Dart now <3's JavaScript

Better integration with JavaScript – Dart answers the call

Natali Vlatko
Dart image via Shutterstock

Google and Dart have finally conceded defeat in their bid to be the new omnipresent language of the web. After what was sure to be a lot of soul-searching, Dart has a new, focused strategy that will now compile Dart to JavaScript.

After pinning their hopes on Dart becoming the new language of the web, the Google-backed Dart team hasn’t been able to convince developers that Chrome – and the world – needs a Dart VM. Instead, the team will be focusing their web efforts on compiling Dart to JavaScript.

Having high hopes

When it was initially reported that JavaScript wasn’t providing the speed required for Chrome, Google kickstarted the process of publishing a standard specification for Dart. This ‘milestone’ for the language was seen by Google Product Manager Anders Sandholm as “an important step towards a future where Dart runs natively in web browsers”.

But it seems Dart’s co-founders have had to backtrack on Google’s dream, announcing that a love of the language didn’t directly translate into complete Chrome dominance:

In order to do what’s best for our users and the web, and not just Google Chrome, we will focus our web efforts on compiling Dart to JavaScript. We have decided not to integrate the Dart VM into Chrome.

Lars Bak and Kasper Lund, co-founders of Dart, have spoken about a new web strategy focusing on the users’ need “to be more productive building web apps with Dart”. Noting developer feedback as “consistent”, they are listening to calls for better ways to debug and optimise apps across all browsers.

SEE ALSO: Why did the Angular team choose TypeScript over Dart?

While developers compile Dart to JavaScript when they deploy to the web, they still need better integration with JavaScript. As we’ve said before, Dart should have always aimed to exist alongside JavaScript and compile to readable, yet fast JS. It’s comforting to see the team finally embrace this concept.

The remainder of the announcement also made room for Google Ads and its reliance and commitment to Dart, which Bak and Lund highlighted to show us that the interest is still there. Google Ads is recognised as supporting the new strategy, having “one million lines of Dart code and the number is growing fast”.

The above news just goes to show that JavaScript is bloody everywhere, and for now, there’s no escaping or defeating it. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for (S&S Media Group).

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