Created a shortcut cheat sheet for the clojure foreplay vim plugin

In Meikel Brandmeyer’s post „On the state of VimClojure“ he mentioned the alternative „foreplay“ to his vimclojure repl solution which is using ng-server.

I tried the plugin and liked it. It has a more robust feel and very easy setup – none required to be precise. You can simply start your nrepl using lein repl and the plugin automagically talks to it.

There are quite some useful shortcuts you should know, therefore I created a foreplay-cheat-sheet (PDF) which might be helpful at the beginning.

Maybe the more often required commands should be on top, but I guess you’ll learn those quite fast anyway.

I created it manually from the foreplay vim documentation, so the content is actually from Tim Pope. The office document is available here foreplay-cheat-sheet.odt


Clojure store persistent data structures gotcha – load-file size limit

In clojure – the data structure and their default representation are suited as readable and portable format to persist data. But there is a small pitfall in using it.

Data Structure example:

  :request-time 2636,
  :status 200,
    "server" "Server",
    "content-encoding" "gzip",

Be aware that this function is intended to load code only. If your data structures or a string in them grow bigger than around 65,535 it crashes.

Exception similar to:

java.lang.ClassFormatError: Unknown constant tag 49 in class file parse$eval13

Please use read-string instead.

Example: (read-string (slurp "data.clj"))

Source: Rich Hickey on google groups Google Groups

Clojure example from „The Joy Of Clojure“ parallelized

I am currently reading „The Joy Of Clojure“ by Michael Fogus and Chris Houser – a great book to see the „why“ behind the clojure way. You should have had a look into clojure before and be willing to read a lot of docs besides the book.

In the book there is a simple example program to display a nice graphic, created by applying xor to the pixel coordinates and using them as grayscale color value. The chapter is „Using the REPL to experiment“.
While reading this part, I thought it would be nice to have that algorithm for parallel processing and experimented a little bit.

The following listing is the result, it modified the original and uses simple threading and the „locking“ macro. It is also interesting to see what happens if you leave out the synchronizing between setting the color and drawing the pixel, as you can see in the screenshots. I hope the original author is okay with using his examples.

Simply paste it to your REPL and try it out.

  ^{:doc "Calculate the color for a coordinate x and y by applying the given
function. Offset and max values can be specified as input." }
  f-valueso [f xoffset xmax yoffset ymax]
  (for [x (range xoffset xmax) y (range yoffset ymax)
          :let [v (rem (f x y) 256)]]
    [x y (if (< v 0) (* -1 v) v)]

  ^{:doc "Devides the given value in 'parts' equal parts. For
example 200 2 will become [[0 100] [100 200]]"}
  from-to-parts [value parts]
  (loop [
    steps (conj (vec (range 0 value (int (/ value parts)))) value)
    result []
    (if (seq (rest steps))
      (recur (rest steps) (conj result [(first steps) (second steps)]))

; Initialize the frame
(def frame (java.awt.Frame.))
(.setVisible frame true)
(.setSize frame (java.awt.Dimension. 256 256))
(.setLocation frame 300 300)
; Graphics size is only as big as the frame was at getGraphics times
; (that had cost me some time ...)
(def gfx (.getGraphics frame))

(defn clear
  ([g] (.clearRect g 0 0 256 256))
  ([g x y] (.clearRect g 0 0 x y))

  ^{:doc "Draw the picture in a specified area using the color function."}
  draw-part [gfx f xoffset xmax yoffset ymax]
  (doseq [[x y v] (f-valueso f xoffset xmax yoffset ymax)]
;    (Thread/sleep 1) Uncomment this if it draws too fast
    (locking gfx
      (.setColor gfx (java.awt.Color. v v v))
      (.fillRect gfx x y 1 1)

    ^{:doc "Draw a picture to 'gfx' that is created by using the
given color function. Use 'n' threads to create the picture from
0 to x/y max"}
  draw-valuesp [f xmax ymax n]
  (clear gfx)
  (.setSize frame (java.awt.Dimension. xmax ymax))
  (def gfx (.getGraphics frame))
  (clear gfx xmax ymax)
  (doseq [
    [xoffset xmax] (from-to-parts xmax n)
    [yoffset ymax] (from-to-parts ymax n)
    (.start (Thread. 
      #(draw-part gfx f xoffset xmax yoffset ymax)

(draw-valuesp bit-xor 256 256 3)

The result:

Multithreaded version during processing:

Result without synchronization:

I am aware that there is not much concurrency in the problem and it is not the greatest example to show the power of clojure’s capabilities. But that wasn’t the point of it.