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Programming Google Technology

Google To Introduce New Programming Language — Dart 250

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-off-my-lawn-dart dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from El Reg: "Google has built a brand-new programming language for 'structured web programming,' one that appears to be suited to browser-based apps. Two of the search giant's engineers will discuss Dart, Google's new language, at the Goto international software development conference next month. News of the new language was posted to the Goto website. There aren't yet any technical details on Dart but the bios of the two Googlers presenting at Goto strongly suggest a bent towards programming for the web and browser."
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Google To Introduce New Programming Language — Dart

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  • What's that make now, over two dozen different languages for web development, with ludicrous levels of overlap? Great, now things can get even MORE complicated. And, of course, MS and Apple won't adopt it--making it real useful, just as long as all your visitors happen to be using Chrome or some future version of Firefox.

    • Hey, this could finally be the web language that isn't a kludge or poorly designed. Those other 22 could all go away.

      Trouble is, we don't know - this article is a worthless waste of time until it's actually released or detailed.

      • by knuthin (2255242) on Friday September 09, 2011 @11:41AM (#37352064) Homepage

        Those other 22 could all go away.

        https://www.xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com]
        You think?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Is it sad that I don't even have to click that link to know what is behind it?

      • We already have a language like that, its called 'C'.
        • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Friday September 09, 2011 @01:30PM (#37353600)

          We already have a language like that, its called 'C'.

          Yeah, but C is too C-like for most people's taste.

        • by Artraze (600366)

          I love C, but as a web application language... It ain't great. If only because web development is where programers when they can't comprehend C.
          > trollface, in b4 flamebait, etc

          In all seriousness, though, C is a very general language to use for sure a relatively specific task. (As the difficultly of string handling vs the prevalence of string handling in web development make it particularly unsuitable.) A language specifically designed for the task, as designed well (I'm looking at you PHP!) would be

        • We already have a language like that, its called 'C'.

          Why not assembly? C is a very minor step up from a good macro assembler. It's great for embedded work, DSP work (audio, video, etc), device drivers, and kernels but it seriously sucks ass for nearly everything else.

          The big problem with C is not "too much thinking." That's the favorite strawman used against people who cirticize C. The real problems with C are that it's hopelessly verbose and the standard library sucks.

          If you can't bring yourself to live under a virtual machine then check out one of the mo

    • by bonch (38532) on Friday September 09, 2011 @11:46AM (#37352174)

      This is what happens when a tech company gets too big and doesn't know what to focus on. Just like Microsoft used to do, they're releasing pet project after pet project after project, hoping one of them sticks.

      • by somersault (912633) on Friday September 09, 2011 @11:57AM (#37352344) Homepage Journal

        I thought Google have been doing this the whole time, ie 20% projects. Nothing wrong with releasing the ones that come to fruition. It's not detracting from other parts of their business, and it's bringing cool stuff into the community - some of which might be really useful. Google are one of the companies that actually has a chance of making a replacement to JS "stick", though convincing MS would be a very tall order indeed.

      • by element-o.p. (939033) on Friday September 09, 2011 @02:14PM (#37354306) Homepage
        Yes, but no.

        I took a course that discussed personality profiles a little while back, and -- according to this class, at least -- the "creative" types tend to get really excited about a project, work on it for a little while, lose interest and abandon it in favor of the next project that comes to mind. This is a pretty good description of me, as my wife is fond of reminding me. I have a million things that I've started, gotten bored with and abandoned. A friend of mine once commented that techies seem to be borderline ADD; this theory could explain why. Whether you like Google or not, you have to admit they are pretty creative. If they have a culture that is lead by the creative, ADD types, you would kind of expect them to display this type of behaviour. The solution to this problem is to hire analytical/admin types who will drive the projects to completion rather than abandoning them when they get the next creative spark.
      • This is what happens when a tech company gets too big and doesn't know what to focus on. Just like Microsoft used to do, they're releasing pet project after pet project after project, hoping one of them sticks.

        Yeah but at least they don't release them as finished products and charge $$$ for them..
      • by gv250 (897841)

        This is what happens when a tech company gets too big and doesn't know what to focus on.

        It seems to me that 3M [wikipedia.org] and Xerox [wikipedia.org], among other companies, made a decent living releasing pet project after pet project.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by hcs_$reboot (1536101)

      And, of course, MS and Apple won't adopt it

      If the Dart language is intended to replace something like the buggy, slow and badly designed PHP language, I'm likely to give it a try.
      In other terms, if Dart is to PHP what Chrome is to Firefox, that new language sounds promising.

      • If the Dart language is intended to replace something like the buggy, slow and badly designed PHP language,

        I was rather hoping it was intended to replace the buggy, slow (although progress has been made), and badly designed ECMAScript language, which you may also know as JavaScript.

        • by Ash Vince (602485) * on Friday September 09, 2011 @02:16PM (#37354346) Journal

          If the Dart language is intended to replace something like the buggy, slow and badly designed PHP language,

          I was rather hoping it was intended to replace the buggy, slow (although progress has been made), and badly designed ECMAScript language, which you may also know as JavaScript.

