The Google Dart programming language will not be the future of the Web.
This is not the end for Dart. Google has a propensity to kill off projects—even ones that it has spent years and millions of dollars developing—like Google Reader or Wave, but Dart is not on the chopping block. This week’s announcement is more of a change of direction for the platform. Bak and Lung note that Dart’s biggest customer is the Google Ads team, which will continue using Dart to build client and server apps and employing the Dart Virtual Machine.
“Google Ads uses Dart for their next-gen web interfaces. That’s a good committed user for us to have as a partner,” wrote Google project manager and Dart advocate Seth Ladd in a thread in Hacker News.
“Dart is much more full-featured than CoffeeScript. Dart is a completely new language, with much improved semantics. Dart has features such as method cascades, mixins, async/await, optional types, a rich core library, factory constructors, libraries, named parameters, lexical this, Futures, implicit interfaces, generics, and lots more,” Ladd wrote.
The development team for Google Dart also announced Dart 1.9 which, “introduces async methods and await expressions” intended for asynchronous interactions in app development.
Some Dart developers see the move away from Chrome and browsers as a positive for the Dart ecosystem. A developer that goes by the name of Woven explains in Hacker News:
This will quiet the noise, so that everyone can focus on advancing Dart and its ecosystem. Let’s be honest: getting the Dart VM into non-Google browsers was always destined to be far, far away if not impossible, regardless of the team’s excellent work or Dart’s merits. Getting it into Chrome is just a decision, but one fraught with perils, namely that our community has an arguably healthy aversion to go-it-alone on the web, and untamed fear amongst the hoards that Google will shove it down our throats does not bode well for Dart.
Eich writes in response to a developer:
Dart as the thing that showed JS the way (same for CoffeeScript, but let’s defer that and focus on Dart)? A fraudulent claim that covers up real mistakes in strategy made by Google, which cost big time and money, not just for JS and the Web, but bad also (in light of this week’s news) for Dart.
The future of Dart appears to be as a platform and language designed to be used for advanced Web applications and an alternative to server-side platforms for real-time communications. What is clear after this week’s announcement is that Dart will not be the next default language of the Web.