Lively Web


Lively is a web-deployed integrated development environment for web and Cloud applications. The earliest IDEs were developed at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the 1970’s, including Smalltalk 76, Interlisp-D, and Cedar. Today the most prominent IDEs include Eclipse, Microsoft Visual Studio, and Apple Xcode. The deployment environment of the IDE is the personal computer or workstation—largely unchanged since its invention. This violates one of the key precepts of the early IDEs, where the development environment was the deployment environment. This precept served IDEs well, because, among other advantages, it minimized deployment bugs. However, in the new millennium, developers abandoned this principle: the deployment environment is the web and the Cloud, but the development environment remains the desktop.

Selected modern IDEs attempt to alleviate this problem using test web servers on the desktop for many platforms. In contrast, Lively is a web-deployed IDE for web applications, the first such environment— Smalltalk 76 for the web. Following in the tradition of Smalltalk, Lively does not distinguish between development environment, user display environment, or graphical subsystem. Objects typically have a graphical representation, known as a morph. Many actions, including connecting objects, can be realized with either a programmatic or iconic graphical action.


  • Andi Bergen
  • Charlie Magnuson
  • Hausi A. Müller


Lively Web research is being carried out via the following projects:
  1. Highly customizable Lively dashboards for cloud and green computing
  2. Interactive shared video streaming
  3. Lively Learning with Lively Kernels