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A JavaScript-interop library for ClojureScript.


  1. Operations that mirror behaviour of core Clojure functions like get, get-in, assoc!, etc.
  2. Keys are parsed at compile-time, and support both static keys (via keywords) and compiler-renamable forms (via dot-properties, eg .-someAttribute)

Quick Example

  (:require [applied-science.js-interop :as j]))

(def o #js{ …some javascript object… })

;; Read
(j/get o :x)
(j/get o .-x "fallback-value")
(j/get-in o [:x :y])
(j/select-keys o [:a :b :c])

(let [{:keys [x]} (j/lookup o)] ;; lookup wrapper

;; Destructure
(j/let [^:js {:keys [a b c]} o] ...)
(j/fn [^:js [n1 n2]] ...)
(j/defn my-fn [^:js {:syms [a b c]}])

;; Write
(j/assoc! o :a 1)
(j/assoc-in! o [:x :y] 100)
(j/assoc-in! o [.-x .-y] 100)

(j/update! o :a inc)
(j/update-in! o [:x :y] + 10)

;; Call functions
(j/call o :someFn 42)
(j/apply o :someFn #js[42])

(j/call-in o [:x :someFn] 42)
(j/apply-in o [:x :someFn] #js[42])

;; Create
(j/obj :a 1 .-b 2)
(j/lit {:a 1 .-b [2 3 4]})


;; lein or boot
[applied-science/js-interop "..."]
;; deps.edn
applied-science/js-interop {:mvn/version "..."}


ClojureScript does not have built-in functions for cleanly working with JavaScript objects without running into complexities related to the Closure Compiler. The built-in host interop syntax (eg. (.-theField obj)) leaves keys subject to renaming, which is a common case of breakage when working with external libraries. The externs handling of ClojureScript itself is constantly improving, as is externs handling of the build tool shadow-cljs, but this is still a source of bugs and does not cover all cases.

The recommended approach for JS interop when static keys are desired is to use functions in the goog.object namespace such as goog.object/get, goog.object/getValueByKeys, and goog.object/set. These functions are performant and useful but they do not offer a Clojure-centric api. Keys need to be passed in as strings, and return values from mutations are not amenable to threading. The goog.object namespace has published breaking changes as recently as 2017.

One third-party library commonly recommended for JavaScript interop is cljs-oops. This solves the renaming problem and is highly performant, but the string-oriented api diverges from Clojure norms.

Neither library lets you choose to allow a given key to be renamed. For that, you must fall back to host-interop (dot) syntax, which has a different API, so the structure of your code may need to change based on unrelated compiler issues.

The functions in this library work just like their Clojure equivalents, but adapted to a JavaScript context. Static keys are expressed as keywords, renamable keys are expressed via host-interop syntax (eg. .-someKey), nested paths are expressed as vectors of keys. Mutation functions are nil-friendly and return the original object, suitable for threading. Usage should be familiar to anyone with Clojure experience.


Reading functions include get, get-in, select-keys and follow Clojure lookup syntax (fallback to default values only when keys are not present)

(j/get obj :x)

(j/get obj :x default-value) ;; `default-value` is returned if key `:x` is not present

(j/get-in obj [:x :y])

(j/get-in obj [:x :y] default-value)

(j/select-keys obj [:x :z])

get and get-in return "getter" functions when called with one argument:

(j/get :x) ;; returns a function that will read key `x`

This can be useful for various kinds of functional composition (eg. juxt):

(map (j/get :x) some-seq) ;; returns item.x for each item

(map (juxt (j/get :x) (j/get :y)) some-seq) ;; returns [item.x, item.y] for each item

To cohere with Clojure semantics, j/get and j/get-in return nil if reading from a nil object instead of throwing an error. Unchecked variants (slightly faster) are provided as j/!get and j/!get-in. These will throw when attempting to read a key from an undefined/null object.

The lookup function wraps an object with an ILookup implementation, suitable for destructuring:

(let [{:keys [x]} (j/lookup obj)] ;; `x` will be looked up as (j/get obj :x)


With j/let, j/defn and j/fn, opt-in to js-interop lookups by adding ^js in front of a binding form:

(j/let [^js {:keys [x y z]} obj  ;; static keys using keywords
        ^js {:syms [x y z]} obj] ;; renamable keys using symbols

(j/fn [^js [n1 n2 n3 & nrest]] ;; array access using aget, and .slice for &rest parameters

(j/defn my-fn [^js {:keys [a b c]}]

The opt-in ^js syntax was selected so that bindings behave like regular Clojure wherever ^js is not explicitly invoked, and js-lookups are immediately recognizable even in a long let binding. (Note: the keyword metadata ^:js is also accepted.)

