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I want to explain this From the Shadows business.

If you’re looking for some obscure technical angle on Clojure deployment, like how to do it on THE DARK WEB using only a refurbished pager and precision whistling, then I’m sorry to have misled you. This is a book about setting up a server so that it will run your Clojure app. I wanted to make it kind of fun, so I threw From the Shadows in the title and added some silly stories about silly things I’ve done.

But for me, From the Shadows is more than just a goofy phrase to get a couple laughs and to lend a theme to the guide. It’s a shorthand for the manifesto that’s guided my creative and personal growth. That manifesto is: Drag the neglected, scared parts of yourself from the shadows into the light. Take those parts of yourself that you’ve hidden because you think they’re weird or stupid, and become friends with them. Don’t be afraid to draw on them when you express yourself — your whole self.

Web sites have been my medium for sharing things I care about with others in a way that brings them joy and delight, even when it’s been scary. I made Clean Up Your Mess and Grateful Place and Clojure for the Brave and True while working at a company where I thought my coworkers (not to mention the world at large) might take one look at my work and think I was a complete weirdo. The OH MY GOD WHAT IF THIS SUCKS part of my brain is quite robust, and I’m grateful that so many people have taken the time to email or tweet me letting me know that they love some of the stuff I’ve made.

So, this process of making and sharing is more about community and self-discovery and expression than it is about technology — but I also love working with technology. And that’s why I feel so lucky to have found Clojure: the pure nerd part of me revels in its clear design, its simplicity and beauty, while the makey-sharey-fuzzy-wuzzy part of me appreciates that it’s such an excellent tool for getting shit done and bringing my ideas to life. Since you’re here, I’m guessing you feel something similar.

If you’re new to web development, though, it’s not always easy to figure out that last step in bringing your creation to life: actually putting it online. My goal with this book is to transform that process so that it’s less lost for eternity in a labyrinth of despair and more going to the fridge for a snack. I want it to be so little work that you’ll barely notice it. I want there to be nothing standing in the way of your putting your weird little babies online.

2008 10 23 Detour

I hope this book helps you get there. I’ve tried to put together some tools to make Clojure deployment as easy as possible, and I’ve tried to explain everything you need to know to use them.

And If I ever figure out how to write a script that turns off the OH GOD WHAT IF THIS SUCKS part of your brain, I’ll let you know.