18 février 2015

Clojure - Plugins & tools

Plugins and tools for Clojure development and leiningen environment
  1. Plugins
    1. Check out updates
    2. Tests and benchmarks
      1. 'Static code analyzers' and 'Clojure lint tools'
    3. Documentation
      1. Consult
      2. Generate
    4. Other plugins
  2. Tools
  3. Standalone Scripts
  4. Boot

This is my modest contribution to the plugins universe of Leiningen. I synthesized here some of my observations and comments, as others have already done here and there.

I highly recommand to try and adopt the following plugins and tools.


There are two ways to add a plugin:

  1. globally in ~/.lein/profiles.clj. The plugin will be available for all projects.
  2. For a particular project, in its project.clj.

Keep in mind that all plugins specified in profiles.clj and thus loaded at the same time than the REPL may interfere with it, because they affect the initial classpath, which is different from the project classpath.

➙ I recommend to add these plugins directly in projects (project.clj) when required.

Check out updates

  • xsc/lein-ancient

Check for outdated dependencies and plugins.

It can also update the project.clj and ~/.lein/profiles.clj files, automatically or interactively.

lein ancient [upgrade :interactive]

lein ancient [upgrade-]profiles

Warning! The plugin does not manage utf8 correctly, so data can be corrupted, for example if you have a special REPL prompt.

Tests and benchmarks

  • criterium


'Static code analyzers' and 'Clojure lint tools'

  • jonase/kibit, lein-bikeshed, jonase/eastwood

Kibit is written with core.logic.

A plugin for LightTable is also available: danielribeiro/LightTableKibit

  • lein-expectations

Leiningen plugin for running tests written using the expectations library.

  • pedandic

A Leiningen plugin to reject dependency graphs with common user surprises. I can't get the v0.0.5 to work.



  • clj-ns-browser.sdoc

Displays in an external browser available docs for namespaces, functions, ...

Can be injected in the REPL with im.chit/vinyasa.


  • gdeer81/lein-marginalia et michaelblume/lein-marginalia (clj 1.7+)

Use lein marg <options> in the project's root directory. Generates docs/uberdoc.html. On the left of the page, text from comments and docstrings, on the right the Clojure code.

Markdown and asciidoc formats can be used in docstrings and in standards comments (must put two ; to enable).

You can also insert mathematical formulas. Put in the beginning of the clojure source:

;; <script type="text/javascript"
;;  src="http://cdn.mathjax.org/mathjax/latest/MathJax.js?config=TeX-AMS-MML_HTMLorMML">
;; </script>

Then use one of the two notations (inline or not):

\\(r^2 = x^2 + y^2\\)
$$r^2 = x^2 + y^2$$

This plugin does not work when the project's description is written as

:description (str "xx"
  • codox

Generating API documentation from Clojure source code. The default css is somewhat austere, blue text on gray background.

Cross Reference All the Things with "Document [[module.submodule/var]]"

Hide Auto-Generated Record Constructors eg for records, with MyRecord, we automatically get ->MyRecord & map->MyRecord. (alter-meta! #'->RecordName assoc :no-doc true)

  • lein-autodoc

Generates documentation for a project. The v0.9 does not work well with Leiningen 2 and the v1.0 is not yet published.

Other plugins

  • clj-ns-browser

Can be injected in the REPL with im.chit/vinyasa. Launch a complete 'explorer' of functions and var available in the namespaces.

  • clj-stacktrace and io.aviso/pretty

Nice exceptions with colorful stack trace. The stack from aviso is easier to read than the one from clj-stacktrace. The original (pst) command can be overrided in a profile's injections.

(clojure.stacktrace/print-stack-trace *e)
(io.aviso.exception/write-exception *e)

to display last exception
  • im.chit/vinyasa

Injects functions in namespaces. See http://z.caudate.me/a-more-refined-vinyasa-inject.

  • lein-autoreload

Reloads modified sources (and thus namespaces) in the REPL. Does not work well with ClojureScript projects whose sources are in src/clj and src/cljs.

  • emezeske/lein-cljsbuild

Leiningen plugin to make ClojureScript development easy.

Mandatory for ClojureScript dev!

  • the-kenny/lein-deps-tree

Prints a print a nicely formatted tree of a project's dependencies.

I do not really see the difference with the lein deps: tree command. Maybe the way to retrieve dependencies (aether, other)?

  • lein-light-nrepl

Allows LightTable to communicate with an external REPL. Options can be specified (port, middleware, ...). Very useful, because I find the evaluation inside LightTable not very convenient for collections.

  • marick/lein-midje

Runs both Midje and clojure.test tests. Remark: midje-auto do not autoreload cljc files.

  • lein-ns-dep-graph et ns-graph

Both show the namespace dependencies of Clojure project sources as a graph. They use Graphviz.

  • lein-pdo

Higher-order task to perform other tasks in parallel.

Several tasks can be launched with only one command, without interblocking.

  • xeqi/lein-pedantic

Reject dependency graphs with common user surprises.

  • lein-plz

Add Leiningen dependencies quickly to the project.clj.

The dependencies can possibly be grouped into logical blocks.

  • lein-pprint

Pretty-print a representation of the project map.

  • weavejester/lein-ring

Manage ring with command line: start and stop sever, generate uberwar, ...

lein ring uberwar # standalone version, directly in shell
lein ring war # for use with an app server

Options in the project.clj file:

:ring {:handler try-atw-om.core/app
       :init try-atw-om.core/init}

Then inside shell: ring server-headless <port> (does not start a browser)

A jar file for standalone deployment can be packaged and started with:

lein ring uberjar; java -jar <project>-<version>-standalone.jar

A war file that will deploy into an existing tomcat with:

lein ring war
lein ring uberwar ; all dependencies included
  • lein-try

To try libs without even creating a project.

  • LonoCloud/lein-voom

Helps you clean up your dependency tree.

Especially useful when you have snapshot versions.

  • org.timmc/nephila

Show a graph of your Clojure namespaces.

  • slamhound

(Re)compute automatically requires and imports.

The slamhound alias is available for the shell but this tools can also be launched within a REPL:

(require '[slam.hound])
(slam.hound/-main "src/my/namespace.clj")
(slam.hound/-main "src")


  • aprint

Improved print display.

  • taoensso.timbre

Excellent logging library. Use timbre rather than (def ppr #'clojure.pprint/pprint). The timbre config is shared amongst namespaces.

  • daveray/seesaw

Seesaw easily create everything you need for a Swing application.

Standalone Scripts

  • lein-exec

Add this profile the the :user profile in your ~/.lein/profiles.clj config file.

{:plugins [[lein-exec "0.3.1"]]}

Then lein exec standalone.clj.

With mini scripts lein-exec(-p) it is possible to use #!/bin/bash lein-exec(-p) directly in file's header.


wget https://clojars.org/repo/tailrecursion/boot/1.1.1/boot-1.1.1.jar
mv boot-1.1.1.jar boot
chmod a+x boot
mv boot ~/bin/boot


# install launch4j
# on the same partition than m2 repo, otherwise "Invalid cross-device link"
git clone https://github.com/boot-clj/boot-bin.git
# must use jdk7
cd boot-bin && ./build.sh
# copy build/boot to /usr/local/bin

Immutable File System -> boot task -> boot task2 -> ...

Tags: clojureScript clojure lein leiningen plugins