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Rapid Web Application Development with AppeX and the Chrome Development Tools

Posted on in Categories VisualWorks, Web Applications

The first short article serves a dual purpose.  On one hand, it is an introduction to AppeX’s “JSFile” framework, which will be available in Cincom® VisualWorks® 8.2, and on the other hand, it is an exploration of the motivation behind the JSFile framework. In addition, it serves as a lead-in to a second article titled, “Using JSFiles in Conjunction with the Chrome Development Tools.”

The JSFile framework is one component of the strategy of fitting naturally into the broader web development ecosystem.

It is an appealing prospect to leverage the powerful IDE and development philosophies of Smalltalk while not sacrificing the strengths of this broader JavaScript ecosystem, but it requires a delicate balancing act.  Several approaches have been tried (such as transpilation, wrappering and various forms of HTML and JavaScript generation), all with strengths and weaknesses.  So, even though AppeX is by no means the first to attempt to leverage Smalltalk in producing complex JavaScript applications, the AppeX approach is sufficiently unique; therefore, it may succeed in ways that other approaches cannot.

This pair of papers illustrates the point by considering a RAD development style that AppeX can support primarily because of its underlying design.

  • To read both articles about Rapid Web Application Development with AppeX and the Chrome Development Tools, click here.