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Add libraries to a projectλ︎

The project deps.edn file is used to add specific versions of libraries to a project.

The :deps top-level key defines libraries that are always included, e.g when starting the REPL or packaging a project in an Uberjar.

Aliases are defined to include libraries only when the alias name is included, e.g. :dev/reloaded alias includes several libraries only relevant during development of a Clojure project.

There are thousands of community Clojure and ClojureScript libraries available via and Maven Central.

:deps top level key contains a hash-map of dependencies, each dependency of the form domain/name {:mvn/version "version-number"}

Project deps.edn
 {org.clojure/clojure {:mvn/version "1.11.1"}
  hiccup/hiccup       {:mvn/version "2.0.0-alpha2"}}}
Finding libraries

Search for community libraries via the website or visit the Clojure Toolbox to browse some of the community libraries available

clojure -M:search/libraries pattern where pattern is the name of the library to search for. Copy the relevant results into the project deps.edn file.

clojure -M:search/libraries --format:merge pattern will automatically add the library into the deps.edn file.

clojure -X:deps find-versions :lib fully.qualified/library-name :n 5 returns the last 5 versions of the given library.

Alias librariesλ︎

:aliases top-level key contains a hash-map of alias definitions.

Each alias has a unique name with :aliases and is represented by a Clojure keyword associated with a Clojure hash-map, {}

:extra-deps keyword is associated with hash-map that contains one or more fully qualified library names and the version of the library to use. The version of the library is defined with the maven form {:mvn/version "0.4.2"} or Git form {:git/url "" :git/sha "e4fb92eef724fa39e29b39cc2b1a850567d490dd"}

The following example can be added to a project deps.edn, within the :aliases {} form.

deps.edn alias definition with maven and git versions
{:extra-deps {djblue/portal {:mvn/version "0.34.2"}
              lambdaisland/kaocha {:mvn/version "1.71.1119"}
              org.clojure/test.check {:mvn/version "1.1.1"}
              org.clojure/tools.namespace {:mvn/version "1.3.0"}
              org.clojure/tools.deps.alpha {:git/url ""
                                            :git/sha "e4fb92eef724fa39e29b39cc2b1a850567d490dd"}}}

When the alias is included in the command to start the REPL, the libraries are placed on the class path and can be required for use.

clojure -M:dev/reloaded:repl/rebel

Hotload librariesλ︎

add-libs is a function to load one or more libraries into a running REPL, negating the need to restart the REPL process.

Start a REPL process with clojure -M:repl/reloaded to include the add-libs librar. Alternatively, include :dev/reloaded or :lib/hotload alias with any Clojure command to start a REPL.

Hotload Libraries explained

REPL Reloaded - Hotload Libraries details all the options for including the library that contains the add-libs function

Use a rich comment block or a dev/user.clj file to require the namespace and write add-libs expressions to hot-load libraries.

A rich comment block ensures add-libs code is only evaluated manually by a developer.

  (require '[ :refer [add-libs]])
  (add-libs '{http-kit/http-kit {:mvn/version "2.5.1"}})
rich-comment-hotload Clojure LSP snippet

Snippets provided by Clojure LSP include rich-comment-hotload, to add a rich comment block with a require for and an add-libs expression, making it very quick to add this code.

deps-maven and deps-git snippets help ensure the correct syntax is used for the add-libs expression for each library dependency to be added.

Practicalli Clojure LSP Config contains a wide range of snippets

Hotload Exampleλ︎

Create a web server from scratch, serving pages generated from hiccup, with all libraries hot-loaded as the code is being written. Demonstrates that it is possible to write an application when only starting the REPL once.

Web server from scratch
  ;; run REPL with :lib/hotload alias
  (require '[ :refer [add-libs]])

  ;; hotload the libraries required for the server
    '{http-kit/http-kit {:mvn/version "2.5.1"}})
  ;; => (http-kit/http-kit)

  ;; Require the namespace from the http-kit library
  (require '[org.httpkit.server :as app-server])

   ;; Define a handler for http requests
  (defn welcome-page
    {:status  200
     :body    "Welcome to the world of Clojure CLI hotloading"
     :headers {}})

  ;; Start the application server with the handler
  (app-server/run-server #'welcome-page {:port (or (System/getenv "PORT") 8888)})

  ;; Visit http://localhost:8888/ to see the welcome-page

  ;; Hotload Hiccup to generate html for the welcome page
  (add-libs '{hiccup/hiccup {:mvn/version "2.0.0-alpha2"}})

  (require '[hiccup.core :as hiccup])
  (require '[ :as hiccup-page])

  ;; Create a page template
  (defn page-template [content]
      {:lang "en"}
      [:head (hiccup-page/include-css "")]
       [:section {:class "hero is-info"}
        [:div {:class "hero-body"}
         [:div {:class "container"}
          [:h1 {:class "title"} (:title content) ]
          [:p {:class "subtitle"} (:sub-title content)]]]]]))

  ;; Check the page template returns HTML
  (page-template {:title     "Hotload Libraries in the REPL"
                  :sub-title "REPL driven development enables experimentation with designs"})

  ;; redefine the welcome page to call the page template
  (defn welcome-page
    {:status  200
     :body    (page-template {:title     "Hotload Libraries in the REPL"
                              :sub-title "REPL driven development enables experimentation with designs"})
     :headers {}})

  ;; Visit http://localhost:8888/ and refresh the page to see the new welcome-page

Excluding dependenciesλ︎

Adding several libraries as dependencies to a project may cause conflicts. The :exclusions key will prevent libraries within a library dependency from being included in the project

For example, library-a and library-b both have a dependency on library-c, as defined in the project configuration for library-a and library-b. When including library-a and library-b in the project as dependencies, there could be a conflict if the both libraries use a different version of library-c. Adding an exclude to library-a or library-b will stop library-c being included twice.

A Library that is self-contained and does not itself include any dependencies on any other libraries is unlikely to cause conflicts. Using these self-contained libraries simplifies the overall application design.

{:deps {:org.clojure/clojure {:mvn/version "1.10.2"}
        :cheshire/cheshire  {:mvn/version "5.10.0"
            :exclusions "com.fasterxml.jackson.core/jackson-core"}}}

Last update: February 22, 2023