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Analysis of Google Dart

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the google-announces-replacement-for-english dept.

Google 171

An anonymous reader writes "Google's new language landed with a loud thud, causing lots of interesting debates about the best place to stick semicolons... An article [in InfoQ] ... looks at some of the less discussed features. Snapshots seem to bring something like Smalltalk images and allow instant startup of applications (something Java has spent the last 15 years not delivering). Isolates are like OS processes and communicate with message passing — and as the article suggests, can fix the problem of Garbage Collection pauses by splitting up the heap (sounds like Erlang). There's more, mostly about features that remove some dynamic behavior in order to make startup and code analysis easier. Maybe Dart is worth a second look?"

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171 comments

What? (0)

hexghost (444585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826120)

and allow instant startup of applications (something Java has spent the last 15 years not delivering)

Was that ever promised? As a Java developer, I really don't remember seeing "INSTANT STARTUP!" on JDK release notes/upcoming feature list.

Hey, does Dart solve global warming? Cause that's something Google has yet to deliver in the last 5 years...

Re:What? (5, Interesting)

AndrewStephens (815287) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826268)

Oh please,

Java (or more correctly; its user base) has been crying out for some sort of faster startup since the mid 90s. No other problem has done more to keep Java off the desktop that the very slow startup times. If Java applets started as quickly as Flash objects manage to then we would still be seeing Java implemented on major web sites. I could never understand why Java doesn't snapshot and cache a prelinked version of a class the first time it loads, if anything the JVM is getting slower - the demo Java Applets on my website take about as long to start up in 2011 as they did in 2000 but my computer is many times faster.

Re:What? (0)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826544)

You'll find that applets are slow because of the browser. If you make a WebStart applet and run it in a browser it is painfully slow. If you run the same WebStart applet directly from your desktop it is between 5 to 10 times faster in my experience (I won't give a URL to my applets where I can easily demonstrate this, as I don't want my home servers to get Slashdotted). The locally started Java applets/applications have had very fast startup ever since the JVM preload has been happening (eg a service that needed to be enabled on WinXP, and on by default on Win7).

This emulates the way that native (eg C+++) preload their environment by loading the operating system ahead of time (eg. all those image and network libraries your C++ program uses come from somewhere, it turns out that the C++ program preload time is mostly operating system startup). Sure Java programs also suffer O/S loading time in addition to the JVM startup, but in modern desktop systems when the JVM starts when the system starts then you don't really notice it, and your Java desktop program starts 'straight away' when you use it (assuming the author knew what they are doing).

My real point is, all programs have to pay the piper and I can't see Dart avoiding it for any meaningful program. Here I'm ignoring the relatively limited UI functionality out there on the web even with AJAX, it's getting better but there is still nothing of the caliber and *full-functionality* OpenOffice/MS Office, GIMP/Photoshop, Blender/3DSMax, FlightGear/X-Plane etc on the Web. It'll change one day (mostly due to better WAN infrastructure, not due to a language change like Dart), but not yet.

Re:What? (2)

AndrewStephens (815287) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826694)

And you'll find that applets are slow because the Java plugin distributed and maintained by Sun/Oracle doesn't use any kind of preloading as far as I can see. Who knows if Dart is better in this regard, but Java is it's own worst enemy when it comes to startup times. It is a shame, because I like almost everything else about it.

Re:What? (-1, Flamebait)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827340)

Oh Jesus fucking Christ! I have had many Java apps that start instantly. You are so full of troll shit. My reasonably sized Java application starts very fast, almost instantly. Why in the hell would start up times matter to any user? Oh my god! It took 1.5 seconds longer than I thought it would to start! That's it, I'm shopping for a new app! You dumb shit fucking retard Java envy fucks. I'm so sick of hearing Java bashing on slashdot I could piss myself. On Linux it is instant, on Windows 7 it is instant, on fucking XP it was instant. WTF!? What are you guys running? A 486? Someone brings an awesome platform like Java to the world (yeah, fucking cross platform) and you little bitches can't do anything but bash on the greatest development platform to emerge in the last twenty years. What a bunch of neckbeard, stinky ass, non-producing, fucking shit bag haters. I love C/C++, BASIC, Java, ASM, machine language, Javascript, hell I even like batch files (slight puke in my mouth). Each one fills a purpose. Java has been around for 15 years with no sign of withering because brilliant people recognize it for what it is and use it. Get over it.

