Dart Summit 2015

Last week I attended the Dart Developer Summit here in San Francisco. It was a great event and the Dart Team showed a surprising amount of openness in their presentation of the current state of the language, about their future plans, and when answering attendee questions.

I'm very excited to be a part of the Dart community and will continue using the language and the ecosystem around it.

Highlights

My favorite highlights were:

  • Dart Async features
  • Observatory
  • Interoperability with Web(Javascript)
  • Google Ads and Dart
  • Moving from Node.js to Dart

Dart Async

Florian Loitsch gave a great talk on asynchronous features in Dart.

The new async and await in Dart will be familiar to .Net and Rx developers. They are a nice syntactic sugar addition to the language and make it even more convenient to do asynchronous programming.

Observatory

John McCutchan's and Todd Turnidge's "Debugging and Profiling Dart Programs with Observatory" talk was an amazing introduction and overview of Observatory, a debugging and profiling tool for Dart.

It is a great instrument for debugging and in my opinion is closer to XCode's Instruments in features and usefulness than any other UI tool I've seen before.

Interoperability with Web (Javascript)

Overall the spirit and direction of several talks focused on "playing nice" with existing web technologies (read Javascript).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiXiI2Atexc&list=PLOU2XLYxmsIIQorIS8gagUiMau9S84vZV&index=1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ef3ALvbkhA&index=6&list=PLOU2XLYxmsIIQorIS8gagUiMau9S84vZV
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xneWkyKLuk0&list=PLOU2XLYxmsIIQorIS8gagUiMau9S84vZV&index=7

The main takeaway is that Dart is going in the interoperability direction instead of "we'll replace javascript" direction. This is great news for Dart and Javascript developers.

Google Ads and Dart

Google is using Dart internally on some vital projects. Ferhat Buyukkokten and Ted Sander of Google Ads gave a talk on how their team is using Dart on the frontend.

Moving from Node.js to Dart

Many Dart developers were eager to hear stories about moving away from Node.js and into the Dart world. Faisal Abid most certainly delivered. In his talk he spoke about his experience migrating from Node.js to Dart. It seems like a fairly seamless process thanks to Dart's native support for sockets and streams.

Dart for Mobile & Sky

The two most anticipated talks of the summit were Kasper Lund's "Dart for Mobile" and Eric Seidel's "Sky"

Both of them have an interesting spin on the application of the Dart language. If you're interested in writing mobile apps in Dart you should follow the progress on those two projects, they seem to be promising.


You can find all of the videos from the conference here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOU2XLYxmsIIQorIS8gagUiMau9S84vZV


Conclusion

I liked the overall spirit of the summit, especially the focus on the happiness and productivity of developers. I believe Dart has a bright future ahead.

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Alex Bush @alexvbush.
Editor: Tim Baron.

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