Self-Sustaining Systems

Volume 5146 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 31-50

The Lively Kernel A Self-supporting System on a Web Page

  • Daniel IngallsAffiliated withSun Microsystems Laboratories
  • , Krzysztof PalaczAffiliated withSun Microsystems Laboratories
  • , Stephen UhlerAffiliated withSun Microsystems Laboratories
  • , Antero TaivalsaariAffiliated withSun Microsystems Laboratories, Email:
  • , Tommi MikkonenAffiliated withSun Microsystems Laboratories, Email:

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The Lively Kernel is a complete platform for Web programming written in JavaScriptTM using graphics available in leading browsers. A widget set built from these elements provides a user interface kit, and the widget set is also extensible. A window-based IDE allows users to edit their applications and even the system itself.When a user visits the Lively Kernel page,

the kernel loads and runs with no installation whatsoever. The user can immediately construct new objects or applications and manipulate the environment.

The Lively Kernel is able to save its creations, and even clone itself, onto Web pages. In so doing, it defines a new form of dynamic content on the Web. Moreover, since it can run in today’s browsers, it promises that wherever there is the Internet, there can be authoring of Web content.

Beyond its utility, the simplicity and completeness of the Lively Kernel make it a practical benchmark of system complexity, and a flexible laboratory for exploring new approaches to security, simplified graphics, and Web technologies in general.

Note to Readers: As of this writing, the Lively Kernel runs with no installation in the Firefox 3 beta and Safari 3 browsers. We are preparing an applet that will allow it to run in other browsers until their internal graphics are adequate for install-free operation


Dynamic language JavaScript Morphic self-supporting Web programming rich internet applications widgets Web 2.0