Re:What? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827402)

Xbox Live much, bro?

Re:What? (1)

DrVxD (184537) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827726)

+1. I have never needed mod points this badly...

Re:What? (1)

drfreak (303147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827468)

Wow. so many expletives. I won't bash Java, but it is certainly no faster at startup than its competitors. Coming from the .NET camp, I have to admit CLR apps are just as relatively slow to start, although the slow startup can be somewhat mitigated with pre-compilation.

Unless an app has high demands for startup or IO times, all managed (that includes you, Java!) languages suffer from the same initial performance hit while the runtime loads and data structures get cached. Stop the arguments about launch time, they are idiotic unless you are strictly talking about browser apps.

Re:What? (3, Informative)

sodul (833177) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827484)

I just tried Hello World in Groovy and it took almost a whole second (measured with time: 0,7s avg, 0.952s max, 0.668s min) for it to run on my MacBookPro (latest high end 17" model, not ssd).
Perl did it in about 0.007s average (0.011s max, 0.003s min), Python in 0.020s average (0.023s max, 0.017s min).

So in practice it takes a 100 times longer to load with no libraries included, it get worse if you do have dependencies.

Not an issue for a server/deamon app, a real big deal if you need to write a command line tool.

Re:What? (0)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827686)

You're just jealous because the rest of us learnt a programming language with real world application which you are obviously too stupid to learn. Or perhaps your shopping mall based community college only taught up to the Java level. Case in point - you can't discern why startup time would matter to a user. Here's a hint: they don't want to wait all fucking evening for your stupid program to load when John Doe here has built a better version of it in Flash. As for 'BASIC' and 'fills a purpose' in the same paragraph, I'll chalk that one up to your fat chubby fingers skittering across the wrong key combination as you barely struggle to contain your bottomless rage.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828102)

Well, at least he graduated from a school. Did you, ass wipe?

Re:What? (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828324)

Did anyone else read this whole thing in Sam Kinison's voice?

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828636)

Say I wanted to write ls in Java. Startup time would be very important to me. Having dived back into Java development recently the bloat is getting me down. Nobody does anything small, except on Android where Dalvik does some of the caching and optimizing instead of the normal Java runtime.

Re:What? (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829528)

Oh Jesus fucking Christ! ...

+1 Funny
+1 Blasphemy
+1 for pissing yourself
+2 for admitting it

Re:What? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828206)

Thank heavens. Preloading is not wanted if you don't know that the user is going to need it.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826578)

There's far more to computing than applets and UI widgets.... In fact, I've been coding in Java continuously for the last 10 years, and have only written the occasional UI, and most of that has been web applications. "Instant" startup has never been a major concern or problem in real applications. Flash is used only for toys and nifty videos, so it's hardly a real point of comparison.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

AndrewStephens (815287) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826642)

You an not wrong, but are missing the point. Java conceded the desktop to other technologies not because it was an inferior language (I find that even the much-maligned Swing produces very nice UIs) but because it took an age to start, making it unacceptable for any kind of in-browser use.

Re:What? (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828820)

Flash is more powerful than you would think. I felt the same way you did until I started doing some stuff in it for a class. I've been doing DSP work (implemented an FFT among other things) as well as toying with a game (a game loop real game not some timeline BS). I even wrote a scripting language for said game that runs in Actionscript. "Sup dawg we heard you like scripting languages" I know I know :P

Re:What? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827306)

.Net takes just as long to fire up an application on my box as Java does. Most of the applications built with either technology don't take much longer to load than comparably sized native applications do.

