Saturday, November 16, 2013

Google Dart Programming Language Milestone: Version 1.0 Released

Google Dart Reaches Stable 1.0 Release

Exciting times for web-developers frustrated by JavaScript!

I have been following the Google Dart language and associated software development APIs / Libraries since very early in the Dart life-cycle.  My early Dart-related blog postings began over a year and a half ago, and as impressed as I was with Dart and its objectives back then, I am even more impressed by Dart and the software development ecosystem that has emerged since.

The Dart language itself is but a small part of the story here.  In addition to the class-based object-oriented modern programming language, one of the greatest things about Dart is the included libraries for things like Collections, Asynchronous operations, and much more — just check out all the available standard Dart API libraries for common web software development tasks.  In addition to those, there are a growing number of community-sourced projects and libraries available on Github or the Dart "Pub" Package repository.

I have published my own open-source Dart / SVG Widgets on Github, and just finished updating them to be compatible with the 1.0.0 release of Dart.  These are only "experimental" or "alpha" stage UI Widgets, and require more work to make use of some of the newer features of Dart that were not around when I first wrote this code (e.g., Streams and such).  But, writing that open-source proof-of-concept SVG-UI-Framework in Dart definitely provided good experience and helped maintain my interest in Dart while the product made its march toward "stable 1.0" release.

The down-side of Dart...

After using Dart for web development work, I simply cannot stand to code JavaScript!  That is the biggest "down-side" or Dart for me... it has further eroded my ability to tolerate the (normal) hideous and unmaintainable JavaScript that usually accompanies any substantial web applications these days.  I am spoiled now!  And, any time I look at the source-code behind large JS libraries, I can barely stand it. Dart is just so fantastically better designed for building modern robust web functionality than JS.  Give it a try, you'll like it.

[NOTE: Dart can *output* JS code that runs on any modern browser, and the code runs fast!  So, why subject yourself to the typical maintenance nightmare of working directly in JS when you do not have to?]

There is also always Microsoft TypeScript if you prefer their approach to improving JS.

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