The Athena Smalltalk
Athena > Documentation > RoadMap


Athena is built on SmallWorld/Little Smalltalk, the work done by Tim Budd. Most of the Athena interpreter is the one of SmallWorld (i.e., most of files related to the interpreter are copyrighted to Tim).

Athena is mainly a scripting layer at the top of SmallWorld.

Why a new Smalltalk?

Several Smalltalk implementations have been out there. The purpose of Athena is to provide a complete solution to embed Smalltalk in Java. Athena also offer facilities in Squeak to program Athena in a convenient way since one goal is to keep the image size low. The current priorities of Athena does not include high performance. Today most of executing platforms are fast enough for most of applications.

Athena has several goals:
  • To offer a flexible and open Smalltalk interpreter for Java
  • To target embedded devices, such as cellphones
Several implementations may be compared to Athena. A list of few of them:
  • Vista Smalltalk is implemented in Flash and Silverlight and has a very appealing environment.
  • Spoon is a minimal object model extracted from Squeak. It reaches a size comparable with Athena.
  • Vmx QuickNet Smalltalk Talk2 offers scripting facilities for Java and .Net. Talk2 makes some assumptions about the presence of a compiler.

Research topics addressed by Athena:

Athena is employed as an experimentation testbed for the following research topics:
  • Security. Code can be migrated from and to an Athena image. Method Namespaces are a language construct that prevents some methods to be invoked by unwarranted users and application.
  • Software engineering techniques. How modern software engineering methodologies such as XP, use of unit tests, incremental development may be applied in a resource constrained setting.