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20 June 2013, 16:12

Google's Dart hits beta

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Google has released the first beta version of its scripting language Dart, which it originally unveiled as its alternative to JavaScript in October 2011. Google's new programming language essentially aims to replace JavaScript – unlike Microsoft's TypeScript and CoffeeScript, two supersets that add important features to the older scripting language.

The language is based on classical object orientation, replacing JavaScript's prototype-oriented object system with interfaces, which combine methods and constants, and classes, which implement the interfaces. Dart programs can run natively in a virtual machine or be compiled to JavaScript.

According to the developers, the beta release's Dart compiler outputs JavaScript code as much as 3.7 times smaller than earlier versions and is 8 to 20 per cent faster than before for various benchmarks. Native Dart code performance in the Dart VM is also improved. The new version includes full SIMD accelerationPDF(Single Instruction, Multiple Data) and can execute benchmark code as much as 40 per cent faster than previous releases.

The Dart Editor also saw some major updates, including a rewritten code analysis engine, which can parse code and pinpoint problems much faster, as well as new refactoring features and quick fixes. Automatic code completion can now handle camel case, and the new pub deploy command for Dart's pub packaging system puts all of an application's code in a directory for easy hosting on a web server.

More information about the new features in the Dart beta is available in the release notes. Dart is licensed under the BSD License and the language tools and SDK can be downloaded from the Dart web site.



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