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Clojure wrapper for a Java ZeroMQ Majordomo Protocol Implementation
Java Clojure
Branch: master


0MQ Majordomo for Clojure.


This is a wrapper for this around the relevant classes here by Arkadiusz Orzechowski. md-clj lets you create a request-reply service architecture without too much ceremony:

;; the main app

(defn -main
      [& args]
      (start-broker "tcp://*:5555" false))

;; the worker
    (:require md-clj.worker))

(defn reverse-task
      (apply str (reverse (String. input))))

(def -main 
     [& args]
     (as-worker :reverse-string "tcp://localhost:5555"
               (reverse-task request)) ;; request is magically available

;; the client
    (:require md-clj.client))

(defn -main 
      [& args]
      (let [reply (as-client :reverse-string "tcp://localhost:5555"
                ;; do various things and return a string to reverse
            "reverse me")]
    (println reply) ;; prints "em esrever"

0MQ Majordomo


for the "possibly too long; (but) did read" explanation of the Majordomo system.

Note that this has nothing to do with the mailing list software called Majordomo:

The Majordomo Protocol (MDP) defines a reliable service-oriented request-reply dialog between a set of client applications, a broker and a set of worker applications. MDP covers presence, heartbeating, and service-oriented request-reply processing. It originated from the Majordomo pattern defined in Chapter 4 of the Guide.

"the Guide" here refers to the insanely complete and useful guide to 0MQ:

This is a Clojure wrapper around the Java implementation. I started a pure Clojure implementation, but this works right now.


Get, build and install ZeroMQ:

Get, build and install jzmq:

In your project.clj:

[md-clj "0.0.1"]


The Majordomo Pattern provides a framework for building "Reliable Service-Oriented Queues". These queues consist of three main components: a worker, a broker and a client. The broker itself is fairly generic and delegates work from clients to workers and back. Workers implement a named function and register their availability to do some work with the broker. Clients connect to the broker and give it the name of the work to do and some data upon which to 'work' on, and wait for a response.

This generic pattern is pretty darn useful in a lot of situations. It scales well and works in sitations where you want either/both request/reply or queue'ed jobs that don't require a reply. Couple with some kind of persistent storage like MongoDB and a more complex payload type like JSON or Protocol Buffers, you can build stuff that's pretty cool.

For now this wrapper isn't very sophisticated, but it is fairly easy to use all three components. It's also easy to use them all in the same file for testing, and split them into separate processes later once things are working.

There are two ways to use both the client and worker side: a more raw API that gives you pretty close access to the underlying Java implementation and a slightly more cooked API that looks more like a fancy DSL (see the first example above). You can mix and match, using one for the client and another for the worker without issue. Note also that 0MQ's cross language capability is a high point, so you should be able to easily write, say, your workers in Clojure and your clients in PHP/Java/Lua/C/C++ (that's the list of language I see with an example Majordomo API already written in they guide, but any language that has 0MQ bindings would work with a little effort).

(:import org.zeromq.ZMsg)

;; start our broker in a future 
(future (start-broker "tcp://*:5555" *verbose*))

;; create a simple echo worker
(def echo-worker (new-worker
                     "echo" "tcp://localhost:5555" *verbose*
                     (fn [request reply]
                       (doall (map #(.add reply %) (.toArray request))))))

;; and run the worker
(future (run echo-worker))

;; create a client
(def echo-client (new-client "tcp://localhost:5555" *verbose*))

;; send a request, and view the response
(let [request (ZMsg.)
      _ (.addString request "some string")
      reply (send! echo-client "echo" request)]
   (is (= "some string" (-> (.toArray reply)


See the tests. Most are written as useful examples:

  • echo - the standard echo scenario served up a few different ways
  • reverse - standard and DSL APIs to create some reverse worker examples, lots of comments too
  • http - an http frontended parallel echo system
  • rpc - some contrived RPC examples


  • API Docs.
  • Native Clojure MD implementation on the lower level.
  • Needs a better name.


  • Tests/examples are working, haven't tried scaling up for reals in a multi host environment.
  • API still changing.


  • Copyright (C) 2011 Josh Rotenberg
  • Portions (C) 2011 Arkadiusz Orzechowski

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

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