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17 October 2012, 11:21

Dart language has first birthday and first milestone

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Dart logo A year has passed since Google released the first technology preview of its Dart language and to celebrate its first birthday, the developers have released the first SDK for the language. Dart is designed for complex web applications, with a modern language, libraries and toolchain. Dart applications compile to JavaScript so they can run across different browsers, but the developers have also created their own Dart Virtual Machine based on an original design by the V8 team.

Dart, the language, has a C-style syntax with class-based, single inheritance object orientation supporting interfaces, abstract classes and generics. Although Dart has the ability to attach types to variables, Dart is a dynamically typed language and the type annotations have no effect at run-time, but are there to allow the compiler and other tools to create better performing code and to identify problems sooner.

The first SDK release includes a number of improvements over previous releases of Dart such as a faster Dart Virtual Machine, a third generation Dart to JavaScript translator which generates easier-to-debug code, an HTML library for interacting with HTML5 browsers and a JavaScript interoperability library. Developers will also find a new Dart Editor, the Pub package manager, and enhancements to the "Chromium with native Dart" browser Dartium. Dart is destined to follow JavaScript server-side; a new server-side I/O library doesn't run in the browser but appears to be the start of developing a richer Dart server experience. The language is also being fully specced out with a more detailed specification, which includes details of the language changes that were made for "milestone 1".

Google's Seth Ladd gives a brief introduction to Dart

Dart still has some way to go before it is declared "ready", with at least one more milestone release over the coming months as the developers improve both the SDK and Dart's robustness and performance. But the milestone 1 release does mean that the language has stabilised to a point where the developers think it is worth writing applications in it and they plan to maintain backwards compatibility for the language. Developers wanting to explore Dart should download the Dart Editor from


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