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Dart: Build HTML5 Apps Fast

Dart Editor and SDK

The Dart project ships a lightweight editor, which includes support for refactoring, debugging, code completion, code navigation, and more (Figure 3). The editor can run Dart programs in Dartium (Chromium with an embedded Dart VM) and in the standalone Dart VM. Developers can achieve a fast edit-reload cycle using the editor, enabling the quick iterations Web developers appreciate. The editor is built on the Eclipse RCP framework, and it works on Mac, Windows, and Linux. An Eclipse plugin is now available.

Figure 3.

The Dart SDK, which is bundled with the Dart Editor, contains three principal tools: the Dart VM (dart), the package manager (pub), and the compiler to JavaScript (dart2js).

The dart2js tool, a Dart to JavaScript compiler, is the key component that enables Dart apps to run anywhere on the Web. The compiler targets ES5 JavaScript, and is itself written in Dart.

Pub is the package manager for Dart. You can use pub to manage third party dependencies for your Dart app. The pub tool currently supports downloading packages from git repositories, and will eventually support downloads from pub.dartlang.org.

You can run Dart apps on the command line using the Dart VM. Your app can use files, directories, and sockets in standalone Dart VM apps. Also included is an HTTP server and client, and a Web socket server and client. One of the goals of the Dart project is to enable end-to-end Dart applications, running on both the client and the server. You can download all the Dart tools from www.dartlang.org/downloads.html.

Other tool vendors are joining the effort, such as the Dart plugin for IntelliJ, built by JetBrains.

Learn More

Dart is open source. We welcome discussion and feedback to the Dart mailing list where engineers and community members chat about the project. Documentation, videos, and downloads are also available at http://dartlang.org.

Some helpful Dart links include:

  1. The Dart Language Tour is a high level overview of the language
  2. The Dart Library Tour walks you through bundled libraries
  3. If you know JavaScript, you'll appreciate this mapping of JavaScript to Dart
  4. Download the Dart Editor and SDK
  5. Follow the project at +Dart on Google+

Seth Ladd is a Developer Advocate with the Chrome team. He helps developers use Dart.

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