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Author Topic: Dart Programming Language  (Read 7564 times)
allen
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« on: October 10, 2011, 10:32:04 PM »

Today, Google released an early version of its attempt to replace JavaScript, Dart. It'll be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.  There are a few things I like about it, but I am not sold on its necessity or viability. Of course, they said the same of Chrome. Maybe Google will bully JS out of the picture. . . or maybe there'll be one more technology web developers will be forced to commit to their arsenal. | dartlang.org

Quote
Dart is a new class-based programming language for creating structured web applications. Developed with the goals of simplicity, efficiency, and scalability, the Dart language combines powerful new language features with familiar language constructs into a clear, readable syntax.

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Renegade
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 01:15:51 AM »

Does every language in existence suck so badly that none of them could replace JavaScript and we need a new one?  huh

Does Dart offer any advantage over VBScript? We know how that one went...

P.S. Gotta love xkcd! smiley



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app103
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 05:21:34 AM »

Maybe Google will bully JS out of the picture. . . or maybe there'll be one more technology web developers will be forced to commit to their arsenal.

Does every language in existence suck so badly that none of them could replace JavaScript and we need a new one?  huh

Does Dart offer any advantage over VBScript? We know how that one went...

From what I understand, it won't really replace javascript, since to get it to run in a browser one would have to translate it to js (tools provided). It wouldn't be like VBScript at all. Server side, it would be like any other of the server side scripting languages that already exist (php, python, perl, ruby, etc.), requiring one to install it on their server, first.

While I understand that it might make things easier, with one scripting language for both server side and client side coding, in actual use that whole translation to js for client side could lead to a big mess somewhere down the road.
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allen
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 08:28:26 AM »

Does every language in existence suck so badly that none of them could replace JavaScript and we need a new one?  huh
Other programming languages to run directly in the browser, interacting with the DOM, only JavaScript serves that role presently.

Maybe Google will bully JS out of the picture. . . or maybe there'll be one more technology web developers will be forced to commit to their arsenal.

From what I understand, it won't really replace javascript, since to get it to run in a browser one would have to translate it to js (tools provided). It wouldn't be like VBScript at all. Server side, it would be like any other of the server side scripting languages that already exist (php, python, perl, ruby, etc.), requiring one to install it on their server, first.

On the contrary, replacing JavaScript is precisely their goal.  The js translation tool is essentially a half step to allow it to run in JavaScript compatible browsers that don't yet natively support Dart.

Quote
The goal of the Dash effort is ultimately to replace JavaScript as the lingua franca of web development on the open web platform.  We will proactively evangelize Dash with web developers and all other browser vendors and actively push for its standardization and adoption across the board.   This will be a difficult effort requiring finesse and determination, but we are committed to doing everything possible to help it succeed. -- Source
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40hz
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 08:38:33 AM »

There's a small intro to Dart available for download here if anyone's interested.  

The 78-page language spec in PDF format can be found here.

smiley

Q: Does anybody know what license Dart is being released under?
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allen
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 08:42:32 AM »

Per that pdf,
Quote
Except as otherwise noted at http://code.google.com/policies.html#restrictions,
the content of this document is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution
3.0 License available at:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
and code samples are licensed under the BSD license available at
http://code.google.com/google bsd license.html.
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 09:13:31 AM »

I'm still looking for a nice meaty paper talking about the why of Dart and how it compares to js.  The language spec doesn't help much and the online "articles" are not quite substantial enough.
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2011, 09:27:28 AM »

I'm still looking for a nice meaty paper talking about the why of Dart and how it compares to js.  The language spec doesn't help much and the online "articles" are not quite substantial enough.

+1. It's hard to justify the investment in time coming up to speed on a new language without some compelling technical reason to do so. Especially when there's enough "good enough" languages out there that offer better employment opportunities.

One thing Steve Jobs instinctively understood: It's not enough to be better. It has to be "insanely great" if your idea is bucking established products and standards. On this particular point I think he was 100% correct.