The startup time is not significantly higher than a large binary application like Firefox or Chrome are.

You need to download some updates. Java 1.2 hasn't been used for a while.

Re:What? (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827460)

Tsk. How'd I end up getting sucked into a Java discussion on a new technology thread? Must... resist.... urge... to... post...

Re:What? (2)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827320)

Oh please,

Java (or more correctly; its user base) has been crying out for some sort of faster startup since the mid 90s. No other problem has done more to keep Java off the desktop that the very slow startup times. If Java applets started as quickly as Flash objects manage to then we would still be seeing Java implemented on major web sites. I could never understand why Java doesn't snapshot and cache a prelinked version of a class the first time it loads, if anything the JVM is getting slower - the demo Java Applets on my website take about as long to start up in 2011 as they did in 2000 but my computer is many times faster.

Maybe the Java that ships with OS X is specially optimized (I'm joking), but the background of your website takes longer to load and render than any of your applets do.
link [sandfly.net.nz]

This is fast enough for CLI usage outside of tight loops. For repeated usage, I'll concede you'd be better off finding a way to feed bulk data in rather than small chunks.
echo "class Hello {public static void main(String args[]) {System.out.println(\"Hello World\");}}" > Hello.java && javac Hello.java && time java Hello
Hello World

real 0m0.189s
user 0m0.210s
sys 0m0.033s

I understand Java is generally no speed demon compared to native compiled code, and desktop hard drive performance has almost stood still for ten years, but come on.
I have a *very* hard time believing that Java load times are as big a limiting factor in desktop app production than people make it appear to be.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827678)

I understand Java is generally no speed demon compared to native compiled code, and desktop hard drive performance has almost stood still for ten years,

If by "stood still" you mean "almost tripled for mechanical drives", then yea, sure, i suppose.

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827812)

Java's slow startup times (and yes, Sun/Oracle recognizes it's slow and has projects specifically to address it) are directly related to how many classes you load. Hello World doesn't exactly stress the classloader now does it.

Why Flash is fast (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828154)

If Java applets started as quickly as Flash objects manage to then we would still be seeing Java implemented on major web sites.

First, the Flash run-time is incredibly tiny. It used to be under 1MB, and it's still not all that much bigger. Compare to browsers that need 100MB to display "Hello, World".

Second, Flash can display without loading the entire file. It's an animation format, remember. There are two streams, a timeline of events and a collection of assets (images, etc.) As soon as some timeline data and the assets called out in it have been loaded, play can start. Files are explicitly laid out in time order of use. That was a really good design decision.

Java is just loading and running programs. There's nothing special about the way it starts. First the VM has to load, then the JIT compiler has to do its thing, and then you get to execute something. There's no explicit concept of time, as their is with Flash files.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828498)

he he he. Appears java is slow to startup because java developer refuse to believe it. Too busy pointing fingers at everything else.

Re:What? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828646)

The JVM starts up fast enough at this point that it's not even worth caring about in the main part. It's the loading of the application on top which can take some time depending on what it is. It would be nice to be able to suspend an application and take a snapshot which could be instantly restarted (or clone) but I suspect that would be a function of the operating system and not easy given things like memory mapped files, open sockets etc.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828706)

Oh please,

Java (or more correctly; its user base) has been crying out for some sort of faster startup since the mid 90s. No other problem has done more to keep Java off the desktop that the very slow startup times.

I would say Microsoft actually did a lot more to keep it off the desktop (a case they had to settle out of court with Sun).

Re:What? (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826390)

You really have a chip on your shoulder. This is a issue that is important for browser side environment, it's not about Java. Are you feeling insecure?

Re:What? (-1, Flamebait)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826586)

Hey, have you lost your virginity yet? Cause that's something you have yet to deliver in the last 20 years...

Re:What? (3, Funny)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826602)

Did we strike a nerve?

Forgive us if the lack of a promise from Sun/Oracle to implement it didn't stop us from feeling it was necessary for startup times to be quicker than that of a slug crossing a freeway.

