node.js based replacement for the Qooxdoo python toolchain
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Qooxdoo Compiler and Command Line Interface

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Qooxdoo-Compiler is the new compiler and command line interface for Qooxdoo (http://qooxdoo.org) applications, written in 100% Node.JS Javascript it adds these key improvements over the standard python generator:

  • Includes Babel for adding ES6 to all Qooxdoo applications
  • Fast (up to 24x faster) and low resource usage (tiny cache, low CPU usage)
  • Flexible and powerful command line tool for compiling and modifying applications
  • Backward compatible with existing Qooxdoo apps
  • Written in 100% Javascript
  • API based, easily extended and with dependency information available at runtime

One of the top goals of this project is to be very fast and lightweight - fast enough to detect code changes and recompile applications on the fly on a production server, with an application recompile costing a few hundreds of milliseconds.

The included command line utility allows you create, build and manage qooxdoo applications (note that Qooxdoo-Compiler now incorporates the Qooxdoo-CLI project, which used to be a separate repo).


Detailed documentation on the compiler is available in the dedicated chapter of the qooxdoo Manual.

Development status

Beta. The API has mostly stabilized, we will provide a migration path for any backward-incompatible changes. Api reference of the compiler can be found here: https://qooxdoo.org/qooxdoo-compiler/#


  • Node Currently requires NodeJS >= v8. We recommend you consider nvm to ease installing and switching between node versions - you can find the Linux version at http://nvm.sh and there is a version for Windows at https://github.com/coreybutler/nvm-windows

  • Qooxdoo The compiler works with all qooxdoo versions >= v6.0.0, which is contained in the current master branch.

Install nvm and then:

nvm install 8 # or 10
nvm use 8 # or 10

Test drive

For more detailed information about installation and use of the compiler, refer to the documentation.

Here's how you can do a quick test drive:

npm install -g @qooxdoo/compiler
qx create myapp --noninteractive
cd myapp
qx package install qooxdoo/qxl.apiviewer
qx package install qooxdoo/qxl.widgetbrowser
qx serve -S

Wait for the message Web server started, please browse to http://localhost:8080, then open that address in the browser.

The above test drive uses a global installation of qooxdoo and its compiler. For development of more than one project, you may want an installation of qooxdoo local to the project. Local installation is described in the Getting Started documentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the compiler stable enough to be used in a production project?

Qooxdoo Compiler is a BETA RELEASE and of course, you use at your own risk. However, it is in use in several major production applications maintained by the qooxdoo core developers and therefore you can be fairly confident that we cherish stability and every major bug that comes up will be fixed ASAP.

Because of its beta status, you should upgrade to the newest NPM version with caution. A new version is released on each commit to the master branch. The integrity of the code is tested before a release. However, you should always test a new release thoroughly with your application before using it to build any production code. If you find that something is broken, please create an issue.

You can always revert to a previous release by picking a version on the NPM website and executing

npm install @qooxdoo/compiler@1.0.0-beta.XXXXXX-YYYY

(replace XXXXX-YYYY by the date string).


Number one gotcha is that you have to run the compiler every time you change your code, because it's being transpiled. The qx compile command has a --watch parameter that enables continuous compilation. Note that the qx serve command always used continuous compilation.

What about config.json? QOOXDOO_PATH?

config.json is not used by the qx command - instead it uses a new, and much simpler configuration file called compile.json. The path to the qooxdoo library does not need to be specified since the compiler comes with its own copy of the framework, if this is not what you want, you can use the CLI to set the path:

qx config set qx.libraryPath /path/to/qooxdoo/framework

Is Qooxdoo-Compiler a complete replacement for generate.py?

The compiler is a full equivalent as far as compiling is concerned, and much faster at that. However, its domain is compiling applications (including collecting resources) whereas generate.py included features for building and running test suites, creating API documentation, building distributions, creating skeleton applications, etc. These features have not been replicated. Instead, you can do all these things with code now in a file called compile.js

Contributing and Getting In Touch

Please get stuck in to any aspects you'd like to work on - We're open to pull requests, and you can contact us to chat about features you'd like to see or help on using or extending Qooxdoo-Compiler. The best place to talk about it is on Gitter at https://gitter.im/qooxdoo/qooxdoo

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