Right now JS, Python, and all the other web tools are good enough that I don't see anything in Dart that's promising enough return that I'd want to commit a large or production-level project to it.

I'm going to do a 'wait & see' on this one.  

« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 09:33:24 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2011, 09:40:31 AM »

I think it's just the matter of time fanbois will pick this up like they did with AIR(different tech but same method of market penetration). Google knows how to play with standards and open source world, so forcing any technology using brand and the popularity is not that hard. Point is - "What's in it for me and the users" or is it just another shiny stuff ?
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40hz
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2011, 09:49:23 AM »

All Google would need to do is build Dart support into Chrome and it would get immediate traction. If Dart lives up to expectations I'm guessing they probably will assuming they don't have it in beta already.
 Cool
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2011, 11:47:08 AM »

Does every language in existence suck so badly that none of them could replace JavaScript and we need a new one?  huh
Other programming languages to run directly in the browser, interacting with the DOM, only JavaScript serves that role presently.

That's exactly what I mean. (None of this is directed at you -- this is a larger issue that drives me nuts.)

Like WhyTF would you create a *new* language? There are lots already.

Why not just tool up an existing language to work in the browser.

Like JFC, Erlang is pretty damn good. Why not start with something like that?

Who cares? Why not do something INTELLIGENT for a f*****g change? The .NET concept is EXACTLY right. I shouldn't have to worry about the language I "speak" to be understood.

Google is only f*****g things up more. This really has no productive value.

The days of "1 language" should be behind us. Microsoft is 1000% correct with the framework concept where languages become irrelevant. VB, C#, F#, C++, Python, Ruby, JS, whatever...

This just pisses me off because it's only one more show of idiocy when the problem has already been solved. MS solved it. Why fart around?

It doesn't need to be ".NET" at all. Who cares about ".NET"?

What we want is a framework that we can use to DO STUFF. But the language should be irrelevant.

Any attempt to create a new language is pure idiocy. We do not need more languages. We have enough of them.

Let me bore everyone with a small list of computer languages:


Ahem...

http://en.wikipedia.org/w..._of_programming_languages

Do we really need another?

Why not create a framework for some of those languages to work in browsers.




What was that xkcd cartoon again? tongue



To be 1,000% clear...

MICROSOFT IS 1,000% CORRECT IN THEIR .NET CONCEPT BECAUSE WE DO NOT NEED MORE PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES. WE ONLY NEED FUNCTIONALITY THAT WE CAN ACCESS FROM A LANGUAGE. WE WANT FUNCTIONALITY. WE DO NOT NEED NEW LANGUAGES.

I'm going to have a drink now. Wink tongue

Happy Halloween and whatever. tongue

« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 09:23:17 PM by Renegade » Logged

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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 12:11:15 PM »

This really has no productive value.

The days of "1 language" should be behind us. Microsoft is 1000% correct with the framework concept where languages become irrelevant. VB, C#, F#, C++, Python, Ruby, JS, whatever...

This just pisses me off because it's only one more show of idiocy when the problem has already been solved. MS solved it.

Actually, it was "solved" by JPI back in the mid-80s.

The entire TopSpeed language line used a unified IDE and underlying set of libraries for all the languages it offered. It also allowed you to mix & match languages in a single project in order to leverage code you had already written or were more comfortable coding in. I was very partial to developing in Modula-2 (and later Clarion after their acquisition of JPI) back in my code-burner days.

Quote
from the The (very unofficial) History of JPI, Clarion and SoftVelocity...

Jensen & Partners International

JPI was created in 1986 by Niels Jensen.  Jensen had originally created Borland, and was the man responsible for Turbo Pascal. In the mid-1980's Jensen had an argument with Borland management, who wanted to buy in a C compiler from outside for their line of development tools.  Jensen wanted to write one of their own, and it was eventually this disagreement that resulted in him and his entire development team leaving Borland to set up their own company.  They based themselves in an attic office at 63 Clerkenwell Road in London, not far from Farringdon station.  A sales office was established in Bedford, then later in Harpenden.