Re:What? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826624)

Promised, no, but it was one of the first applications we were looking at when Java was first announced and before browser applets became a big thing. Think about a cross between the JVM and VMWare's migration capability with some instant suspend / resume thrown in. IIRC, there were even articles about this sort of thing in DDJ.

Re:What? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828130)

Java may not have promised it, but earlier languages it copied from had it so maybe people assumed it was coming.

Girl analogy... (0)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826138)

Many girls are worth a second look, but each time I try, they're still as ugly as they were...

Re:Girl analogy... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826188)

I have a little hint for you . . .

You're uglier than all of them.

Re:Girl analogy... (3, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826778)

Many girls are worth a second look, but each time I try, they're still as ugly as they were...

I can't grasp girl analogies... can you please come with a car one?

Re:Girl analogy... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827496)

It doesn't matter what angle you look at a Pontiac Aztec, it's still as ugly as it was when they first rolled it off the line. (?)

Re:Girl analogy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827014)

See: Mermaid effect [urbandictionary.com]

Re:Girl analogy... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828474)

you are supposed to increase the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream inbetween looks...

Re:Girl analogy... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829490)

Many girls are worth a second look, but each time I try, they're still as ugly as they were...

- aaaa, likely you are not looking at the right parts.

can't believe they missed this one... (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826144)

0 == false // expected
1 == false // wtf?

Yeah, everything except for true evaluates to false.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826248)

People say Javascript has some typing oddities too.
Clearly it doesn't actually affect the quality or the usability of the language - JS seems to be used just fine.

It does make sense in a strict typing sense.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (3, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826704)

In a strict typing sense, an exception makes sense. Pretending that any integer is either true or false is not strict typing, it is a convenience feature mostly offered for backwards compatibility with C, so making it incompatible with C like this makes no sense at all.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828092)

And if you don't go the C compatibility route, wouldn't it make more sense to throw an exception when trying to treat a non-boolean like a boolean instead of saying "everything but boolean true is false"?

Anyway, I just googled it and it appears that this behavior has been accepted as a bug [google.com] . Well, partially. If the bug is fixed as requested in the bug report, everything will default to true now, with only null and false being false.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829112)

And if you don't go the C compatibility route, wouldn't it make more sense to throw an exception when trying to treat a non-boolean like a boolean instead of saying "everything but boolean true is false"?

No, it would make sense to treat nonzero integers as true, which is what C does.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829194)

Hey, I've written my own embedable scripting languages, "It arn't that hard"(tm) -- I don't know about you, but I totally lose faith in the language and it's designers if they can't even get a BOOLEAN construct correct on the first try. ::sigh:: Yet another bullshit thrown together language... Just like JavaScript.

At the end of the day, we use JS not because it's great, but because it's available. All we REALLY want to do is have safe client side logic execution. Lua would be preferable, if it's syntax wasn't equally as fucked.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828492)

In checked mode using an integer in place of a boolean throws an exception.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (4, Interesting)

gutnor (872759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826784)

Clearly it doesn't actually affect the quality or the usability of the language - JS seems to be used just fine.

That is a bit ironic talking about a language designed to replace JS because Google thinks JS is "unsalvageable".

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828456)

Clearly it doesn't actually affect the quality or the usability of the language - JS seems to be used just fine.

Actually, JS sucks things I can't write without pissing off the profanity filter. Very few people use it without some library (prototype, jquery, etc.) shielding them from its worst. And it still blows. But it's there in all the browsers, so if you need web-applications with client-side functionality, that's what you use.

If anyone were to replace JS with a real programming language, with the same amount of browser-support, you can count me in on jumping ship.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829070)

Have you tried CoffeeScript [github.com] ? It has the nice features of JS (yes JS has nice feutures) but it solves JS problems like global scope, added some sintax sugar from Ruby and, at the end, it compiles to JS so you can use it in every brownser.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829428)

Libraries don't "shield them from the worst in JS", but add an abstraction over DOM's clunkiness and shield them from the worst in browser DOM incompatibilities.