^js is recursive. At any depth, you may use ^clj to opt-out.


Mutation functions include assoc!, assoc-in!, update!, and update-in!. These functions mutate the provided object at the given key/path, and then return it.

(j/assoc! obj :x 10) ;; mutates obj["x"], returns obj

(j/assoc-in! obj [:x :y] 10) ;; intermediate objects are created when not present

(j/update! obj :x inc)

(j/update-in! obj [:x :y] + 10)

Host-interop (renamable) keys

Keys of the form .-someName may be renamed by the Closure compiler just like other dot-based host interop forms.

(j/get obj .-x) ;; like (.-x obj)

(j/get obj .-x default) ;; like (.-x obj), but `default` is returned when `x` is not present

(j/get-in obj [.-x .-y])

(j/assoc! obj .-a 1) ;; like (set! (.-a obj) 1), but returns `obj`

(j/assoc-in! obj [.-x .-y] 10)

(j/update! obj .-a inc)


These utilities provide more convenient access to built-in JavaScript operations.

Array operations

Wrapped versions of push! and unshift! operate on arrays, and return the mutated array.

(j/push! a 10)

(j/unshift! a 10)

Function operations

j/call and j/apply look up a function on an object, and invoke it with this bound to the object. These types of calls are particularly hard to get right when externs aren't available because there are no goog.object/* utils for this.

;; before
(.someFunction o 10)

;; after
(j/call o :someFunction 10)
(j/call o .-someFunction 10)

;; before
(let [f (.-someFunction o)]
  (.apply f o #js[1 2 3]))

;; after
(j/apply o :someFunction #js[1 2 3])
(j/apply o .-someFunction #js[1 2 3])

j/call-in and j/apply-in evaluate nested functions, with this bound to the function's parent object.

(j/call-in o [:x :someFunction] 42)
(j/call-in o [.-x .-someFunction] 1 2 3)

(j/apply-in o [:x :someFunction] #js[42])
(j/apply-in o [.-x .-someFunction] #js[1 2 3])

Object/array creation

j/obj returns a literal js object for provided keys/values:

(j/obj :a 1 .-b 2) ;; can use renamable keys

j/lit returns literal js objects/arrays for an arbitrarily nested structure of maps/vectors:

(j/lit {:a 1 .-b [2 3]})

j/lit supports unquote-splicing (similar to es6 spread):

(j/lit [1 2 ~@some-sequential-value])

~@ is compiled to a loop of .push invocations, using .forEach when we infer the value to be an array, otherwise doseq.


Because all of these functions return their primary argument (unlike the functions in goog.object), they are suitable for threading.

(-> #js {}
    (j/assoc-in! [:x :y] 9)
    (j/update-in! [:x :y] inc)
    (j/get-in [:x :y]))

#=> 10

Core operations

[obj key]
[obj key not-found]
(j/get :x) ;; returns a getter function
(j/get o :x)
(j/get o :x :default-value)
(j/get o .-x)
[obj path]
[obj path not-found]
(j/get-in [:x :y]) ;; returns a getter function
(j/get-in o [:x :y])
(j/get-in o [:x :y] :default-value)
j/select-keys[obj keys](j/select-keys o [:a :b :c])
j/assoc![obj key value]
[obj key value & kvs]
(j/assoc! o :a 1)
(j/assoc! o :a 1 :b 2)
j/assoc-in![obj path value](j/assoc-in! o [:x :y] 100)
j/update![obj key f & args](j/update! o :a inc)
(j/update! o :a + 10)
j/update-in![obj path f & args](j/update-in! o [:x :y] inc)
(j/update-in! o [:x :y] + 10)

Destructuring forms

j/let(j/let [^:js {:keys [a]} obj] ...)
j/fn(j/fn [^:js [a b c]] ...)
j/defn(j/defn [^:js {:syms [a]}] ...)


To run the tests:

yarn test;


Special thanks to NextJournal for supporting the maintenance of this library.

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Matthew Huebert, Matt Huebert, Maarten Truyens, Matt O'Connell & Ben Swift
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