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Dart, Google's Controversial Web Language, Turns 1.0

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The Dart logo.

The newly available version 1.0 of Web programming language Dart promises better programmer efficiency and Web software performance.


Google recently announced the availability of version 1.0 of Web programming language Dart, which aims to provide better programmer efficiency and Web software performance than JavaScript.

Dart is now ready for actual websites, not just for testing, says Dart project leader Lars Bak. Although programmers cannot use Dart directly on the Web, Google provides indirect mechanisms that could make it useful while Google tries to convince skeptical browser makers of Dart's merit.

JavaScript is well understood and has the advantage of numerous existing software libraries and a record of steady performance gains. Dart's creators, on the other hand, must educate programmers, develop libraries, and employ browser programmers to improve performance and address security problems. Furthermore, the addition of a new software foundation to the Web significantly raises complexity, because support for JavaScript cannot be eliminated even if Dart gains momentum.

However, over the past two years Google has improved Dart's software developer kit and says Dart can significantly boost performance. Google also believes programmers will like Dart, even if they need to convert Dart software into JavaScript to put it online. Google says Dart is 42-percent to 130-percent faster than JavaScript on Google's three benchmarks, and Dart2JS versions outperform JavaScript counterparts on two of the three tests.

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