The only way new language can solve it is by having browser compatibility shims analogous to those libs built-in.

With IE=8 still have 1/3 of browser marketshare, they'll have a fun time pushing Dart into lead with either "please, please, install our plugin" or (ironically) compiling Dart to that very JS it's meant to replace.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826522)

Actually, it makes more sens than 0 is false and the rest is true.
Ok, to be honest, in my opinion, it should just threw a nasty error at you and tell you are an idiot, but I'm fine with that too.
I mean, an int is an int and a boolean is a boolean. If you want to check if something is not 0, just check it's not 0 : ( i != 0).

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (1)

jcfandino (2196932) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827968)

Agreed. I think it's a very sane design desition.
Comparing numbers to logic values makes ugly and confusing code, following that dark path you end up with things like:
"" == false
"0" == false
BUT
"" != "0"
Violating the transitive property of the equivalence relation. Now you see the problem?

Try it in the address bar
javascript:alert("\"0\" == false is " + ("0" == false) + "\n\"\" == false is " + ("" == false) + "\n\"0\" == \"\" is " + ("0" == ""))

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827270)

My question would be what kind of language is Dart supposed to be. Is meant for rapid development? Is it there to allow incompetent coders to write code that is not error ridden? Does it exist to protect coders from any knowledge of how a computer operates? Is it the new just-above-bare-metal language It seems that we have all these already, and they work pretty well.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828076)

its a replacement for javascript, I haven't spent enough time looking at it to know if its any better.

rock-stars (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827788)

0 == false // expected 1 == false // wtf?

Yeah, everything except for true evaluates to false.

Hmm, that is a bit stupid... I think the opposite rule — everything evaluates to true except for false (used by e.g. Lua) — makes a lot more sense. It'll trip up C programmers too, but at least it naturally supports the "have some value" idiom, where you can use false as an out-of-band "not initialized" value in statements like "if (var) do-something-with-var", or "if (! var) var = init-value;".

I get the feeling that the reason Google keeps coming up with new languages is not really that existing languages aren't good enough, but rather that they've hired so many rock-star programmers. Programmers love to make new computer languages, and it's not like you can tell a rock-star what to do...

Re:rock-stars (1)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829092)

It might very well be true, but in this case, it seems javascript need a replacement. If the rockstar programmers behind dart are good enough, it will be easier to push dart into use than Google go.

Re:can't believe they missed this one... (2)

Ghjnut (1843450) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827978)

The "Good" Parts (0)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826152)

A lot of the "Good" is found in other, more attractive, languages.

No concrete method injection throws it into the pile of dinosaur languages.

Re:The "Good" Parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826218)

If you need method injection you're writing your code wrong.

Re:The "Good" Parts (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826564)

Amen. The only time I can see method injection making sense is if you are writing a small program intended only to be maintained by yourself for less than two years of operation. Anything else and *keeping it simple* (eg. Java) more than makes up for a little extra boilerplate.

Second Look? (1)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826626)

When did we get the first look?

Landed with a loud thud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826836)

I think the sound of crickets would be a better description.
The world isn't waiting for yet another average programming language; Google's effort would be better spent removing the (often deliberately inserted) bugs in existing programming languages than inventing a new one (and deliberately insert bugs in it).

Go or Dart? (1)

Boawk (525582) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826956)

Go is a language out of Google. Now Dart? Is Dart supposed to replace Go, or does Dart meet a different need?

Re:Go or Dart? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827052)

They are totally different animals, Go is a low-level language(gets compiled into native code, though interpreters exist), Dart is intended to replace Javascript as the de facto "web language", though both seem to be trying to solve problems that don't really exist. TFA talks about Dart, Go has some interesting ideas, but ultimately the fact that they forced GC into it means that the really low-level coders won't be interested in it, and it doesn't really seem to perform that much better than a lot of other high-level languages which offer the same, if not better, features. It's basically a solution in search of a problem.

