An implementation of the Smalltalk language that runs on top of the JS runtime
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By Nicolas Petton

Jtalk 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.


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

Some highlights:

  • Jtalk features an IDE with a Class browser, workspace and transcript
  • Pharo Smalltalk is considered as the reference implementation
  • Jtalk includes a canvas to generate HTML, like Seaside
  • Jtalk includes a jQuery binding

How to commit changes from the web-based IDE

The Jtalk class browser is able to commit changes to disk. The "commit category" button will send a PUT request with the JS code of all classes in the selected class category in a file named js/CATEGORY.js

The easiest way to enable committing is probably to setup a webdav with Apache.

The following steps explain how to setup a webdav for Jtalk with Debian, but the setup on OSX and other Linux distros should be similar.

Install Apache and enable the dav module

apt-get install apache2
a2enmod dav
a2enmod dav_fs

Create a password for the webdav

htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/htpasswd-webdav USERNAME

Setup the webdav for Jtalk

Add the following lines to the default vhost (in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default):

Alias /jtalk/ "/path/to/jtalk/"
    <Directory "/path/to/jtalk/">
        Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
    DirectoryIndex index.html
    AllowOverride None
        Order allow,deny
    allow from all

    Dav on

    AuthType Basic
        AuthName "jtalk"
        AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/htpasswd-webdav
    <LimitExcept GET OPTIONS>
            Require valid-user


Make sure the group www-data has required rights to modify files in the webdav directory.

Restart Apache

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart


Jtalk is released under the MIT license.

More infos

More on the project page