          JavaScript is not actually that bad compared to PHP. I know it can be used to create a complete mess, but in the hands of a competent developer it can be used to produce a decent end result.

          PHP on the other hand seems to have hit a wall recently. I have to admit though I am a little jaded at the moment after a recent project exposing an existing PHP web application via web services. PHP has truly awful WSDL support, even if you try using the Zend Framework addons. Since more and more projects seem to involve some level of interworking with other systems that fact that PHP fail so badly in this regard is pretty inexcusable.

          Just to explain why I am so jaded and not at all as a cathartic experience I am probably now going to rant about some of the issues :)

          Firstly, the SOAP functions built into the latest verion of PHP only support rpc/literal WSDL. Since every other platform (.NET, JAVA, Axis2) wants document/literal this makes PHP only useful for talking to PHP.

          Then you think Zend Framework might be better. Unfortunately although this lets you generate and expose WSDL2 files using document/literal, you cannot use them as a basis for your service. This means that you can't actually let anyone talk to the service without some awful compatibility layer that translates what a rpc/literal service would expect into document/literal by doing some crazy unravelling of arrays of parameters.

          And then when you finally think you are done you discover there is a bug that means booleans are just broken and always get returned as false. You file a bug report but it looks like the maintainer of this part of the Zend Framework has died as he hasn't been on their bug tracker for months.

          So I might have worked round all these issues and delivered a working service but it took far longer than expected and that costs money. For a server side language that is supposed to be an established heavy weight this is not acceptable. It's enough to make you learn .NET :)

          • So you want a new language because you're unhappy with the php libraries?

          • I don't see any real issues with PHP. Anything it lacks seems to be insignificant for the inner workings of a webpage.
          • by neoform (551705)

            A single library has you hating the entire language?

            PHP is fast, easy to develop on, widely supported and very well documented...

            Yeah, you can make shit PHP code (and there's a lot of shit programmers out there), but that doesn't make PHP bad.

            Can you name me an alternative to PHP that is as easy to work with, that is equally powerful and does not require a dedicated machine to run, or root access (as a web service)?

      • by rmstar (114746)

        If the Dart language is intended to replace something like the buggy, slow and badly designed PHP language, I'm likely to give it a try.

        Well, it is not as if there weren't any alternatives before.

    • I can fuck in all languages !

    • Why the heck aren't they at least using Parrot [parrot.org]? It's not hard to target and it would really help the project to get some extra programmers on board. In theory Parrot would allow code sharing between all the different languages that target it. So Dart could call Ruby which can call Python, etc. It's the great unifier of the programming religious wars, and nobody seems to talk about it anymore. Even when it's finally DONE! If you're going to make a new dynamic language, please, please make it using Parrot.
    • by catbutt (469582)

      And, of course, MS and Apple won't adopt it--making it real useful, just as long as all your visitors happen to be using Chrome or some future version of Firefox.

      So make it compile to Javascript for browsers that don't support it natively.

      Personally I think it would be pretty sweet if Google made V8 support Coffescript natively, both in Chrome and Node.js. But if they were also to build in some of what they've got with Closure, they've got something.

  • Standards (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jaf1230 (696309)
    http://xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com] Nuff said.
    • by woboyle (1044168)
      As one wag said, "The nice thing about standards, is that there are so many." and "The nice thing about standards, is that everyone has one."...
  • by Idimmu Xul (204345) on Friday September 09, 2011 @11:43AM (#37352100) Homepage Journal
    Did anyone really start using the last language they used, Go [golang.org]?
    • Yes. For example, Heroku is using it (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/05/google_go/), and you can also use Google App Engine with Go - http://code.google.com/appengine/docs/go/overview.html [google.com]

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      I wanted to use it but I can't find any ssl library or examples for it. The language syntax is easy, I write python and C++, and it is distributed by nature. I got the impression it was Erlang for those that don't want to poke out their eyes reading their own code. Anyway, a language designed specifically for distributed applications without an ssl library, IMHO, is useless.

  • by Tei (520358) on Friday September 09, 2011 @11:46AM (#37352160) Journal

    A new programming language create a huge problem, before start solving anything. And its that you lose all the work done with libraries. Everything. A new language is like a natural disaster that wipe civilization to the caves again.

    People is doing a lot of cool stuff with Javascript. JS is starting to becoming a decent enough language to write code for the web!.
    http://jquerysbestfriends.com/#slide1 [jquerysbestfriends.com]

    • by kwerle (39371)

      I'll take a language that has strong support for subclassing, thanks.

      People are doing some cool stuff with javascript - but I think it's in spite of the language, not because of it.

      (claimer: I have to deal with JS every day)

      • by Khazunga (176423)

        I'll take a language that has strong support for subclassing, thanks.

        Given that javascript is a classless object-oriented language, your comment really makes it sound like you haven't yet reached that A-HA moment about javascript.

        Prototype-based inheritance is much much more powerful than any kind of subclassing I've seen on any class-based OO language.

        • by kwerle (39371)

          Prototype-based inheritance is much much more powerful than any kind of subclassing I've seen on any class-based OO language.

          Have you tried ruby? Or even Objective-C?

          The only ah-ha moment I've had with JS is more like "uh-huh. So it's going to take a lot more work to do the things I like to do with a language with strong support for subclassing."

          Maybe it's just that I like using the word super!

          • I've tried the grandaddies of all of them - from Simula to Smalltalk to C++ to rolling my own object systems with procedural pointers... hell, I've even used CLOS. Objective C and Ruby aren't that much different (object-model-wise) from Smalltalk.

            Prototype-base inheritance is a different animal from class-based. It is more flexible, can handle certain situations that cannot be handled elegantly in class-based inheritance (even with multiple inheritance and/or aspects). If you truly don't understand the adv

    • Corporate languages like .NET, Java, ObjC and now Go are here to create barriers of exit and lockins, /. crowd remembers nothing.
      • by jc42 (318812)

        Corporate languages like .NET, Java, ObjC and now Go are here to create barriers of exit and lockins, ...

        So someone understands. ;-)

        Actually, that wasn't really true with Java. The gang at Sun did it first as an internal, embedded-controller language, with the ability to download components the first time they were needed, on-the-fly, from a server. The news got out, others got interested, and Sun's response was a serious effort to make it easily available to everyone. This was especially useful after we realized that Java was a good networking tool. Sun kept legal control, because they were well aware

  • by PSVMOrnot (885854) on Friday September 09, 2011 @11:48AM (#37352206)

    It may be older than dart, but I think I'll stick with C. ;-)

    Admittedly, most of my programming these days is number crunching rather than web apps.

    • Then you should consider using Fortran (version >=95). I find it much better than C for this kind of work.

  • by Evangelion (2145) on Friday September 09, 2011 @11:51AM (#37352256) Homepage

    I'm kind of confused as to where google is going these days.

    Is this just a side effect of hiring too many bored CS graduates -- put enough in a room together and they come up with their own languages?

    I just can't see this being used outside of google -- Web Programming is largely a solved problem, and there are already a plethora of options. Since MS and Apple won't touch anything that comes out of Google, it'll only ever be relevant on the server side -- which is where there are already too many options.

    Unless this does something radical -- and judging by what Go was, I doubt it -- this will probably be a niche thing they use internally.

    • I recall reading that developers at Google are allowed to allocate something like 20% of their time to side projects, regardless of whether or not it's "useful" (because really you can't always predict when some widget, technique or acquired knowledge will come in handy.)

      Dart may not be for anyone outside of Google (or inside for that matter), but it's there if and when you need it to do something. *shrug*

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yk4ever (1110821)

      Web Programming is largely a solved problem, and there are already a plethora of options.

      Business programming was largely a solved problem, you could choose between COBOL and Ada.

      Even if the new language isn't used widely, its features might creep into existing ones and improve them (see MS Research, Haskell and C# 3.0+).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As someone who has had the misfortune of doing web programming for the past 5 years, after a decade of systems programming I can say that Web Programming is very much NOT a solved problem. At least not in the commercial world. The leading Java and .NET web frameworks are horrible to use.

      A new language may not be needed, but programming for the web is already enough of its own beast that using a new framework in an existing language is already basically like using a new language.

      I, for one, truly hope Dart i

  • The problem with adding yet another language to the mix is engineers as a whole need to focus on simplicity and good standards and stay away from reinventing the wheel. Diluting the market with more languages to "make web development easier" or "help with web development performance" or even "fill the gaps of other languages" is ludicrous. The problem is most anything can be done very simply and effectively with the existing tools that are available, but really developers are always looking for the next la
  • by SpacePunk (17960) on Friday September 09, 2011 @12:04PM (#37352418) Homepage

    10+ years experience needed, of course.

    • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday September 09, 2011 @12:30PM (#37352762) Homepage
      After being in the programming field for a while now it seems that often companies that post those kind of job listings are looking for a reason to hire H1-B people. They can now legitimately go and say the couldn't find an American worker with that experience since obviously the job requires it and then hire some cheap labor. The other case is that it is a HR issue since they are told to find a senior programmer with experience with technology X. Technology x may only have been around for 2 or 3 years, but the HR drone immediately thinks they need someone with 10+ years of experience with technology x and then filter you out because you don't have that experience. I had that problem when I graduated college and companies were looking for people with 10 years of java experience even though the language had only been around for 5 years or so at that time
  • by citizenr (871508) on Friday September 09, 2011 @12:28PM (#37352728) Homepage

    oh wait ...

  • abondon it six months later.
  • But it has fallen through cracks after the takeover.
  • by gsgriffin (1195771) on Friday September 09, 2011 @01:23PM (#37353484)
    With the frustration of working with so many different languages and some that only work when you load in a bunch of code (jQuery...awesome, but JS should do all this natively) or a framework, I'm very curious to see if Google is in fact focusing on web development and can provide a platform that allows for simplified coding without lots of browser overhead. Why do we think that languages should stop and never evolve or change or die? I for one don't want to still be coding 20 years from now with JS and PHP the way they are. Would love to have something that works hand in hand between server, db, and browser in a more seamless way. I'll wait to see before passing judgment.

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