Owen on Software

Hello Clojure. Hello Cursive.

14 November 2016 - Comments

So about a year ago I wrote this post about Clojure and IDEs. Unfortunately, I hadn’t realised there was a free non-commercial license available for Cursive, an IntelliJ plugin for Clojure. It’s time to set the record straight.

So what’s Cursive?

Cursive is a Clojure plugin for IntelliJ. If you haven’t used IntelliJ before it’s very similar to Eclipse (sorry if that offends anyone!).

What that means is that you have all the usual benefits of an IDE: project-aware editing workspace, etc. If you are coming at things from more of the vi end of the spectrum then you will probably want to stop reading there, ha.

Why would I want to use Cursive?

In three words: it is easy. Or at least, that has been my experience.

I did get a pretty good setup going with Emacs, which I wrote about in a previous blog post. But it took me a while to get there, and even then it wasn’t totally stable. It was also pretty heavy on the keyboard shortcuts, given that I hadn’t used Emacs for a decade or so.

Whereas, Cursive worked out the box for me. Everything just worked, pretty much first-time. (Well, except for an odd niggle saving preferences every now and then. But nothing is perfect, right.)

This is the REPL you want

Probably the biggest bugbear I had with my Emacs setup (and I want to stress, it may just have been my setup!), was instability in the REPL. I’ve found the Cursive REPL really solid for both Clojure and ClojureScript. I have experienced very few issues with it. I’ve used it a lot with figwheel and it has been great.

So, if you are from more of an IDE bent like me, then Cursive is well worth a look. It’s probably the tool you are looking for. I’ve been using it for the about 12 months, and I would need some serious persuading to move to anything else.

Tags: Clojure

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