Naming things - data structues and functions

The def function is used to name data structures in Clojure.

You can also use def to name functions, however it is more common to use defn (which is a macro around def) to give a function a name.

Keeping things private

There is less empasis on keeping functions and data structures private (compared to Java, C++, C#). If you want to define a function name so that it is only accessible by other functions of the same namespace, you can use the defn- function.

There is no private equivaltent for def (as of Clojure 1.6) however you can use metadata to specify this

(def ^:private name data)

Check if there is anything new around this or other common practices

Misc - writing a private def macro

You could write your own macro to create a private def called def-

(defmacro def- [item value]
  `(def ^{:private true} ~item ~value)

There are no naming conventions for a private symbol name. As its defined an used within the scope of that one namespace (file), then there is no real need to make a special convention. Private functions will just be called as normal within the namespace and it will be quite clear from the function definition that it is private.

Clojure community style guilde


Learning Clojure #4: private functions

Sometimes in a Clojure file you just want some helper functions that shouldn’t be exposed outside the namespace. You can create a private function using the special defn- macro instead of defn.

For instance, create a file foo/bar.clj with a public and a private function:

(ns (defn- sq [x] (* x x)) (defn sum-squares [a b] (+ (sq a) (sq b)))

Then use it from the REPL:

user=> (use ' nil user=> (sum-squares 3 4) 25 user=> (sq 5) java.lang.Exception: Unable to resolve symbol: sq in this context (NO_SOURCE_FILE:6)

Naming - local scope

Local names in functions

You can define names for things within the scope of a function using the let function.


Local names in data structures

When defining a map you are creating a series of key value pairs. The key is essentially a name that represents the value it is paired with. Keys are often defined using a :keyword.

{:radius 10, :pi 22/7 :colour purple}

  (def my-circle {:radius 10, :pi 22/7 :colour purple})

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