QuickSilver and Sencha (ExtJs) JavaScript Libraries

February 7, 2011

There are some dependencies in the QuickSilver development versions on ExtJs libraries.

This is done mainly to provide some of the infrastructure (windows, layouts, etc) that QuickSilver cannot yet create. Version 1.0 of QuickSilver will be independent of any external JavaScript libraries.

However, it will take some time for Smalltalkers to build enough libraries to support complex browser applications. And so, I expect that initially QuickSilver will be used in conjunction with an existing JavaScript library such as ExtJs or jQuery.

One new library that I find interesting is “Sencha Touch” which enables building “gesture based” applications for the iPhone, iPad, Android, and (soon) BlackBerry devices using only JavaScript.

The Sencha license allows using their libraries in open-source projects and, since QuickSilver is open-source, there should be no problem building new open-source projects using QuickSilver with Sencha libraries.

Perhaps readers of this blog with iPhones or other mobile devices could look at the Sencha demos and post their impressions.

Smalltalk on your iPhone/iPad/Android/BlackBerry may be only a few days away.

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8 Responses to “QuickSilver and Sencha (ExtJs) JavaScript Libraries”


  1. I found both Sencha and jQuery Mobile (or whatever it’s called) to be too slow for my apps – at least now. Probably a good base to start off with though – Sencha seems more complete to me.

  2. Andy Burnett Says:

    I am really excited about the possibility of linking SST with Sencha Touch. Being able to build iPhone oriented web applications is great. And… the bit which really excites me is the fact that we could take the generated javascript, combine it with PhoneGap, and create a standalone app.

    In essence, what you are building is a way for smalltalkers to create apps, using the language we love – brilliant! We would need to include a few extra classes to support the interfaces that PhoneGap exposes, e.g. camera, GPS etc., but that shouldn’t be too hard.

    Taking Patrick’s point about performance. I am sure there will be cases where we have to ‘go native’ to get the performance we need. However, if we can use SST to create working prototypes (which are subsequently refined) it could make a big difference to productivity.

    • Peter Fisk Says:

      Actually, the exciting part is going to be connecting these apps to the server and to each other in real-time.

      Google’s ChannelAPI gives a scalable and very cheap way of doing this – and I am sure that there are several other ways as well.

      Smalltalk’s role in this goes beyond prototyping.

      What I am talking about is Object-to-Object messaging over the Internet. It is a style of programming that – AFAICT – is not very widely used at the moment.

      To do Object-to-Object messaging you need:
      1) Objects that can receive messages
      2) a messaging-oriented language

      Smalltalk fills both these needs.

      And, as I said in a post last week, QuickSilver should be able to run on any of the billions of JavaScript enabled devices that are currently deployed.

      We shall see what happens ….

  3. Andy Burnett Says:

    OK, you win – that is even more exciting 😉

    It would be wonderful if we could -easily- create web based interfaces that responded to messages. It could transform the way we develop applications.

    So, have you got far enough along with the project to be able to define the areas where you need help?

    Cheers

    • Peter Fisk Says:

      Tomorrow I will post a list of things that the community can help with.

      Also, I will be making some server side code available in Python and Java for the ChannelAPI on Google.

      Google App Engine has a very generous free time quota. People can set up their own server apps.


  4. Interesting as always Peter.

    Per your request I tried Sencha Touch on my iPod and iPad and it looks very neat.

    I can’t see there being any major performance concerns for most applications. It was snappy and looked great… the only thing it’s missing is Silver Smalltalk ;).


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