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Note that current development is on the develop branch, not master

Seesaw: Clojure + UI

"killing CamelCase, proxy and reify, one class at a time"

Seesaw's experimental and subject to radical change

See the Seesaw Wiki for more detailed docs

Seesaw is a library/DSL for constructing user interfaces in Clojure. It happens to be built on Swing, but please don't hold that against it. It's an experiment to see what I can do to make user interface development funner in Clojure. It's kinda inspired by Shoes, Stuart Sierra's Swing posts, etc. clojure.contrib.swing-utils is useful, but minimal and still means a lot of "Java-in-Clojure" coding.


Here's how you use Seesaw with Leiningen

Install lein as described and then:

$ lein new hello-seesaw
$ cd hello-seesaw

Add Seesaw to project.clj

(defproject hello-seesaw "1.0.0-SNAPSHOT"
  :description "FIXME: write"
  :dependencies [[org.clojure/clojure "1.2.0"]
                [org.clojure/clojure-contrib "1.2.0"]
                [seesaw "1.0.1"]])

Replace the Seesaw version with whatever the latest version tag is in case I forget to update this. See below!

Now edit the generated src/hello_seesaw/core.clj file:

(ns hello-seesaw.core
  (:use seesaw.core))

(defn -main [& args]
    (frame :title "Hello", 
           :content "Hello, Seesaw",
           :on-close :exit)))

Now run it:

$ lein run -m hello-seesaw.core

NOTE: As mentioned above, Seesaw is experimental and changing daily. Thus, there's a good chance that what's on clojars and what's written here are out of sync. Here's how you can run against the bleeding edge of Seesaw:

  • Clone Seesaw from github. Fork if you like. Switch to the "develop" branch.
  • In your Seesaw checkout, run lein install to build it
  • In your project's project.clj file, change the Seesaw version to X.Y.Z-SNAPSHOT to match whatever's in Seesaw's project.clj.
  • Run lein deps
  • Move along


  • A non-trivial example app to see if this stuff holds up
  • GridBagLayout needs more work
  • Graphics - I'd rather not wrap the entire Java2D API if there's already something out there (maybe processing?) that does that.
  • Structural manip - add/remove widgets to containers.
  • Selectors - select widgets by class, data, etc.
  • Styling
  • Some kind of ToModel protocol for auto-converting Clojure data-structures to Swing models.
  • Investigate how a framework like cljque might fit in with Seesaw


Copyright (C) 2011 Dave Ray

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License, the same as Clojure.

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