Dart: a New Web Programming Experience
Running the Application
If you have chosen to download and install the full Dart editor package, you already have Dartium installed. If, like me, you chose to install only the SDK, you need to grab a copy of Dartium from http://www.dartlang.org/dartium. To install it, I just unzipped the file and created a symlink in my $HOME/bin directory to the chrome program that I extracted:
$ ln -s /path/to/unzipped/folder/chrome dartium
Once it is installed, you can run this application from the command line with the command:
$ dartium fingerpaint.html
Dartium is an experimental browser, so it should be used only for developing Dart applications locally. Don't use it as your normal browser! There might be security exploits or stability issues that have not been discovered yet.
Figure 1. The finger-paint application running on Dartium, a special fork of Chromium.
Running on Other Browsers
It's okay if you don't have Dartium. Remember that bootstrap script line in
fingerpain.html? Aside from starting the Dart VM in Dartium, it also
application must have the same name as the Dart application with the extension
.dart.js. The Dart SDK comes with a nifty program called dart2js that will convert
To convert this application, you can run
$ dart2js -ofingerpaint.dart.js fingerpaint.dart
When this is done, you will see several new files, including fingerpaint.dart.js.
State of Dart
I would love to tell you that the community has welcomed Dart with open arms, but that's simply not the case. The people in charge are afraid of Dart becoming the next VBScript and hurting the open Web. So far, Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple have rejected the idea of embedding a Dart runtime into their browsers. As Dart matures and gains popularity, I hope to see this stance reverse, but for now, dart2js is the only way to get Dart projects on-line for all to use.
Dart is a fantastic language that presents an entirely new approach to writing large-scale, client-side, object-oriented applications. I have enjoyed working with it, and I hope you will too. The potential of this language is limitless, and I hope to see wide-spread adoption of it in the future.
Dart Home Page: http://www.dartlang.org
Dart API Reference: http://api.dartlang.org/docs/bleeding_edge/index.html
Dart Source Code and Bug Tracking: http://code.google.com/p/dart
HTML5 for Publishers: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920022473.do
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