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Smalltalk-like namespace/class/var/function browser for clojure docs and source-code based on seesaw
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Smalltalk-like namespace/class/var/function browser for Clojure's on-line docs, source-code, clojuredocs-examples & comments, based on seesaw.

Look for the last released version on [clj-ns-browser "1.1.0"].


For any project where you want to add the ability to browse your currently loaded/unloaded namespaces for the available functions/macros/vars with their docs/source, you should add clj-ns-browser to your :dev-dependencies list:

  • in your project.clj, add:
    :dev-dependencies [[clj-ns-browser "1.1.0"]]


$ lein deps
$ lein repl
user=> (use 'clj-ns-browser.sdoc)
user=> (sdoc)

Very easy!

(it should actually work from any repl - tested with repls, emacs and Sublime Text 2)

If you would like to browse examples, see alsos, and comments from a local snapshot rather than the live web site, download this file while on-line:

user=> (spit "cd-snap.txt" (slurp ""))

After that you can use this command to read the snapshot data and use it:

user=> (cd-client.core/set-local-mode! "cd-snap.txt")



From the REPL, use macro "sdoc" like you use "doc" but with some more flexibility:

user > (sdoc map)
user > (sdoc 'clojure.core/map)
user > (sdoc "replace")
user > (sdoc clojure.string/replace)

will bring the browser window into view while showing the docs for the requested var.

You can have multiple browser windows with:

user > (new-clj-ns-browser)

but only the first browser opened, will "listen" for sdoc requests - the others can only be used for interactive browsing with the mouse.

clj-ns-browser app

Clojure Namespace Browser

There are three panes, for namespaces, vars/classes/aliases, and for documentation/source-code/examples.

You can choose to see the "loaded", i.e. require'ed, or the unloaded namespaces thru the choicebox.

If you select a loaded namespace, the ns-documentation will show in the doc's text-area.

If you select an unloaded namespace, no info is available as it's ...unloaded. However, the "require" button is enabled, which allows you to require the selected namespace. (this doesn't seem to work for all unloaded namespaces... just try and see).

You can use the ns' text-field to filter the ns-list with a regex.

Once you've selected a loaded namespace, the publics, interns, aliases, imports or complete ns-map is show in the var's listbox, depending on the choicebox' selection.

Again, the var's textfield allows for filtering of (potentially) long lists of vars/classes with a regex.

Once you've selected a namespace and a var, the documentation panel will show you the fully qualified name and either the documentation, source-code, clojuredocs-examples or -comments, based on the selection of the doc's choice-box.

The documentation information is slightly enhanced compared to the standard (doc...), and will show you additional info about protocols, extenders, possible alternative fqn's with the same name but different namespaces, etc.

When you look at the documentation, the browser button allows you to see the same doc-info in you browser but nicer rendered in color.

When you look at the examples or comments, the browser button will direct you to the associated clojuredocs-page in your browser.

Clojure Namespace Browser

When you look at the source code of those vars in your local project, then the edit-button will bring up your favorite $EDITOR with the file+line-number. (tested with EDITOR=bbedit and EDITOR="emacsclient -n"). (Does not work for source code inside of jar-files...)


  • Seems to work well on MacOSX... tested the download/install/run in a fresh account. However, works "more than less" a on Lubuntu - browsing works, but for some unknown reason the "unloaded" ns don't show up there (?) - have to dive into the completion code, "stolen" from swank-clojure to see if there are any platform dependencies... (any advice/suggestion is most welcome...)

  • The browser window is a bit "jittery" - sometimes rescales window for different content of list and text-area - gota find out how to stop automatic growing.

  • code examples seem to refer to clojure 1.2 instead of 1.3, which is obvious when you bring clojuredocs up in the browser - probably issue in either clojuredocs or cd-client (?)


  • get swing html-text widget to work properly and replace the text-area (looks nicer, will have links working, code-highlighting, etc...) - rendering works in stand-alone browser window, but swing-widget doesn't look very nice...

  • auto-scroll selected ns and var in view of their listbox - evident from (sdoc...), which does select the ns&var, but many times items are not shown in visible list.

  • copy&paste, refresh as popup menus and/or keystroke shortcuts

  • try different window layout with ns and var list-boxes above doc text-area

  • remove cljsh/repls dependency - cleanup the utility and clj-info

  • maybe makes more sense to select on functions/macros/classes than publics/interns/maps - especially for novice users (?)


Seesaw and its main author Dave Ray - fantastic tool and near real-time support on the mailing list!

(Seesaw turns the Horror of Swing into a friendly, well-documented, Clojure library: "")

Andy Fingerhut for the suggestions and improvements - all I had to do was pull&merge - pls keep them coming!

The clj-ns-browser depends on a whole bunch of opensource libraries: seesaw, clj-info, hiccup, clojure-complete, cd-client, clojuredocs, swank-clojure, leiningen, ....and all the libs they depend on, ... and clojure of course.


Copyright (C) 2011 - Frank Siebenlist

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License, the same as Clojure uses. See the file COPYING.

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