Tuesday, March 01, 2016

SqueakJS on ElectronJS (repackaging as desktop app again)

Web applications everywhere, but there are still desktop applications with full access to the underlying computer on the other side.

But meanwhile one can also create desktop applications using HTML, JS and Node.js, package them into an executable file and distribute it to all platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux, ...). There is a framework called Electron that allows to package an HTML/JS based application as a desktop application.

The portable Squeak Smalltalk which is usually running as a desktop application by using a native and fast Cog VM provides also a reimplementation of the Squeak VM in JavaScript. This project is from Bert and is called "SqueakJS". It allows to run Squeak Smalltalk on top of JavaScript within an HTML page. Because of the portability it runs 1:1.

And guess what: one can also use Electron to package SqueakJS then as a traditional desktop application again...

A nice twitter post from Fabio Niephaus who exactly did that can be found here: SqueakSmalltalk running on Cog VM vs. on SqueakJS on electronjs

Havent checked how fast this is ... but the lines between desktop and web based Smalltalk deployment become blurred once again.

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