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I've been using Clojure for a production system for about two years now. It feels so great to use a language that just keeps handing you better tools as you go along.

What's nice is that the new tools are not just syntactic sugar, as in so many other languages. They either adress specific performance pain points (non-rebindable functions and numerics) or introduce new abstractions and tools (reduce-kv is a nice small example).

I love the fact that each time I read about a new thing coming to Clojure, I immediately think "well this will fit right into what I'm building, great!".

Clojure strikes a good balance between nice ideas and practicality.

Clojure is all substance and no glitter. It's all about getting the job done, which is why it's the most important language development in 20 years.

The best way to get “all substance and no glitter” is apparently Rich Hickey’s “hammock driven development”. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1962051

“To arrive at the simplest truth, as Newton knew and practiced, requires years of contemplation. Not activity. Not reasoning. Not calculating. Not busy behaviour of any kind. Not reading. Not talking. Not making an effort. Not thinking. Simply bearing in mind what it is one needs to know. And yet those with the courage to tread this path to real discovery are not only offered practically no guidance on how to do so, they are actively discouraged and have to set abut it in secret, pretending meanwhile to be diligently engaged in the frantic diversions and to conform with the deadening personal opinions which are continually being thrust upon them.” –George Spencer Brown in The Laws of Form, 1969

I would add Erlang to this list. Both are not extremely popular, but their importance comes not from providing features, but from providing a clear path to developing modern software that tackles modern problems on modern hardware.

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