Re:Go or Dart? (1)

pescadero (1074454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828004)

They are different. Is it surprising for one company to spin out more than one language? For a company of their size and age, Google has actually not invented very many. Compare to Microsoft, Apple, Sun, and Adobe who have each created several.

Re:Go or Dart? (3, Interesting)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828338)

They are different. Is it surprising for one company to spin out more than one language? For a company of their size and age, Google has actually not invented very many. Compare to Microsoft, Apple, Sun, and Adobe who have each created several.

Your point is valid, but MS, Apple, and Sun were all operating system publishers and creating languages makes sense. Adobe was long a tool maker and their languages were tooly.

Google has become an operating system publisher only relatively recently (Android) and these languages don't target that platform. You could argue ChromeOS is an operating system but really that's just a Linux distro.

Google creating programming languages is sort of like Yahoo or Facebook creating programming languages. In Google's case, I suspect that these creations have little to do with their actual corporate mission and more to do with their wildly undisciplined engineering management.

(That doesn't indicate they're good or bad languages, of course.)

Re:Go or Dart? (3, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828484)

Google creating programming languages is sort of like Yahoo or Facebook creating programming languages. In Google's case, I suspect that these creations have little to do with their actual corporate mission and more to do with their wildly undisciplined engineering management.

(That doesn't indicate they're good or bad languages, of course.)

It also doesn't indicate that "undisciplined" is bad in any way. A lot of the successful Google projects have come out of their "long leash" attitude towards their coders.

google pushing there own product (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827162)

Maybe Dart is worth a second look?"

nope! sorry google, we are still not interested

Complaints about null (1)

Georules (655379) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827198)

Can someone more experienced on the topic explain in-depth why people are complaining about there being "null" in Dart? I think it's pretty clear what not having a null reference would solve, but what are the solutions around not having null in cases where it is often used?

Re:Complaints about null (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827414)

The Null Object design pattern is an alternative to "null".

Re:Complaints about null (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827584)

If you need a "design pattern" to work around the fact that your language doesn't allow you to abstract away repeated boilerplate code and say what you really mean instead of what the language forces you to pretend you mean, then that's not an alternative, it's a design flaw in the language.

Re:Complaints about null (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827964)

In other words: You either have NULL or you have Null; That, or you have null...

Re:Complaints about null (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829446)

Take a look at Scala. It very effectively does away with null.

The major way it does this, is by introducing the Option type. An Option can be either Some(value) or None. It's typed of course, so Option could be Some("foo"), Some("bar") or None. And Option is secretly a List with either 1 or 0 elements, so you can access the value by performing an operation on every element of the list (each). Or you can use getOrElse(alternative), where the alternative is what needs to be returned if the option happens to be None.

It takes some getting used to, but it seems to work very well as far as I can tell.

New Programming Languages (3, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827694)

Every few days someone comes by with a new programming language claiming to be the best thing since sliced bread. Nobody every shows a scrap of proof.

  • - Take some open source programs coded in other languages. (Not 20-line apps - things that are significant).
  • - Recode them in your new language of the day.
  • - Show how much (easier|faster|better|clearer|whatever) your new language is compared to the old ones.

Re:New Programming Languages (3, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828344)

Even better, do something in your new language that we couldn't do before.

Re:New Programming Languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828802)

If you did that, you would probably win the Turing Award. Read this [wikipedia.org] for why.

Re:New Programming Languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829410)

Ever heard of Turing-completness? There is no such thing as "something we couldn't do before".

Re:New Programming Languages (2)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829464)

There's nothing new to be done. There are only easier and safer ways to do it.

I recently saw a presentation that explained how all progress in programming language came through taking stuff away. Take away GOTO, take away global variables, take away lots of other stuff. Taking options away seems to give us more maintainable, easier to read programs with less boiler plate code. Taking away null seems like a good next step that Dart apparently didn't take.

Re:New Programming Languages (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828784)

..and then realise that it is unsupported on a major platform ...

