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17 February 2012, 10:15

Google previews Dartium - Chromium with Dart virtual machine

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Dart logo Google has announced a technical preview of a version of Chromium with the Dart virtual machine built in. Dart is Google's in-development language which it hopes to see taken up as an alternative to JavaScript. Dart can run in a virtual machine in a customised browser or, as is currently more commonly done, can be compiled to JavaScript and run in a modern mainstream browser.

Called Dartium and available for Mac and Linux, with Windows coming soon, the preview allows Dart programs to run in the browser and means that developers can skip separately compiling Dart programs to JavaScript. The Dart developers say that both the Dart VM and JavaScript are "first class targets for Dart" and that both will be simultaneously worked on. To ensure the Dartium technology preview is not used as a primary browser, the binaries of Dartium expire after only a few days. Dartium can be downloaded from the Dart Language site. No details of availability of the source code for Dartium were given.

The release is part of Google's effort to generate momentum around its JavaScript alternative; Dart has yet to get any indication of support from browser makers other than Google. Google says it intends to develop the language to a "certain level of maturity" and then hand it over to a standards process.


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