Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

Summary: Google has revealed Dart, a web programming language that offers developers a class-based, optionally-typed alternative to JavaScript.

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Google has taken the lid off an early preview of Dart, a new web programming language aimed at helping developers address what the search giant sees as the shortcomings of JavaScript, with a focus on developing apps that scale from tiny to huge.

In his Google Code blog entry, Dart software engineer Lars Bak lists the following as the new language's design goals:

  • Create a structured yet flexible language for web programming.
  • Make Dart feel familiar and natural to programmers and thus easy to learn.
  • Ensure that Dart delivers high performance on all modern web browsers and environments ranging from small handheld devices to server-side execution.

Seems pretty straightforward. And, as Bak goes on to say, Dart is facilitating scenarios from a one-man development project all the way up to bigger applications that require teams of programmers by enabling you to start coding without types and add them in later.

Dart comes with its own native virtual machine, but there's also a compiler that translates Dart to JavaScript. Between those two options, Google says that applications written in Dart can run in any modern browser. The Dart VM isn't yet integrated with the Google Chrome browser, but Bak indicates that they're looking into it.

The first wave of basic libraries and Dart tools are available as open source on their own site, and Bak says that Google is soliciting feedback from developers as the platform matures.

On a final note, if you're interested in a deeper dive into Dart, our colleagues at CNET got to talk to Bak, and there was plenty of interesting tidbits to come out of their conversation, including the roadmap to making Dart a common standard and the fact that Dart isn't designed to make JavaScript obsolete.

Topics: Open Source, Google, Software Development

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49 comments
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  • I wonder who they stole this off of?

    just wondering.
    William Farrell
    • Finally Google comes clean on Javascript

      The language is designed like junk. Its code reads like junk and executes like junk. It ends up junky enough now even Google is looking for better alternatives.
      LBiege
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @LBiege If you look through the dart code examples, it's not much more elegant than JavaScript. Its like they copied C# in aspects of bring language integrated query expressions to JavaScript and strongly type elements to a dynamic language. <br/> <br>While I agree JavaScript has its flaws, Dart isnt the answer. Google took the wrong approach here. They shouldnt have gone after a particular language replacement but a rich multilingual platform which many new scripting languages can sit on top of. There will never be one language to rule them all, as each language has flaws. The best way to resolve this is use the best language for the particular job. Too bad the folks at Google are too short sided in their approach to see the big picture.
        thugbot@...
    • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

      Given that Lars Bak's name is on one of the patents Oracle is suing Google over, one can only guess :)
      Scrabbler
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @Scrabbler
        I don't get it. Did he work for Sun before? How else would he have gotten his name on the patent?
        anono
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @anono
        Yes, he did work for Sun
        Scrabbler
      • All of you people who mention sun

        obviously know nothing about JavaScript.

        Hint: Its actually has very little to do with Java (hence the name ECMAScript).
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @Michael Alan Goff
        We are talking about Dart here not JavaScript...
        Scrabbler
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @Michael Alan Goff<br>Considering Scrabbler is talking about a patent Oracle is suing Google for, it's reasonable to assume it was initially a Sun patent. I didn't bother doing any background research on the subject myself.
        anono
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @anono

        Nope, it was the brainchild of Brendan Eich. At the time of its creation, he was working for Netscape.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

      @William Farrell <br>"I wonder who they stole this off of?"<br>Watch what you say. MS has a patent on baseless allegations (it's probably more original than most of their other patents I've read about). You wouldn't want the lawyers that make up their R&D department knocking on your door. Given all the data they buy off facebook, they probably know where you are too.
      anono
      • Odd, Mr. anono, I did not see Microsoft referenced in this article.

        @anono
        Why are you so fearful of the question Mr. Farrell asked that you felt the need to resort to such tatics, a misdirection as it is called?

        Google was accussed (and evidence is heavy in Oracle's favor) of stealing Java code for use in their Android operating system.

        It is logical to look at other applications released by Google with skepticism, as as you have pointed out on numerous occasions that a "leopard does not change it's spots".
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @Mister Spock<br>The issue with your whole argument is that your comment "and evidence is heavy in Oracle's favor" is your opinion. Besides, I can point out lawsuits for willful patent infringements on every major tech company. MS and Sun, i4i. Apple and Nokia. So even if it turns out you are right (and that hasn't been decided it yet), it would only put Google in the same league as MS and Apple.

        So based on your logic, I should spam every articles about every Apple and MS products by asking who they've stolen it from after all a "leopard does not change it's spots".
        anono
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @Spock

        So once a person steals once, everything they do is suspect? That is poor logic.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

      @William Farrell

      I'm guessing nobody.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • another nail in M$ coffin!

    one more reason to dump .nyet and other M$ 'tools'
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

      @The Linux Geek

      This has nothing to do with .Net >_>
      Michael Alan Goff
    • I don't know

      @The Linux Geek Sadly, I took a look at Dart on their website and it is not even close to being a .NET replacement.
      statuskwo5
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @statuskwo5

        Since JavaScript is currently in the pipeline to replace .Net and Silverlight as the world moves more on to the WWW, a much better question would be 'Is Dart close to being a good JavaScript replacement?'
        YetAnotherBob
      • RE: Introducing Dart, Google's answer to JavaScript

        @YetAnotherBob, JavaScript isn't replacing .Net and Silverlight, it is being added as a light weight option. To build full blown apps will still require C# and .Net (or WinRT) or Silverlight for medium apps. JavaScript as a language is farily flexible and versatile, but not exactly great for building apps that require actual processing.
        grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051