InfoWorld: Clojure is good for multithreaded programming. In this age of multicore programming, shouldn't Clojure have a bright future in that regard?
Hickey: Yes, absolutely. Clojure definitely has a sound model of state that keeps the programmers from having to use locks, and so it's great for concurrent programming and multicore.
InfoWorld: What's the status of Clojure?
Hickey: We're on version 1.3; version 1.4 should be [available] in the next month or two.
InfoWorld: What's going to be the main attractions in that?
Hickey: The main improvement is an extensible reader. You can add your own data types to what can be read.
InfoWorld: You talked about Datomic, which was developed in Clojure. What's the main purpose of Datomic?
Hickey: Datomic is a general-purpose database. It's for use by all JVM languages. It's for Java programmers and Scala and Clojure programmers and JRuby, all those. The appeal is that it's a transactional system that deals well with time and has scalability properties of these new distributed storage services.
InfoWorld: Right now, the marketplace has Oracle, SQL Server, MongoDB. What problem is Datomic solving that they're not solving?
Hickey: It's like traditional databases in being consistent and transactional, and it's like these new databases in being oriented toward flexibility for the application developer. It's bridging those two worlds.
InfoWorld: Is Datomic cloud-based data management?
Hickey: It can be. Our first solution is definitely in the cloud, and that's another area where we're pointedly different. It's meant to run in the cloud, unlike when you try to move a traditional database to the cloud it's a misfit in some ways, because it wants reliable disks and there aren't reliable disks. It's a new way of thinking about storage -- moving storage out of the database.
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