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README.md

Amber

Copyright 2011-2015 Nicolas Petton

Copyright 2014-2018 Herbert Vojčík and Amber contributors

Amber is an implementation of the Smalltalk language that runs on top of the JavaScript runtime. It is designed to make client-side development faster and easier.

Try Amber online and learn more on project page.

Overview

Amber is written in itself, including the parser and compiler. Amber compiles into efficient JavaScript, mapping one-to-one with the equivalent JavaScript. There is no interpretation at runtime.

Some highlights:

  • Amber features an IDE with a Class browser, Workspace, Transcript, a ReferencesBrowser supporting senders/implementors and class references, basic Inspector and even a beginning of a Debugger and a unit TestRunner.
  • Pharo Smalltalk is considered as the reference implementation.
  • Amber is extendable with libraries, installable preferably via npm:
    • @ambers/contrib-web with a canvas to generate HTML, like Seaside, included in a new project by default,
    • @ambers/silk with a stream-like wrapping of DOM elements, included in a new project by default,
    • @ambers/helios IDE, included in a new project by default,
    • @ambers/contrib-legacy with smaller in-page "classic" IDE and some miscellany, included in a new project by default,
    • trysmalltalk, containing Prof Stef interactive crash course.
    • and others. You can easily write an Amber library yourself.
  • Amber can use Javascript libraries; the "classic" IDE as well as Helios are built on jQuery
  • You can inline Javascript code and there are many ways to interact between Amber and Javascript

Prerequisities

Amber cli tool to create new projects and assist with development tasks is in a npm package @ambers/cli. Amber engine and core library to be used in projects is in a npm package @ambers/lang.

For the installation to work, you need to have installed node, npm and git. Default node installers may install npm as well. To have git in Windows, use Git for Windows and select "Run Git from Windows Command Prompt" and "Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style" installation options.

For UNIX-based OS (Linux distibutions, FreeBSD, ...) do

npm config set prefix=~/npm
export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/npm/bin"

to have the installation in a local subdirectory in order to avoid the otherwise necessary sudo installation of Amber. The export line needs to be added to the ~/.profile file as well so that after a new login the path is set.

Getting Amber and setting up an initial project

Do this to install Amber

# In case you have installed older package `amber-cli`, uninstall it.
npm uninstall -g amber-cli
# Install the CLI tool `@ambers/cli` and supporting tools
npm install -g grunt-cli grunt-init @ambers/cli

Use amber init to create a project of your own

# Initialize your project (directory must be empty)
cd /path/to/myproject
amber init

If you want to run Amber in older environments, you should install additional polyfills (Promise polyfill is included by default) and link them up in Gruntfile.js.

Amber officially only runs in ES5-compliant environments.

Start developing in Amber Smalltalk

# Serve amber on localhost:4000
amber serve

What this repo contains and what it does not

It must be noted this repo contains only core functionality of Amber system as well as accompanying tooling (sdk, grunt-init-project and cli).

The initial project comes with some libraries (amber/web, domite, silk etc.) included; these libraries are not part of this repo, though. You can find them either in Amber organization or, for some of them, in their own pages: DOMite, Silk.

In case something fails...

Please refer to CONTRIBUTING.md for further details.

Developing Amber

Please refer to CONTRIBUTING.md for further details. It explains the Amber development setup and how to contribute.

License

Amber is released under the MIT license. All contributions made for inclusion are considered to be under MIT.