Leiningen Templates

Getting started with Clojurescript can be tough if you've never done it before, and once you do you might find yourself running through the same steps to get new projects into a structure that makes sense. In either case, the solution is to use a Leiningen template. My goal here is to show how easy it can be to create one of your own. Most templates are built for Clojure, but we'll be creating one for Clojurescript. On top of that we'll get ourselves started off with the new Om library.

Before beginning I want to make it clear that this isn't meant as an introduction to Clojurescript, Om, or the framework it acts as an interface to (React). This is meant to help you through creating a Leiningen template that will get you going quickly on a new project. If you want a bare-bones template for a new Clojurescript project, then I recommend mies.

Using Leiningen you can create new templates with a default project structure through the new task: lein new <template> <name>.

Let's create one together. Since we're creating one for the Om library, we'll call it 'Hum':

    lein new template hum

To install this template locally, cd into it and run lein install. Let's see what a project based off this bare template looks like. Run lein new hum my-app. You should get a directory tree with one file like this: my-app/src/my_app/foo.clj.

The contents of this file should simply be (def my-app :foo).

Open up src/leiningen/new/hum.clj and look at the hum function:

    (defn hum
      "FIXME: write documentation"
      (let [data {:name name
                  :sanitized (name-to-path name)}]
        (main/info "Generating fresh 'lein new' hum project.")
        (->files data
                 ["src/{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}/foo.clj" (render "foo.clj" data)])))

Let's go through this line by line. This function takes a name then creates a map, data, that contains this name and a sanitized version of it. name-to-path simply takes a name and first replaces any dashes with underscores, then any periods with directory separators. So a name like lawrence-of.arabia becomes lawrence_of/arabia. For us, hum will remain unchanged.

The main/info line is simply printing some info to the user.

->files is where the action happens. This function takes a map containing at least the key name and a variable number of "paths". Each path is a vector containing a string representing the path to a file, and some content for that file.

To understand the render call a little better, we need to look at the definition right above this function:

    (def render (renderer "hum"))

All this does is create a renderer that will process one of our templates and replace the appropriate variables. This templating is based off of mustache which you'll see in a moment. For now, all you need to know is that render will take the name of a file in src/leiningen/new/hum and replaces certain areas that we specify with our supplied data. If we don't supply any data then the file remains unchanged.

Keeping with our example, using this line:

    ["src/{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}/foo.clj" (render "foo.clj" data)]

Will create a file at src/hum/foo.clj with the content of the file foo.clj. Let's open that file up and see this templating in action:

    (def {{site.lcbs}}name{{site.rcbs}} :foo)

Remember that the :name key in data is set the unsanitized value we supply.

Now lets start making some changes. Create a file at src/leiningen/new/hum/project.clj and give it the following content:

    (defproject {{site.lcbs}}name{{site.rcbs}} "0.1.0-SNAPSHOT"
      :description "FIXME: write this!"
      :url "http://example.com/FIXME"

      :dependencies [[org.clojure/clojure "1.5.1"]
                     [org.clojure/clojurescript "0.0-2138"]
                     [om "0.1.4"]]

      :plugins [[lein-cljsbuild "1.0.1"]]

      :cljsbuild {
        :builds [{:id "dev"
                  :source-paths ["src"]
                  :compiler {
                    :output-to "{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}.js"
                    :output-dir "out"
                    :optimizations :none
                    :source-map true
                    :externs ["om/externs/react.js"]}}]})

This is doing a bunch of stuff, but is a reasonably standard starting point. The main differences is that I've included the Om library as a dependency.

Now add this to the list of processed files in hum.clj:

    (->files data
             ["project.clj" (render "project.clj" data)]
             ["src/{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}/foo.clj" (render "foo.clj" data)])))

To test it out, run lein new hum my-app. Remember to remove the previous test first, and make sure you are in the root of the template project. Open up my-app/project.clj and marvel at the magic.

There are few more things we need to add to finish this off. First let's get rid of foo.clj by renaming it to a Clojurescript file, like core.cljs. Change the content of the file to this:

    (ns {{site.lcbs}}name{{site.rcbs}}.core
      (:require [om.core :as om :include-macros true]
                [om.dom :as dom :include-macros true]))


    (def app-state
      (atom {:clicks 0}))

    (defn button [data owner]
        (dom/div nil
                   #js {:onClick #(om/transact! data :clicks inc)}
                   "Click Me")
                 (dom/span #js {} (:clicks data)))))

    (defn my-app [app owner]
        (render [_]
          (om/build button app {}))))

    (om/root app-state my-app js/document.body)

Again the intent here is not to introduce you to Om, or Clojurescript. All you need to know for now is that this creates a button and counter that tracks how many times the button has been clicked.

Your list of processed files should look something like this:

    ["project.clj" (render "project.clj" data)]
    ["src/{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}/core.cljs" (render "core.cljs" data)]

Let's add in one more file, index.html:

            <script src="http://fb.me/react-0.8.0.js"></script>
            <script src="out/goog/base.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
            <script src="{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
            <script type="text/javascript">goog.require("{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}.core");</script>

And to the list of processed files:

    ["index.html" (render "index.html" data)]
    ["project.clj" (render "project.clj" data)]
    ["src/{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}/core.cljs" (render "core.cljs" data)]

The full hum function should look similar to this:

    (defn hum [name]
      (let [data {:name name
                  :sanitized (name-to-path name)}]
        (main/info "Generating a new Om project using the Hum template")
        (->files data
                 ["index.html" (render "index.html" data)]
                 ["project.clj" (render "project.clj" data)]
                 ["src/{{site.lcbs}}sanitized{{site.rcbs}}/core.cljs" (render "core.cljs" data)])))

Now we're done. Run lein new hum my-app again and cd into it. Run lein deps to get any dependencies, then lein cljsbuild once dev. Open up index.html and voila! You should see something like the following:

If you're looking for more about creating templates, then I recommend the excellent [Leiningen docs](https://github.com/technomancy/leiningen/blob/stable/doc/TEMPLATES.md).

The full source for this template can be found here.

Published: 2014-01-06