When comparing Clojure vs OCaml, the Slant community recommends Clojure for most people. In the question“What are the best (productivity-enhancing, well-designed, and concise, rather than just popular or time-tested) programming languages?” Clojure is ranked 9th while OCaml is ranked 18th. The most important reason people chose Clojure is:
Clojure programmers are highly encouraged to use immutable data in their code. Therefore, most data will be immutable by default. State change is handled by functions (for transformations) and atoms (an abstraction that encapsulates the idea of some entity having an identity).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Immutability is the default
Clojure programmers are highly encouraged to use immutable data in their code. Therefore, most data will be immutable by default.
State change is handled by functions (for transformations) and atoms (an abstraction that encapsulates the idea of some entity having an identity).
Pro Minimal syntax
Being a LISP, programs are simple: they're just functions and data. That it doesn't get bogged down with syntax or the loftier FP concepts like monads makes it one of most approachable functional languages for beginners.
Pro Tries to solve problems as simply as possible
Simplicity is one of the pillars on which Clojure is built. Clojure tries to solve many problems in software development as simply as possible. Instead of building complex interfaces, objects or factories, it uses immutability and simple data structures.
Pro Good for writing concurrent programs
Since Clojure is designed for concurrency, it offers things like Software Transaction Memory, functional programming without side-effects and immutable data structures right out of the box. This means that the development team can focus their energies on developing features instead of concurrency details.
Pro Huge ecosystem of libraries to work with
There's a very large ecosystem of high-quality Clojure libraries which developers can use. One example is Incanter. It's a great data analytics library and a very powerful tool for dealing with matrices, datasets and csv files.
Pro Cross platform
Clojure compiles to JVM bytecode and runs inside the JVM. This means that applications written in Clojure are cross-platform out of the box.
Pro Rich Hickey
The creator is so awesome, he's a feature. Just look up his talks and see why.
Clojure has an elegant macro system which enables language additions, Domain-specific languages (DSLs), to be created much easier than most other languages (with the exception of Racket, perhaps).
Pro Dynamic language
A superb data processing language. While rich type and specification systems are available they are optional.
Pro Great tool used in automating, configuring and managing dependencies available
Leiningen is a very useful tool for Clojure developers. It helps wiht automation, configuration and dependency management. It's basically a must for every Clojure project.
Pro Game is available with which you can learn Clojure
Nightmod is a tool used to make "live-moddable" games. It displays the game's code while you are playing and allows you to inject new code using Clojure. This can be a fun and useful experience for people trying to learn Clojure.
Pro No C/Java syntax
Pro Encourages functional style
It steers you towards a functional style, but doesn't bother you with purity and "monads everywhere" like other languages, such as Haskell.
Pro Actively-developed functional programming language at the forefront of research
Functional programming is based on the lambda calculus. OCaml is in its functional parts almost pure lambda calculus, in a very practical manner: useful for many daily programming tasks. The acitve development makes improvements to the type system like generalized algebraic data types (GADT) or polymorphic variants, so when learning this language you get at once a down to earth usable compiler and advanced abstraction features.
Pro Sophisticated and easy-to-use package manager
OPAM is a package manager for OCaml, which is really easy to use, just like npm. It creates a .opam folder in home directory.
The documentation is great as well, and you can switch between multiple versions of OCaml for each project. You can also package your project and publish it on OPAM repositories, even if the dependencies do not exists on OPAM.
Pro One of the best for writing compilers
OCaml is compiled to native binary, so it's amazingly fast. Being a member of ML-family languages, it has expressive syntax for trees, and has great LLVM support.
Pro Strong editor integration
merlin editor tool provides all you need to develop OCaml in your favourite editor.
Con Confusing error messages
Clojure's error messages more often than not are very confusing. They usually involve stack traces that do not thoroughly explain where the error was caused or what caused it.
Con Tied to the JVM and it's limitations.
Some language constructs were obviously created as workarounds for JVM limitations. This makes the language much less elegant than it could have been.
Also, the JVM has a very cumbersome FFI.
Con Dynamic types
You can put anything in. This makes reasoning about code after a time has passed very hard.
Con Syntax can be alien / jarring for those used to other Lisps
Perhaps some may consider this attribute an advantage, but I do not. Clojure does not attempt to maintain significant compatibility with other Lisps. So, if you already know a Lisp or are used to the way Lisp works in general, you'll probably be confused if you take a look at Clojure. See these resources for more details on this subject:
Con Strong focus on *nix systems, lacking native support for MS Windows
Lacks native support for Windows systems.