Dart Developer Summit 2016

To the future & beyond: AngularDart 2.0

Gabriela Motroc
Screenshot of AngularDart 2.0 announcement — Dart Developer Summit 2016

Dart Developer Summit 2016 is happing as we speak in Munich, Germany. For those who want to be brought up to speed on the latest developments, here are the most important announcements of Day 1: AngularDart 2.0 is finally here and Dart is picking up its pace both inside and outside of Google.

Google’s Kasper Lund, Dan Grove, Anders Sandholm presented the first keynote and announced that Dart is the fastest-growing language inside Google. They acknowledged that Dart has been a bit absent

but it is alive and kicking now with 10,443 commits and plenty of plans.

Dart is very much an open source project. — Anders Sandholm

Dart has had a 3.5x increase in lines of code since last year and there has been a 25% to 100% increase in speed of development. For those who don’t have time to see the keynote, check out Dart team member  Filip Hráček’s blog post. According to Hráček, Dart users love its terse and readable syntax so the team decided to keep it. Plus, developers seem to enjoy this language’s powerful static analysis, which is why they are making it better. “With strong mode, Dart’s type system becomes sound (meaning that it rejects all incorrect programs). We’re also introducing support for generic methods,” writes Hráček. 

One other detail emphasized by both Hráček and Dan Grove in the opening keynote is Dart developers’ love for core libraries, which are comprehensive, tight, coherent and efficient. “People are getting good performance out of these libraries,” Grove concluded.

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Dan Grove talking about Dart’s core libraries at Dart Developer Summit 2016

AngularDart 2.0

Dan Grove announced the release of AngularDart 2.0, which has no JavaScript legacy: “This is all Dart, in Dart, for Dart.” It’s getting faster (there has been a 10 percent speed increase), it is the core of Google’s Ads Tech Stack and, in the past four months, AngularDart’s output has gotten 40 percent smaller.

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Screenshot: Dart Developer Summit 2016

Here are some of best features of AngularDart 2.0, according to Dan Grove:

  • Easy to use JS libraries
  • Fast dev cycles
  • Great scalability
  • Easy, high-performance UIs

Ferhat Buyukkokten and Matan Lureya introduced AngularDart’s three biggest pillars, namely productivity, performance, and stability and emphasized once again that users love it thanks to its ease of use.

We’re not inventing new things. — Matan Lureya

Some of the biggest changes are that they are compiling templates now (faster DOM construction, better compile time error checking, zero cost abstractions) and they have removed dynamic calls and abstraction layers. Whitespace compression and idiomatic dart code complete the list.

To us, AngularDart is perfect for the web. — Ferhat Buyukkokten

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Ferhat Buyukkokten explaining what’s under the hood of AngularDart

AngularDart: A look back

Three months ago, the Dart team revealed that the Angular 2 codebase has been split in two: it now has a Dart version and a TypeScript/JavaScript version, as well as an AngularDart team.

Filip Hracek, Program Manager in the Dart team, announced that the move is “amazing news” for Dart developers because the Angular Dart source code will be more Dart-y, faster, cleaner and it will use Dart features which previously didn’t work with TypeScript flavor.

For TypeScript and JavaScript developers, performance gains and cleaner JavaScript APIs are in the cards. Naomi Black, a team lead on Angular, revealed that the decision to split the Angular 2 codebase into two flavors will not lead to dramatic changes for developers, except that it will now be easier to contribute changes and the team will be able to fix issues faster. Although both the Dart version and the TypeScript/JavaScript version will share the same template syntax and, “where appropriate, the same API,” they will have the freedom to submit pull requests in the language they prefer. Plus, “changes can be made and reviewed without the added burdens of compilation and cross-compatibility to downstream languages,” Black added.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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