The HelloData platform aims to connect smart meters, apps and consumers with one another, while still ensuring consumers retain ownership and control of their data. Technically speaking, this creates challenges when it comes to data streams (scalability), security (access rights; protection against malicious users), and the interface between the source (e.g. the smart meter) and services (the apps that use the data).
Because the first version of HelloData, written in Ruby on Rails, had performance issues, we decided to (re)build the platform in Clojure.
But why Clojure? In this blog post I explain four reasons behind this decision:
Two quotes one video:
Joy of Clojure 2nd edition (p. 73):
The problem [with floating point numbers] can be summarized simply: given a finite representation of an infinitely large set, a determination must be made which finite subset is represented.
Gerald Jay Sussmann in We Really Don't Know how to Compute:
I'll first provide one way to do it, and then a better way:
Steve McConnel in Code Complete on the personality of expert software engineers.
If you haven't spent at least a month working on the same program – working 16 hours a day, dreaming about it during the remaining 8 hours of restless sleep, working several nights straight through trying to eliminate that "one last bug" from the program – then you haven't really written a complicated computer program. And you may not have the sense that there is something exhilarating about programming.This lusty tribute to programming machismo is pure B.S. and an almost certain recipe for failure. Those all-night programming stints make you feel like the greatest programmer in the world, but then you have to spend several weeks correcting the defects you installed during your blaze of glory. By all means, get excited about programming. But excitement is no substitute for competency. Remember which is more important.
– Edward Yourdon
Alan Perlis on the first page of Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs.
I think that it’s extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customers got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don’t think we are. I think we’re responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don’t become missionaries. Don’t feel as if you’re Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don’t feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What's in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more.
– Alan J. Perlis (April 1, 1922-February 7, 1990)