Sunday, 29 March 2015

This Week In Dart #25 - Dart 1.9 and Chrome Dart VM Special

Dart 1.9: 'The release you’ve been await-ing for' - was released. This is the biggest release of Dart since 1.0. Highlights include async and await keywords, enums, an isolates API, a new server implentation of the Dart Analyzer, an accelerated regular expression engine and a new source code formatter. For full details see the release notes.

The significant release of Dart was overshadowed somewhat by the strategic decision not to proceed with merging the Dart VM into Google Chrome. This was covered in the post Dart for the Entire Web. The blog post most significant statement is:

In order to do what's best for our users and the web, and not just Google Chrome, we will focus our web efforts on compiling Dart to JavaScript.

Also revealed is that Google Ads, the core of Google's advertising business, is committed to Dart as are other internal customers.

The Dart VM has a future though, as I tweeted this week:

The Dart VM story was covered in the major news outlets.

Reception to this news has been understandably mixed, with a lot of questions being asked. The strategy makes Dart's appeal wider overcoming some of the 'Chrome only' perception. This change will free the VM from the web browser restriction and complexity. If nothing else it frees up a huge amount of effort for other features. With customers like Googe Ads, Dart is clearly a success without the VM in the browser and that compelling story can be pushed further forwards.

The landscape of web scripting has move forwards since the Dart project was initiated. It has contributed to the debate and was never a replacement for JavaScript which was always going to be part of the web and constantly improving. More plans and information is likely to emerge at next month's Dart Developers Summit.

Finally, from Damon Douglas, a great example of Dart playing Tic Tac Toe in two browsers using Polymer, and Google Drive Realtime API tictactoe.dart