10
Oct
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Earlier today, Google officially debuted Dart, their new programming language intended to make web development easy by offering a somewhat familiar structure with enough flexibility to open up new possibilities, including the ability to run on "all modern web browsers and environments."

Google's dedicated Dart website features the language spec and preliminary development tools as open source, giving developers a chance to get acquainted with the language during its early development. The site also has code samples and a few tutorials to get you started.

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Lars Bak, a software engineer on the Dart team, describes the new language on Google's code blog as a class-based, optionally typed language, aiming to fulfill the goals of being structured yet flexible, offering a familiar and natural feel for developers, and ensuring that Dart offers a high standard of performance on "all modern web browsers and environments ranging from small handheld devices to server-side execution."

The code blog goes on to explain that Dart has the ability to be implemented on a native virtual machine, or through a compiler that translates it to JavaScript, allowing the language to fulfill its goal of running on each and every modern browser. No Dart virtual machine is yet available for Chrome, but Google "plan[s] to explore this option."

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While Dart sounds great, many are questioning whether Google will be able to maintain another programming language on top of its various other open source projects, including Go. It seems, however, that tending to Dart would be in Google's best interest - by essentially offering the ability to simplify JavaScript coding, Google may be hoping to encourage more expedient web app development. This, in turn, would help the viability of Google's Chromebooks, which rely totally on web apps.

Additionally, Dart has the potential to allow for apps coded for cross-platform implementation, allowing developers to create apps that work not only on the web, but on Android and other mobile platforms as well. In the end, only time will tell whether Dart proves to be a major player in the future of the web, but its debut is the first step in testing the waters for yet another new coding language.

Source: Google Code Blog

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • tehsusenoh

    Seems like a Java/JavaScript hybrid...

    • Sorin

      Seems like the missing piece that could bring server side scripting (Java, PHP, Perl, ASP) and client side scripting (JavaScript) together. I wouldn't be surprised if Dart will soon run both on Android and Chrome OS as well, blurring the line between standalone and web/cloud apps. Basically Android apps right now are no good because Oracle says the technology is covered by their patents, while Chrome OS apps are no good because Javascript is limited. Plus Dart is so similar to C++ which is a very powerful programming language used to write every serious app out there.

  • John Jones

    "yet another new coding language."

    This is all I was thinking while reading the article.

    • Coldman

      Progress doesn't ever stop - and I don't want it to. If we didn't have new programming languages, we'd still be writing shit in C and assembly.

      • sgtguthrie

        Well said... If it makes coding easier, why not!

      • John Jones

        I'm not saying new languages are bad, I'd just prefer a once-in-a-while revolutionary new language instead of every-other-day incrementally better languages.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          How do you know this is not the next revolution?

    • GraveUypo

      me too
      though i phrased it "Oh goody, yet another language to learn".
      but it looks straightforward enough so it shouldn't be a problem

  • Ben

    What's funny is that every browser vendor has invested massively into the JavaScript platform and they are all just now hitting the performance wall and realizing, "oh crap, this is a terrible language to build applications in." So now the world is turning to JavaScript as a compile target, not something you actually write in--first it was HaXe, now Dart.

  • http://www.heronote.com heronote

    Free Dart Language ebook;

    http://www.heronote.com/files/Dart.htm

  • Lee

    Why are people still making 3GLs, we have enough of them, we need 5GLs!

    • Stuki Moi

      Because they're one heck of a lot nicer than the, at best, 2.5gls necessary for decent performance on the kind of small, low power devices that are next on the list to become entry/end points to the InterWebsCloud.

      When "every" important app, particularly Google scale ones, has components running on anything from smart cards to server farms, a language that works across the entire spectrum of deployment targets, allowing developers to carry experience with them from one part of the app to the next, is a boon.

  • Sorin

    It looks very similar to C++. It's a bit more complex to write in than PHP and JavaScript for a beginner but easy enough. Still there are many things left out. If it runs both on server and client side, how does the server know who a .dart file is intended to? Should it execute on the server or send the code to the browser? And there is no support for SQL databases among other things, and still far far away from being implemented in Chrome and Apache.

    • NonAppleholic

      C++? lol... you are kidding right? It's an Internet scripting language for web based Apps and can be used to make traffic counters formerly scripted in HTML or javascipt. It's not meant to replace any other language either. It's written to make web apps easier and faster to create.

      So with DART and GO (which is the C++ like language you may be speaking of, coupled with python style combo), Google can easily be said to be the most developer friendly company in the World now!

      http://blog.dartwatch.com/

  • http://obovsiom.org.ua АмЫнЪ

    Напоминает ББкод, он тоже работает, как прослойка.

  • voriurara

    Gold is valued more in places where it is mined .

  • Nick

    I wouldn't really call this "new". Everything in languages these days is based on the same old concepts and syntax that has been around for several decades. I like Rebol - it's really different. Take a look at http://easiestprogramminglanguage.com

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