Java is used because of it's near universal support
JavaScript is used because of it's near universal support
C/C++ is used because of it's near universal support
Python is used because of it's near universal support

There are far better languages, in all categories, but using them is pointless if the platform you are targeting does not have support for it; or the library, or program you want to use cannot interact with it ...

Re:New Programming Languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829160)

Sigh. It's used because of its near universal support. If you can figure out the syntax of Java, JavaScript, C/C++, and/or Python, surely this isn't so much of a stretch?

Re:New Programming Languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829454)

haXe, compiles to:
- PHP
- JavaScript
- C++
- Flash
- Neko
(Java target is being developed now)

haXe supports client and server platforms as well as networking, has an extensive library for all target languages.

haXe is used because of its (near universal support)^5 ...

Re:New Programming Languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829518)

"its" is used because of its near universal support.

Re:New Programming Languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828814)

I recommend using the Apache web server for this purpose.

Running Dart on the JVM (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827732)

http://code.google.com/p/jdart/ [google.com]

Web is boring ;) Let's see Dart running on the Desktop.

Java sucks (0)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827770)

. net sucks. Perl, Pascal, all interpreted languages are a dead end. They're ui elements that don't count. If you can't use your available source to build theOS the compiler and core apps, you lose.

Re:Java sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828856)

If you can't fake your way to a half-way coherent post, you lose.

You don't know what an interpreted language is (Pascal?) and the sentence about "ui elements" is nonsensical.

Smalltalk-- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827876)

Dart is yet another Smalltalk--. Maybe in 10 years we'll get somewhere.

Re:Smalltalk-- (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829472)

Smalltalks seem to be doing well lately. It's not that weird for Google to jump on that bandwagon, is it? In any case, it can't be worse than Javascript.

Google Go (1)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827940)

Now I could just Google this, but I'm wondering what ever happened to Google Go [wikipedia.org] . Anyone here using it?

Re:Google Go (1)

lloy0076 (624338) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828302)

Goggle Go[ne] is Gone.

DSL

Re:Google Go (2)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828360)

No, there wasn't much interest in putting lipstick on Algol-68 [cowlark.com] .

Re:Google Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828442)

Yes we're using it - we wrote a telephony application in it for call centers. Goroutines are very suitable for highly concurrent problems. We also like the community, the very fast compilation, and script-like feel of the language, even though it statically typed and compiled.

Where to stick the semicolons... (1)

jlar (584848) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828296)

"Google's new language landed with a loud thud, causing lots of interesting debates [lambda-the-ultimate.org] about the best place to stick semicolons..." I did not RTFA but a search on the page for "semi" did not show any hits on semicolons. But then again. I know where they can stick their semicolons. But if I write it my post will be caught by the profanity filter.

Re:Where to stick the semicolons... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829132)

Shit, you think Slashdot has a fucking profanity filter??

problems and solutions (2)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828446)

Like any other new programming language of the past decade, Dart sounds like a solution to problems I don't have.

Show me something that I can't do in existing, established languages. Or show me something that works considerably easier, faster or better - with the stress on considerably.

Otherwise, no matter what your pitch is, I simply don't need it.

Re:problems and solutions (0)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828852)

Haskell

Re:problems and solutions (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829488)

Being considerably easier, faster or better to program in than javascript shouldn't be too hard. I've been wondering for years why nobody has proposed a superior replacement for javascript yet.

Hello Dart! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828690)

I don't always write Hello World in Dart, but when I do, it takes 17259 lines. https://gist.github.com/1277224

Slashdot you make me sick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828828)

Is there any semicolon-related discussion in that LtU thread? Then why make fun of it by pretending there is?

Loud thud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828924)

"[Dart] landed with a loud thud"

No, it didn't.
It was completly ignored by professional developers around the world.

Just like Go, F# and Brainfuck.

Well, Brainfuck wasn't, but I didn't find another ignored language in my memory that got the "we don't give a ...." point across that good.

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