Smalltalk ExtJs ClassBrowser

January 28, 2011

Smalltalk ExtJs ClassBrowser

Smalltalk ExtJs ClassBrowser

Above is an image of SST/JavaScript/ExtJs running in Opera with a ClassBrowser window open.

The ClassBrowser tool is now mature enough to be able to browse the Smalltalk classes. Under the class ExtJs, there is a hierarchy of Smalltalk classes which mirror the functionality of the ExtJs class structures. ExtJs component initialization is handled totally though the Smalltalk classes and it is easy to subclass existing classes to create new components. The goal is to hide much of the complexity of using the ExtJs libraries and make building user interfaces as intuitive and easy as it has traditionally been in Smalltalk.

ClassBrowser is a tool of moderate complexity and building it required solving many issues of Smalltalk/JavaScript integration. As a result, there is now enough of a foundation in places for building a number of other tools.

One of the first of these will be a simple interface design tool (like WindowBuilder) that I discussed in my last post.


3 Responses to “Smalltalk ExtJs ClassBrowser”

  1. Andy Burnett Says:

    Couple of questions for clarification:
    1. Does the use of the EXT object mean that we will need to code up windows, menus etc., differently for different target VMs. I.e. will my code look different if I want it to run on Silverlight instead of Ext? I am hoping that these differences will be low level and that we can code at a more abstract level.

    2. I noticed that the Class tree shows e.g. OrderedCollection as a folder and Array as a node. Does that mean that OrderCollection is a category and Array is a class, or is there a class OrderCollection and it is just the way that Ext shows it?


  2. Peter Fisk Says:

    1) It should be possible to largely hide the differences amongst Silverlight, JavaScript, and Flash.

    So, for example, you could pretty much have the same Smalltalk code for creating a window with a list selection, a text area, and some buttons.

    2) All nodes in the tree represent concrete Smalltalk classes. There is not much in OrderedCollection yet because the library is only a few days old. Collections will get the “select:”, “collect:” methods and other useful methods from classic Smalltalk.

    — Peter

  3. Andy Burnett Says:

    Re point 1, that sounds great. For me, the major benefit of SST will be the ability to rapidly prototype ideas. So, even if the final implementation requires me to go back and alter some class structures, being able to produce a prototype that is compatible across the runtimes will be great.

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