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Using Clojure libraries in the REPLλ︎

A library should be included as a dependency in order to use it within the REPL.

Add library dependencies to the top level :deps key in a project deps.edn configuration file, or add via an alias if the library is use at development time.

Aliases from a user configuration can also add optional libraries when running a REPL, e.g. Practicalli Clojure CLI config

{:paths ["src" "resources"]

 {org.clojure/clojure {:mvn/version "1.10.3"}}

  {:extra-deps {com.h2database/h2                 {:mvn/version "2.1.210"}
                com.github.seancorfield/next.jdbc {:mvn/version "1.2.772"}}}
Finding libraries

Search for community libraries via the website

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.

Include libraryλ︎

Open a terminal and change to the root of the Clojure project directory, where the deps.edn file can be found.

Start the REPL including the :database/h2 alias to include every library defined in the :deps key and libraries in the :database/h2 alias. This example is using rebel readline rich terminal UI

clojure -M:repl/rebel

This command will include

Add aliases to include optional libraries, such as those used for development. In this example, the H2 database and next.jdbc libraries are included along with those libraries in the :deps key of deps.edn

clojure -M:database/h2:repl/rebel

Load namespaceλ︎

At the REPL prompt, require a namespace from the project to load all the code from that namespace and any namespaces required.

If a project was created with the command clojure -T:project/new :template app :name practicalli/status-monitor then the main namespace will be practicalli.status-monitor

(require '[practicalli.status-monitor])

The require function loads all the code from the main namespace. When an ns form is read, required namespaces in the ns form are also loaded.

Reloading namespaceλ︎

Clojure is a dynamic environment, so changes to function definitions (defn) and shared symbol names (def) can be updated without restarting the REPL.

require loads the code from the specified namespace. Using the :reload option forces the namespace to be loaded again, even if it was already loaded.

When changes are made to a namespace in the source code file, :reload ensures those changes become the code running in the REPL

(require '[practicalli.status-monitor] :reload)

If errors occur when loading or reloading the namespace with require, the :verbose option will show all the namespaces that are loaded. This may show issues or help track down conflicting namespaces or functions.

(require '[practicalli.status-monitor] :reload :verbose)

Hotload librariesλ︎

Hotload Libraries in the REPL

add-libs function from the library is an experimental approach to hot-loading library dependencies without having to restart the REPL or add those dependencies to the project deps.edn. This provides a simple way to try out libraries.

hotload libraries secion for more details and how to use with Clojure editors.

Start a REPL session using Clojure CLI with the :lib/hotload alias, including rebel readline for an enhance REPL terminal UI.

clojure -M:lib/hotload:repl/rebel

Clojure REPL - hot load library dependencies

Require the library and refer the add-libs function. The add-libs function can then be called without having to use an alias or the fully qualified name.

(require '[ :refer [add-libs]])

Hotload a library into the REPL using the add-lib function in the following form, where domain/library is the fully qualified name of the library and RELEASE is a string of the version number of that library to use.

(add-libs '{domain/library {:mvn/version "RELEASE"}})

Multiple libraries can be hot-loaded in a single add-libs expression

(add-libs '{hhgttg/meaning {:mvn/version "4.2.0"}
            eternity/room  {:mvn/version "1.0.1"}})

Hotload hiccup in a terminal REPLλ︎

The hiccup library converts clojure structures into html, where vectors represent the scope of keywords that represent html tags.

Load the hiccup library using add-libs

(add-libs '{hiccup/hiccup {:mvn/version "2.0.0-alpha2"}})

Require the hiccup library so its functions are accessible from the current namespace in the REPL.

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

Enter an expression using the hiccup/html function to convert a clojure data structure to html.

(hiccup/html [:div {:class "right-aligned"}])

The hiccup expression returns a string of the html code.

Clojure REPL hot load dependencies

Last update: April 25, 2023