Jensen and his team produced a new range of compilers, trademarked TopSpeed.  The TopSpeed compilers were available in 4 languages - Modula-2, Pascal, C and C++.  The Pascal compiler was the worst in the product line, and never really competed with Borland's Turbo Pascal.  The Modula-2 compiler was the best, but faced the problem that Modula-2 was really only used in academic institutions and never had as much commercial success as other languages.  (JPI did announce that they intended to produce an Ada compiler, but it never happened).

All through the 80's JPI fought a losing battle against the other vendors.  In compiler comparisons they received good reviews, but never seemed to break through to the big time. Although the products were technically competent and produced fast, small code it didn't help.  Their Windows and OS/2 development tools were always slightly behind the times and not as intuitive to use as other tools of the era.

Credit where credit is due even if JPI has since faded into memory.  Cool

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Renegade
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 11:55:45 PM »

This really has no productive value.

The days of "1 language" should be behind us. Microsoft is 1000% correct with the framework concept where languages become irrelevant. VB, C#, F#, C++, Python, Ruby, JS, whatever...

This just pisses me off because it's only one more show of idiocy when the problem has already been solved. MS solved it.

Actually, it was "solved" by JPI back in the mid-80s.

The entire TopSpeed language line used a unified IDE and underlying set of libraries for all the languages it offered. It also allowed you to mix & match languages in a single project in order to leverage code you had already written or were more comfortable coding in. I was very partial to developing in Modula-2 (and later Clarion after their acquisition of JPI) back in my code-burner days.


Didn't know that!

I just don't get it though... Why are we still banging rocks around then? Is MS the only company since then to figure out that languages shouldn't matter?

On a side note... I really need to attach a breathalyzer to my browser's submit/post button... tongue
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40hz
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2011, 06:38:33 AM »

^hear ya! I've been saying the same thing for more years than some coders have been alive.  Grin

Because that's exactly right. If they all compile down to that which actually gets run on a CPU, it shouldn't matter at all. Any functionally complete language should, by definition, be capable of doing what any other computer language does. 

Unfortunately, I think we've forgotten the primary reason why high and mid-level computer languages were created to begin with - which is for the convenience of the programmer.

Otherwise we'd do everything in assembler or machine code like some of the purists slowly sinking in the tar pits continue to argue for.  Cool

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Renegade
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2011, 07:00:49 AM »

^hear ya! I've been saying the same thing for more years than some coders have been alive.  Grin

Because that's exactly right. If they all compile down to that which actually gets run on a CPU, it shouldn't matter at all. Any functionally complete language should, by definition, be capable of doing what any other computer language does. 

Unfortunately, I think we've forgotten the primary reason why high and mid-level computer languages were created to begin with - which is for the convenience of the programmer.

Otherwise we'd do everything in assembler or machine code like some of the purists slowly sinking in the tar pits continue to argue for.  Cool


Being forced to learn umpteen new languages every year isn't what I'd call "convenient". smiley

Sigh... We can dream, can't we?
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2011, 07:32:54 AM »

^True. But we're really not looking to learn anything new if possible. We're really trying to make up for shortcomings in what we already use.

What we really want is for someone to design a language whose internal logic and structure maps exactly to our own - and operates exactly the way we think a language should. And we continue to believe such a language is waiting out there... somewhere... somewhere... if only we can remain pure and strong in our belief. (Very often with a conviction bordering on mania if Ruby language forums are anything to go by!) tongue

After that, who cares about everybody else or what "stupid language" those fools use? We have OUR language!
 Grin
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 07:50:46 AM by 40hz » Logged

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Renegade
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2011, 07:48:10 AM »

Part of the charm of a language is that it lets you communicate with other *people*. Wink tongue

I suppose that if you had a language that only you and the machine understood,  and that you could effectively communicate your "intent" without fear of grammar/syntax and other annoying errors, then sure. But there are simply too many advantages to sharing languages as you get to use code that other people wrote.

