Reactions to Dart, 17k line Hello World

Posted by Peter J. Jones on

If you’ve been following all the chatter after Google’s Dart announcement you know that reactions have been… mixed? No, not really. Besides the occasional and misguided praise for Dart as a JavaScript killer, the majority of blog articles and comments are critical of Dart and Google.

Starting with a bit of humor, if you haven’t seen the 8-line Dart version of Hello World translated into 17k lines of JavaScript it’s a fun read. Of course the generated JavaScript from the Dart translator includes all of the Dart libraries and isn’t optimized, so it’s not an entirely fair look at Dart, but it is funny. Optimizing the JavaScript doesn’t help much either. If you’re looking for a better technical analysis of Dart, Rafaël Garcia-Suarez wrote a good article on the subject.

The criticism directed specifically at Google deals with Dart being developed behind closed doors, with its open source status being more for marketing than anything. Brendan Eich (creator of JavaScript) has this to say about Google and Dart:

Innovating in the open and proposing early and often to standards bodies are fine. Delayed-open-washing and increasing piles of proprietary (open-source doesn’t matter) single-vendor code, which implements features that are not ever proposed for standardization, are not.

About the Author

Peter J. Jones has been a professional software engineer for over 20 years and is deeply passionate about helping programmers improve the skills of their craft. He is the author of Effective Ruby: 48 Specific Ways to Write Better Ruby. Peter can be reached through our contact page or his twitter account.