An implementation of the Smalltalk language that runs on top of the JS runtime.


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By Nicolas Petton 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.

\o/ Call for contributors! \o/

The core project of Amber has enough resources, but:

  • the Helios IDE (, as well as
  • examples (, and
  • documentation (

would need some of your care.

Thank you very much!

(see for further details)

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 includes a canvas to generate HTML, like Seaside
  • Amber can use Javascript libraries and the current IDE is built on jQuery
  • You can inline Javascript code and there are many ways to interact between Amber and Javascript

Amber is shipped as a cli tool to create new projects and assist with development tasks in a npm package amber-cli and as a library to be used by projects in a bower package amber.

For the installation to work, you need to have installed node, npm and 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.

Do this to install Amber

# Install the CLI tool `amber-cli` and supporting tools
npm install -g amber-cli

Use amber init to create a project of your own

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

# (optional) Install backward compatibility
bower install amber-compat-es5 --save   # be loadable in older browsers
bower install amber-compat-ie8 --save   # additional tweaks to load in IE8

Start developing in Amber Smalltalk

# Serve amber on localhost:4000
amber serve
  • Report issues with the website here:
  • Report issues with the website here:
  • Report issues with Amber itself or amber / amberc cli tools here: Issues related to questions during amber init and structure of project created should be reported to instead.
  • Report issues with the Helios IDE here:

Please refer to for further details.

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

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

More on the project page