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Dart Is Not the Language You Think It Is 312

An anonymous reader writes "Seth Ladd has an excellent write-up of Dart: 'When Dart was originally launched, many developers mistook it for some sort of Java clone. In truth, Dart is inspired by a range of languages such as Smalltalk, Strongtalk, Erlang, C#, and JavaScript. Get past the semicolons and curly braces, and you'll see a terse language without ceremony. ... Dart understands that sometimes you just don’t feel like appeasing a ceremonial type checker. Dart’s inclusion of an optional type system means you can use type annotations when you want, or use dynamic when that’s easier. For example, you can explore a new idea without having to first think about type hierarchies. Just experiment and use var for your types. Once the idea is tested and you’re comfortable with the design, you can add type annotations."
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Dart Is Not the Language You Think It Is

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @07:24PM (#43788737)

    Those people always bitch about and those no one uses.

    Since I have yet to hear any complaints about Dart, I can only assume it's in the latter category and no one cares.

  • Unadvantages! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shaiku ( 1045292 ) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @07:34PM (#43788809)

    Once the idea is tested and youâ(TM)re comfortable with the design, you can add type annotations.

    I've been doing this with comments since 1999 and it works great! Of course I still haven't gotten around to that final step of going back and adding all those comments but I love the flexibility!

    Unless you like bugs, type-checking is a good thing. Lack of type enforcement encourages what -- lack of forethought?

  • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @07:58PM (#43788979) Homepage Journal

    Or so that was my first thought. Then I got to the end of the article

    Dart compiles to JavaScript and runs across the modern web

    And suddenly I find it potentially very useful. I have a NodeJS project to develop a Streaming Service later this week. While I was planning on writing it in Coffeescript, the classic OO nature of Dart with Type Checking and Interfaces(!) seems like a potentially better match since the NodeJS app will be a clustered streaming service -- just the sort of application whose architecture could greatly benefit from these language features. If that succeeds, I know of a large retailer wanting to create a NodeJS middleware as a REST API to legacy systems, who might find Dart as compelling as I do.

  • Re:Unadvantages! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dreadway ( 459923 ) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:47PM (#43790107)

    IMO the thing which crippled large Smalltalk projects was the corporate IT market embracing programming technologies which looked more like C. You had to fight hard to make Smalltalk code look like a procedural language, which a larger body of programmers were already used to. Java, C++, and C# look more like C, so I guess they have that going for them.

    Smalltalk is a strongly-typed, late-binding language. Smalltalk's Object>>#doesNotUnderstand behavior is a hindrance for production-quality code only to the extent that your programmers are unwilling or unable to read and use someone else's API. Oh, and maybe your system design should not suck, no matter what programming technology is involved.

    I worked for years as a Smalltalk programmer on big, corporate IT systems involving hundreds of programmers and handling hundreds of millions of $$$ per day in production, but corporate IT has had a mood swing and now our systems mostly use the early-binding programming technologies. I like being gainfully employed, but am not persuaded the tradeoffs of the extra code, convoluted syntax constructions, and tool paradigms actually represent any improvements. And finally, believe it or not, but the less senior programmers apparently have difficulty reading and understanding the code (even with its early-binding features) written by far more experienced programmers than myself, which in turn results in numerous and varied production defects. Who would have thunk it, eh?

  • by H0p313ss ( 811249 ) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @02:38AM (#43791137)

    And then there's Python.

    people bitch about python. at least I do.

                                          whitespace has effect. who has time for that..

    Same, but it's almost my only complaint. Other than that it's an elegant language, my favorite for scripting.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI