JACK OF ALL TRADES Google has announced an early preview of Dart, its structured programming language for building web applications.
Lars Bak, the head of the Dart project at Google, said that the goals of the new language are to create a structured, yet flexible language for web programming, to make the language feel familiar and natural to those who know existing programming languages, making it easier to learn, and to ensure that Dart runs extremely fast on all modern web browsers and devices.
Like other programming languages Dart will feature a set of basic libraries and tools for checking, compiling and running code, as well as the option to use types or add them in later when needed. The language and tools are open source and available at a new Dart web site, which Google hopes will attract significant developer interest.
While it's early days for Dart, this move shows that Google is willing to invest in developing new coding languages, and this could help it long-term with its Android operating system, which is under threat from an Oracle lawsuit relating to its use of Java. If in the future Google can develop its own alternative to Java it could keep Android in existence without having to pay a licence fee to Oracle, although it still might have to pay damages if the courts rule against it.
More details on Dart can be found on the official web site. µ
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