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What is Dart Programming Language

dart programming language

Dart is an open-source programming language developed by Google. Although it can be used for server-side development, it is more client-centric.

The SDK for Dart has the Dart Virtual Machine compiler and a utility called dart2js which generates JavaScript that is identical to that of a Dart script. This script makes it possible to run Dart on sites that provide no support for Dart.

Dart is also a cross-platform or platform-independent programming language which means that it can be run on several operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and so on.

Classes, polymorphism, interfaces, and abstraction are all supported by Dart thus, making it an Object Oriented programming language. Dart code is compiled into machine code or translated and compiled into JavaScript. Dart runs as an interpreted language which is supported by the Dart Virtual Machine (DVM).

The syntax of the Dart programming language follows a simple C-style syntax. It is a language that is considered multipurpose and is used for developing several types of applications and programs. It is widely utilized in developing Web applications, mobile applications, desktop applications, servers, and so on.

Following are different types of applications that Dart can be utilized to develop:

applications in dart

History of Dart

The Dart project was started by Lars Bak. Lars is a Danish programmer popular for his work on virtual machines. He has contributed heavily towards the initiation of the Dart project and it was at the GOTO conference in Aarhus, Denmark that this project was first introduced.

Ecma International then made a technical board TC52 to regulate the language. In July 2014, the first edition of the Dart language specification was standardized, and the second edition of the same was approved six months later by Ecma International.

Dartc was the initial compiler that was utilized and it could generate JavaScript codes, but it was later dropped by Google. Later, the Frog compiler was introduced, but due to the inefficiency in compiling the code. It was completely discarded. The third and final compiler that was utilized was called dart2js. It was a success when it was introduced and continues to be used in Dart for compilation purposes. Following is the evolution of the different compilers used by Dart:

dart compilers

Features, Usage, and Benefits of Dart

Dart is considered an open-source object-oriented programming language that supports an extensive range of programming utilities such as classes, interfaces, abstractions, and collections. It was developed for servers as well as browsers.

Different features of Dart Include:

  • Extensive Libraries
  • Platform Independent
  • Easy to Learn
  • Open Source
  • Community
  • Browser Support
  • concurrency
  • Object-Oriented
  • Types Safe
  • Flexible Compilation

Features of the dart are as follows:

  • Extensive Libraries: Dart encompasses many inbuilt libraries such as core, math, convert, async, and so on. It also includes an SDK to build a variety of applications. It is also possible to export any written Dart code with the correct namespace into the libraries. This exported Dart code can be used in any other application or the same application with the help of an import statement.

  • Platform Independent: Dart encompasses a virtual machine called Dart Virtual Machine which runs on all operating systems thereby, making it Platform Independent. This means that Dart runs on Windows, Linux, MacOS, and any other operating system that one can think of.

  • Easy To Learn: Dart possesses a simple syntax thereby, making it easy to understand and learn at a quick pace. The syntax of Dart is quite similar to that of C#, Java, and JavaScript. Hence, anyone who is familiar with the syntax of these languages can easily learn and understand the syntax of Dart.

  • Open Source: Dart is considered an open-source programming language since it is available at no cost and is free to use by anyone. Dart SDK is available for free download on the official Website for Dart:

  • Community: Dart has extensive support and is popular across the world. The community support is immense. Hence, if there is any difficulty with a Dart code, it is easy to obtain help and fix any issues that arise. Dart also has a dedicated team of developers working to enhance the language and functionality.

  • Browser Support: Dart supports all modern browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and others. The compilation of Dart code into optimized JavaScript by the inbuilt dart2js compiler makes it possible for Dart to run in all browsers.

  • Concurrency: The Dart program supports and backs multithreading by making isolates, thus making Dart an asynchronous programming language. Dart Isolates is a version of a thread, but it is different from the thread. These isolates are independent workers and do not share memory. The connection between processes is established by passing serialized messages.

  • Object-oriented: Dart is considered an object-oriented programming language. This implies that Dart supports basic concepts such as classes, objects, interfaces, abstraction, polymorphism, and advanced concepts such as mixin and robust type systems.

  • Type Safe: The type system followed in Dart is quite sound. This ensures that a mismatch cannot occur between an expression and a value. Type checking, both static as well as runtime is performed to establish that the value of a variable matches the corresponding type for that variable. Further, the type check system also warns one about modifications done at an earlier time which is extremely advantageous.

  • Flexible Compilation: Flexibility in compiling the code is offered by Dart. It also compiles the code fast. Dart has two kinds of compilation processes.

They are described as follows:

Just in time (JIT):

JIT compiler converts program source code into native machine code just before execution of a program. The JIT compiler can be used to improve speed and application runtime. They also try to predict the instructions that will be executed next so that the code can be compiled in advance.

Ahead of Time (A0T):

A0T compiler compiles the code before it is delivered to the runtime environment that runs the code. It usually is utilized when an application is ready for deployment either on the server, App Store, or Play Store. It also compiles the Dart code into JavaScript code before the browser downloads and runs the code.

Usage of Dart

Dart is used with Flutter to build mobile, desktop, and Web applications. This is one of the most common uses of Dart today. The biggest advantage of building applications with Dart and Flutter is that it is cross-platform. It means one can build an application with just one code base instead of building separate applications for iPhone, Android, or other devices. Dart is not only limited to building front-end applications but can also be used on the backend as a server-side programming language.

Advantages of darts include:

  • Universal code that works on several platforms such as Android, IOS, and Web browsers and does not require any changes.
  • Detecting errors statically and code optimization.
  • Dart is backed by Google
  • Provides null safety which results in fewer instances of App crashes.

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