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Smalltalk-like namespace/class/var/function browser for clojure docs and source-code based on seesaw
Clojure Java JavaScript

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Clojure Namespace Browser (clj-ns-browser)

Clj-ns-browser is a namespace/class/var browser for Clojure's doc strings, source code, examples & comments, and values. The browser's GUI is inspired by Smalltalk class library browsers, and is based on the Seesaw library.

Look for the last released version on [clj-ns-browser "1.2.0"].

Clojure Namespace Browser


The "It starts to look like a real App" release, "1.2.0", adds a long list of new features to clj-ns-browser compared to the ancient, legacy "1.1.0" release that is already a few weeks old.

One important distinction between the new and the old version, is the use of menus, popup-menus, keyboard short-cuts, copy&paste, drag&drop... all thanks to seesaw of course.

A few of the highlights of the new browser's feature set are:

  • see the loaded and unloaded namespaces, and "require" with one-click

  • see the doc-string of a selected var/namespace plus optionally the clojuredocs' examples, comments and see alsos, as well as the source code.

  • seeing the list of vars/classes either as local names or as fully qualified ones.

  • select one or more namespaces and use a regex filter to display the var-list... even with optional searching/matching of the vars' doc-strings.

  • Predefined var/class-filters to see only macros/functions/protocols/multimethods/dynamic or deftypes/defrecords, or refers with and w/o clojure.core. - in addition you can still use a regex-filter on those results

  • adding a trace to a function with a simple button click and seeing the invocation information in your repl as the function is called - tools.trace is an underused gem of a tool!

  • (optional) color-coding based on the var-type: macros are red... functions are green.

  • optional download and caching of the most recent clojuredocs-repo copy with on/off-line clojuredocs-info retrieval through simple menu commands

  • see basic info about (java-)classes like their class-inheritance list and the set of implemented interfaces

  • see the type and values of vars and the type and value of the @var... with their associated meta-data.

  • see live-updates in realtime of new namespaces, new vars, and changed values... as they are defined by you at the repl or by your running program.

  • on top of all that, we also have demo videos where Andy walks you thru the browser's features one-by-one (Part 1 and Part 2)

That partial feature list should be more than enough to make you want to read the next section...

Install & Start-up

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

    ;; Leiningen version 1
    :dev-dependencies [[clj-ns-browser "1.2.0"]]

    ;; Leiningen version 2
    :profiles {:dev {:dependencies [[clj-ns-browser "1.2.0"]]}}

Then fire-up your repl, refer to the sdoc macro in clj-ns-browser.sdoc, and start the browser with (sdoc):

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

... and the browser window should popup on your screen - very easy!

It should actually work from any repl - tested on MacOSX, Linux, even Windows... with Leiningen 1.7.1 & 2.0.0-preview4, repls, repl-y, emacs and Sublime Text 2. It has failed to work with 2.0.0-preview3 for some reason we are not sure of -- perhaps a conflicting version of the cd-client being used between Leiningen and clj-ns-browser.

Documentation, Usage, Issues, Futures...

Please take a look at the clj-ns-browser's wiki for detailed information about features, usage, and feedback: "" (a work in progress...)


  • franks42 (Frank Siebenlist)

  • jafingerhut (Andy Fingerhut)


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: "")

All the open source libraries that the clj-ns-browser depends on, like: seesaw, clj-info, hiccup, clojure-complete, tools.namespace, tools.trace, cd-client, clojuredocs, swank-clojure, leiningen, lib.devlinsf.clip-utils....and all the libs they depend on, ... and clojure of course.


Copyright (C) 2012 - Frank Siebenlist and Andy Fingerhut

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

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