Extending and Using Specter
Extending and Using Specter
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Extending and Using Specter

Last updated on 2016-06-14

About the Book

Core Clojure has functions to query and update shallow or homogenous data structures. However, anyone who's worked with more complex data has written special-purpose functions to reach into or "modify" it. Specter provides an alternative to those functions: a rich language for describing paths into structures.

Specter is simple and focused enough that it doesn't need a full-fledged book. However, it's powerful enough, with enough features, that this book will save you considerable time as you get going with Specter.

The book also explains Specter's internals, for two reasons:

  1. You'll need to understand them in order to write extensions.
  2. It has an interesting design that uses broadly-applicable functional-programming patterns.

In fact, so interesting is the design that the book takes the unusual approach of teaching you Specter's API by having you implement it yourself.

About the Author

Brian Marick
Brian Marick

Brian Marick was first exposed to the functional style in 1983, when the accident of knowing a little bit of Lisp tossed him into the job of technical lead on a project to port Common Lisp to a now-defunct computer architecture. That led him to a reading spree about all things Lisp, the language from which the functional style arguably originated. He’s been a language geek ever since, despite making most of his living as a software process consultant. He’s the author of the popular Midje testing library for Clojure and has written books (Everyday Scripting with Ruby, Programming Cocoa with Ruby, and Functional Programming for the Object-Oriented Programmer). The two books in progress are An Outsider's Guide to Statically Typed Functional Programming and Lenses for the Mere Mortal.

Table of Contents

  • Preface: Why Specter?
    • Specter for selecting
    • Specter for updating
    • Specter for learning
  • How to Use this Book
    • Specter API exercises
    • Specter implementation exercises
    • Thanks for the comments and corrections
    • Contacting me
    • Changelog
  • Understanding Specter By Building It
    • Keywords
    • Predicates
    • Extensibility
    • Predictive vs. runtime protocol lookup
    • ALL

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