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Google Programming Technology

Analysis of Google Dart 171

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the google-announces-replacement-for-english dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google's new language landed with a loud thud, causing lots of interesting debates about the best place to stick semicolons... An article [in InfoQ] ... looks at some of the less discussed features. Snapshots seem to bring something like Smalltalk images and allow instant startup of applications (something Java has spent the last 15 years not delivering). Isolates are like OS processes and communicate with message passing — and as the article suggests, can fix the problem of Garbage Collection pauses by splitting up the heap (sounds like Erlang). There's more, mostly about features that remove some dynamic behavior in order to make startup and code analysis easier. Maybe Dart is worth a second look?"
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Analysis of Google Dart

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  • Re:What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AndrewStephens (815287) on Monday October 24, 2011 @08:14PM (#37826268) Homepage

    Oh please,

    Java (or more correctly; its user base) has been crying out for some sort of faster startup since the mid 90s. No other problem has done more to keep Java off the desktop that the very slow startup times. If Java applets started as quickly as Flash objects manage to then we would still be seeing Java implemented on major web sites. I could never understand why Java doesn't snapshot and cache a prelinked version of a class the first time it loads, if anything the JVM is getting slower - the demo Java Applets on my website take about as long to start up in 2011 as they did in 2000 but my computer is many times faster.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AndrewStephens (815287) on Monday October 24, 2011 @09:07PM (#37826642) Homepage

    You an not wrong, but are missing the point. Java conceded the desktop to other technologies not because it was an inferior language (I find that even the much-maligned Swing produces very nice UIs) but because it took an age to start, making it unacceptable for any kind of in-browser use.

  • by gutnor (872759) on Monday October 24, 2011 @09:24PM (#37826784)

    Clearly it doesn't actually affect the quality or the usability of the language - JS seems to be used just fine.

    That is a bit ironic talking about a language designed to replace JS because Google thinks JS is "unsalvageable".

  • Why Flash is fast (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @01:17AM (#37828154) Homepage

    If Java applets started as quickly as Flash objects manage to then we would still be seeing Java implemented on major web sites.

    First, the Flash run-time is incredibly tiny. It used to be under 1MB, and it's still not all that much bigger. Compare to browsers that need 100MB to display "Hello, World".

    Second, Flash can display without loading the entire file. It's an animation format, remember. There are two streams, a timeline of events and a collection of assets (images, etc.) As soon as some timeline data and the assets called out in it have been loaded, play can start. Files are explicitly laid out in time order of use. That was a really good design decision.

    Java is just loading and running programs. There's nothing special about the way it starts. First the VM has to load, then the JIT compiler has to do its thing, and then you get to execute something. There's no explicit concept of time, as their is with Flash files.

  • Re:Go or Dart? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by afabbro (33948) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @02:03AM (#37828338) Homepage

    They are different. Is it surprising for one company to spin out more than one language? For a company of their size and age, Google has actually not invented very many. Compare to Microsoft, Apple, Sun, and Adobe who have each created several.

    Your point is valid, but MS, Apple, and Sun were all operating system publishers and creating languages makes sense. Adobe was long a tool maker and their languages were tooly.

    Google has become an operating system publisher only relatively recently (Android) and these languages don't target that platform. You could argue ChromeOS is an operating system but really that's just a Linux distro.

    Google creating programming languages is sort of like Yahoo or Facebook creating programming languages. In Google's case, I suspect that these creations have little to do with their actual corporate mission and more to do with their wildly undisciplined engineering management.

    (That doesn't indicate they're good or bad languages, of course.)

  • Re:Go or Dart? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @02:38AM (#37828484) Homepage Journal

    Google creating programming languages is sort of like Yahoo or Facebook creating programming languages. In Google's case, I suspect that these creations have little to do with their actual corporate mission and more to do with their wildly undisciplined engineering management.

    (That doesn't indicate they're good or bad languages, of course.)

    It also doesn't indicate that "undisciplined" is bad in any way. A lot of the successful Google projects have come out of their "long leash" attitude towards their coders.

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