Thanks to my friends from Software & Support Media I have been invited to the W-Jax 2011 to speak about Dart. This was very exciting and a great experience! The room was full with ~70 people, most of them Java developers. We talked about the current state, some syntax and the future of Dart. Finally I have got the impression that there is a huge interest in Dart. After the show, I have been asked to give a short interview for the Jaxenter. Here we go (in bavarian german ).
Of course some of you won’t be able to understand german. Therefore I have tried to translate the important parts for you. The questions of the Jaxenter are marked bold. As always, feedback welcome!
You just had a Session on Google Dart – how would you characterize Dart?
Which features are most interesting?
Then there is a VM. You can write server applications with Dart. Now Browser- and Server-developers can use a single language.
How does the typing system look like?
There are Types in Dart – but they are optional. You can use Types for debugging or for documentation purposes. But you need to enable Types on program launch. If you don’t activate them you can use wrong types and Dart will not fail.
At the moment Dart is a preview version – what are the problems currently?
It’s running very well – you can’t say there are problems. Anyway, community is small. There is feedback – but it could be more. There is a fundament of Dart – but important features like Database access or File access is still in development – and this takes time.
On the committers list are 5 people named – probably there are some Google internal devs. But anyway, this is a small team. Now they must decide on the communities feedback and work on the important features.
Dart has been announced as an open language – how is reality? You said, 5 people are programming it, how open is it actually?
Yes, Dart is Open Source in terms of source code is open. You can look at the issues or participate the project on the mailinglist. But it is not open development. This means, many decisions are taken internally. Maybe that decisions are based on community feedback, but after all the decision votes are not open for all.
Unfortunately many elemental questions, like: were are we next year? or: what’s going on with Browser plugins? are discussed internally too.
Therefore you need to take care.
Probably there will be an development model like at the Apache Software Foundation.
Or maybe there will be a JCP like process like Oracle has with Java.
Or maybe it will stay is it is now, and the community can only provide patches.
My big hope is it will be like at The Apache Software Foundation.
And of course there is a big company behind Dart, which has an high interest in the success of it. Of course the success depends on the community. But I really think that there might be some products of Google which will be rewritten on top of Dart, once Dart is stable.
There are rumours, that Google targets on Android as platform…
That’s right, everybody seems to say that. If you look at the constellation Apache/Google/Oracle and the project Apache Harmony then you can imagine that Google is a bit bored of that kind of stories. Dart has a VM – this is a huge chance. Dart on Android would push the language very much. After all, if one would use Dart on Android, he would probably like to use it on his websites.
But there are more rumours. Some people say Dart might replace GWT one day.
And just before minutes I have heard Dart would make very fine on Google App Engine.
But details are unknown…
Is there some kind of roadmap, milestones anything?
“We work very hard on it” – that’s what is being said. There are much requests about the HTML library, with which you can work very comfortable with HTML. It has been in the makings for a while now, but even there is no official release date. They are working hard but do not speak about release dates.
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