I suppose that in an "intentional fantasy language", it's not a stretch just to throw in that all languages are compatible with each other. smiley

Still dreaming...
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40hz
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2011, 07:53:42 AM »

@Ren: FWIW when two people do that it's usually called "pillow talk." And a very high-level high-bandwidth language it is too! The user interface is pretty interesting too. Wink
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2011, 09:09:03 PM »

Renegade, could you edit your post to put that "small list" inside a code box? smiley
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Renegade
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2011, 09:29:38 PM »

Renegade, could you edit your post to put that "small list" inside a code box? smiley

Choices, choices... smiley

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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2011, 09:33:02 PM »

Renegade, could you edit your post to put that "small list" inside a code box? smiley

Choices, choices... smiley



Thanks much smiley
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Renegade
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2011, 09:36:59 PM »

Thanks much smiley

It is a stupidly long list. You'd think that there'd be at least 1 language that could, just maybe possibly perhaps do the job.

Well, I suppose that as soon as someone invents the wheel, it's time to line up to reinvent it...
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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2011, 09:41:12 PM »

The user interface is pretty interesting too.
Especially when you move over to the other's IDE  Wink
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2011, 01:54:27 PM »

Like WhyTF would you create a *new* language? There are lots already.

[. . .]

Any attempt to create a new language is pure idiocy. We do not need more languages. We have enough of them.

Should we stop making new models of cars because we have enough of them already? Should we stop writing new books because every story has already been told? Should we stop making new music because every note has already been played?

Admittedly the book and music examples aren't very good arguments, but the point is that I'm all for allowing people to innovate and see if they can come up with something better. Nobody is forcing you to learn a new language (except, I suppose, potentially employers or potential clients) but that would only happen if the new language actually was good enough to be worthwhile. Not necessarily better, but worthwhile at least.

But I don't think there's a problem with having a wide variety of options at our fingertips. Especially the option to decide you can do something better and invent your own programming language. It takes many failed experiments to make one great success.
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Renegade
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2011, 08:52:40 PM »

Like WhyTF would you create a *new* language? There are lots already.

[. . .]

Any attempt to create a new language is pure idiocy. We do not need more languages. We have enough of them.

Should we stop making new models of cars because we have enough of them already? Should we stop writing new books because every story has already been told? Should we stop making new music because every note has already been played?

Admittedly the book and music examples aren't very good arguments, but the point is that I'm all for allowing people to innovate and see if they can come up with something better. Nobody is forcing you to learn a new language (except, I suppose, potentially employers or potential clients) but that would only happen if the new language actually was good enough to be worthwhile. Not necessarily better, but worthwhile at least.

But I don't think there's a problem with having a wide variety of options at our fingertips. Especially the option to decide you can do something better and invent your own programming language. It takes many failed experiments to make one great success.

True enough. Choice can be good. But then we get into the area where we have too many choices, and the sheer volume of choices becomes a source of stress rather than a solution to a problem.

But it still seems to me that instead of fragmenting efforts in attempts to build everything over again, it would be better to focus on improving what exists. It's not like the languages are like disposable lighters that once done, are done. They're more like zippos. Perhaps some better fuel. Perhaps a better wick. Perhaps an electronic "flint".

It would be much more productive for people to instead of learn from scratch, to pick up where some language, say Python, leaves off and start up with a fork of Python that features some additional gizmos that address specific problem in some domain. That then gives people back some of that time that they would have spent on a learning curve.

Why not put those efforts to innovate purely into the innovation and abandon the "grunt work" that has gone before?

i.e. It's better to stand on the shoulders of giants, than to try to grow that high, then higher.
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