navigator sidebar is simple and powerful: you can manage your files and folders with ease. The command palette helps you find commands by text. The search widget has a powerful auto-complete feature to search and find your files.

  • Extensible and configurable: There are many extensions available for every language supported, including syntax highlighters, IntelliSense and code completion, and debuggers. There are also extension to manage application configuration and architecture like Docker and Jenkins.

  • Integrated with Git: You can visually manage your project repositories, pull, commit and push your changes, and easy conflict resolution.( there is support for SVN (Subversion) users by plugin)

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Clojure
Clojure
ClojureScript
ClojureScript
JavaScript
JavaScript
Java
Java
C#
C#

I adopted Clojure and ClojureScript because:

  • it's 1 language, multiple platforms.
  • Simple syntax.
  • Designed to avoid unwanted side effects and bugs.
  • Immutable data-structures.
  • Compact code, very expressive.
  • Source code is data.
  • It has super-flexible macro.
  • Has metadata.
  • Interoperability with JavaScript, Java and C#.
See more
Shivam Bhargava
Shivam Bhargava
AVP - Business at VAYUZ Technologies Pvt. Ltd. · | 11 upvotes · 9K views
Swift
Swift
Kotlin
Kotlin
React
React
Python
Python
Rails
Rails
Java
Java
Node.js
Node.js
#Neobank

Hi Community! Trust everyone is keeping safe. I am exploring the idea of building a #Neobank (App) with end-to-end banking capabilities. In the process of exploring this space, I have come across multiple Apps (N26, Revolut, Monese, etc) and explored their stacks in detail. The confusion remains to be the Backend Tech to be used?

What would you go with considering all of the languages such as Node.js Java Rails Python are suggested by some person or the other. As a general trend, I have noticed the usage of Node with React on the front or Node with a combination of Kotlin and Swift. Please suggest what would be the right approach!

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Interest over time
Reviews of Clojure and Swift
Avatar of Bessalitskykh
Software Development Consultan at MLSDev Inc.
Review ofSwiftSwift

The performance of Swift is almost the same as that of C++, which is considered the fastest in algorithm calculation arithmetics. Apple had this idea in mind and worked to improve the speed of Swift. For example, Swift 2.0 has beaten C++ in several computation algorithms, such as Mandelbrot algorithm. Objective-C is slower because it contains C API legacy.

Swift is faster than Objective-C, because it removed the limitations of C language and has been improved with the help of advanced technologies that were unavailable when C was developed. As mentioned by Apple, Swift was originally designed to operate faster.

Despite the fact that languages are different, they both integrate, and work with Cocoa and Cocoa Touch APIs, for all Apple platforms. Therefore, a regular app-user would not recognize the difference in operating speed between Objective-C vs Swift. Speed also depends on a programmer’s level and capabilities, since a slow app can be written in Swift as well.

Learn more here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c

Avatar of Bessalitskykh
Software Development Consultan at MLSDev Inc.
Review ofSwiftSwift

Its performance approaches the one of C++ which is considered the fastest algorithm calculation arithmetics. And Apple strives to improve the speed of Swift. Learn more here https://mlsdev.com/blog/51-7-advantages-of-using-swift-over-objective-c

How developers use Clojure and Swift
Avatar of Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams uses ClojureClojure

Cloure is a high level language that provides access to both the JVM (for server-side development) and javascript (for client-side development) with largely the same language. This is important to limit context switching and enable code-reuse during fast product cycles. Clojure is ideal for rapid prototyping and has a strong focus on stability, correctness, and concurrency. Tools like Schema and Spec enable well-structured development and high code confidence.

Avatar of Lawrence Cheuk
Lawrence Cheuk uses SwiftSwift

iPhone app, a new born language, it may good but the IDE, xcode is bad compare with Visual Studio. It just like a baby. playground can only use without connect to other library...you can not do a simply refactor of renaming a variable. You can go to definition and find reference, but you can not go to implementation....I should write them on xcode not here basically it is not the fault of swift, but it tightly to it, unless you want to use a notepad to write it.

Avatar of Brian Fults
Brian Fults uses ClojureClojure

To complement Java. The REPL lets me interactively exercise Java code. I can write performant and safe libraries in Java, and then use them in Clojure. I also find the data-centric aspect of Clojure (excellent build-in structures, literal syntax for easily creating those structures, functions that act well on abstractions of those structures) good for data processing.

This fits a sweet spot between Ruby and Java.

Avatar of BandSquare
BandSquare uses ClojureClojure

We use Clojure mostly for its "Minority Report"-like interactive development in situations that require 'semi-automatic programming' (data inspection, admin tasks, API exploration, scrapers, etc.). We have also used Clojure successfully to build some components of our stack very quickly and reliably, in the backend and the frontend.

Avatar of papaver
papaver uses ClojureClojure

just started learning clojure, maybe around two weeks or so. i'm addicted. this is what i want to be working with and learning for the foreseeable future. the elegance of the language is refreshing. the community is really amazing. i've finally found a language that fits my passion for programming.

Avatar of CloudRepo
CloudRepo uses ClojureClojure

Clojure simplifies and reduces the coding efforts involved in creating CloudRepo. The fact that it runs in the JVM gives us access to all the libraries that we could ever need. Our code base is much smaller and easier to reason about than it would have been had we gone with pure Java.

Avatar of Refractal
Refractal uses SwiftSwift

Most of our newer apps are written completely in swift, with our older ones and some special cases using a mix of Swift and Objective-C, but with Swift 2, the language is pretty much a must-use. "guard" is <3.

Avatar of Flutter Health Inc.
Flutter Health Inc. uses SwiftSwift

Flutter is coded with Swift v.2.3 and can be run with Xcode v.8.2.1. To launch in Xcode 9.3, the code needs to be migrated to Swift 4.1

Avatar of Maxim Ananov
Maxim Ananov uses SwiftSwift

Most of the app code was gradually rewritten in Swift for better performance and code maintenance.

Avatar of JINJA Ltd.
JINJA Ltd. uses SwiftSwift

Our native iOS app is built on Swift, and most of the basic function is still written in Swift

How much does Clojure cost?
How much does Swift cost?
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