Seco, A new editor for dynamic JVM languages

Posted on March 10, 2010



On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 1:56 PM, I got an announcement via the Miami Java Users Group (MJUG) about a new software scripting, prototyping environment for the Java platform just LGPL‘ed by Kobrix. More precisely, it is a JSR-223 compliant environment geared (but not limited) to scripting languages. It currently has support for JRuby, JScheme, Groovy, JavaScript via Rhino (this is really good), BeanShell and Prolog, with some support for JavaFX and future support for Clojure and Scala.

Just to put some dramatic hyperbole into this, let me say the following:


No, seriously, this is really cool… at least for me. In my daily work, I keep switching between the heavy duty (JBuilder/Eclipse) when I work at the project level, and the very light (gvim) when all I need is to work with a few files. A tool such as this is really handy, specially if it’s geared towards JSR-223 compliant scripting languages.

I still don’t know how well the tool would work for me, but chances are it is really a good one. The appearance of tools like Seco is a big deal. The most interesting feature so far is Seco’s notion of notebooks, conceptually similar to Mathematica notebooks (one of Mathematica’s coolest features.)

Check it out in this instructional video.

The original message (with e-mail address sanitized) is below. I for one, can’t wait to start using it.

Hi guys,

We’ve just made a 0.3 release of Seco, the tool I presented in one of MJUG’s last year’s meetings. Here’s the official press release. Please give it a try and let me know what you think! Tutorial videos at



Kobrix Software is pleased to announce the release of Seco 0.3 Seco, formerly known as Scriba, is a scripting development environment for JVM-based dynamic languages. Seco has been in active development and use for the past several years and it is a perfect companion to the serious Java developer.

Key features include:

– Support of many popular JVM languages with syntax highlighting and code completion for most.
– Advanced script editing interface based on structured notebooks as popularized by the Mathematica system.
– A WYSIWYG HTML editor for documentation.
– An infinite, zoomable 2D canvas for arbitrary layout of components, container nesting and more.
– Full workspace automatically persisted in an embedded HyperGraphDB database.
– Support for importing 3d party libraries in multiple evaluation contexts.
– Based on the JSR 223 standard for language interoperability – all languages share the same runtime context.
– Real-time collaboration and exchange of components and notebooks via a P2P network.

Seco is perfect not only for prototyping, testing and experimentation, but it is also the ideal tool for learning a given JVM language or a new Java library. It can be used to build complete interactive applications embedded within the environment itself similarly to a life system like Squeak!

Seco is free, open-source, LGPL licensed software.

To download and for more information, please visit the Seco home page at Kobrix. – HGDB graph database, Java Scripting IDE, NLP – news and rants