Saturday, December 21, 2013

Gravel Smalltalk for JVM

Yet another Smalltalk for the JVM I first thought - but this time a real surprise since it not only aims to be a fully ANSI compliant Smalltalk implementation but is also heading towards modern language enhancements like optional typing, namespaces and traits.

It is called "Gravel Smalltalk" and is announced as a modern Smalltalk implementation for the JVM. It is using the ability on JVM to do #invokedynamic based on the JSR 292, similar to RTalk from Mark Roos that I already reported about.

But while RTalk is not open source and available to the community the new Gravel Smalltalk is already available and licensed under the very liberal Apache-2.0 License. I also do not know how it compares to Readline Smalltalk which is also running on the JVM.

The feature list of Gravel Smalltalk sounds promising:

 - Traits
 - Optional typing
 - Patching compiler
 - Full block closures
 - Resumable exceptions
 - Namespaces
 - Mirror based reflection facilities

Since I have all Java tools installed (JDK7, Eclipse, Maven, ...) it looks like I should clone the github repo with the code, fire up maven commandline and give Gravel Smalltalk a try this weekend.

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