Its much harder to do a language than a virtual machine, Dart co-founder Lars Bak has admitted.
Having been announced to
equal fanfare and derision, client-side web language Google Dart has been bubbling away
quietly since October 2011.
“I have learned it’s much harder to do a language than a virtual machine,” Bak told The Register. “People are extremely opinionated when doing a language [...] I have learned that you have to do it properly.”
Cynicism is the first hurdle for a new language: “The initial reaction to doing another programming language is people say: ‘We have one that’s sufficient’. Change can be hard for some people.”
Then there’s the problem of trying to satisfy all users of the language. Though admitting that some might “expect more complex constructs” from Dart, Bak said his priority is to “make it easy for ordinary programmers” – “to make it simple so people can use it in an hour”.
Not yet on the cards is the possibility of Dart making a Node.js-style leap onto the server side, especially as it would be in direct competition with Go, another recent Google language. Go has fared better so far in the real world, deployed in several internal Google projects.
Photo by Bogdan Suditu.