Google’s Dart – Thoughts and Resources

So Google has provided another language for all of us web developers and it’s name is Dart.  Dart is different than Google’s Go in the sense that Dart is meant for the web layer, or “to give a structured programing language for the web.”

One could look at this as an attempt to replace JavaScript but it seems to have some key differences, or self proclaimed corrections:

  • Dart is a class based OO language, which is fundamentally different than JavaScript.
  • Dart runs in a virtual machine, or is compiled down to JavaScript
  • Dart allows for optional typing of variables – something we are familiar with in ActionScript but not JavaScript

Then there is support…

Dart when compiled to JavaScript is supported by “modern browsers.”  The Dart files have a .dart suffix and is specified as a specific type for the script attribute. But a key difference is that each Dart script embedded in a page runs in isolation (big difference from JavaScript). So it looks a little like JavaScript, it has similar implementations, but support is up to the browsers.  There is no Internet Explorer support at this time.

Warning – the following is 100% conjecture based on what I have read and assume.

Google builds tools that work for them, they create languages to solve their problems.  Often the rest of us share some of their problems, but not at the same scale.  So if GO is Google’s system language and Dart is their web layer language we could assume that they will target the web-server all the way through to the client.  So Dart could become a rival of Node and a replacement for client side JavaScript.  If this were to happen we could/should expect better tools to utilize Dart than we currently have for JavaScript.  This is a big “if” and it’s a bigger stretch to see Dart replace JavaScript altogether.

Always keep in mind that Google’s issues with JavaScript don’t necessarily mean you have those same issues.  Google has always done a smart job of programming around “lesser” hardware and assumed system failures.  Dart may just be what they need to get around their issues with the current web stack.

Remember, ActionScript was to be the replacement for JavaScript until Microsoft pulled out of the agreement.

I am not sure if this language is needed by all, or it’s just a different way to  CoffeeScript, but I will continue to check it out and keep an eye on it’s future.


Here is a collection of links to various articles and information regarding Dart (I will continue to add links).

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