3 min read

Dart is an open-source, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language developed by Google in 2011. Dart uses a ‘C’ style syntax and optionally transcompiles into JavaScript. It is used for both client side and server-side web development. Dart is also being used for Native and Cross-platform mobile development. In spite of all the capabilities that Dart possesses, there are few rumors about Dart heading nowhere? Are there any truth to these rumors? Through this article, we will see how Dart can turn the tide around with some key new projects and application areas that are being explored recently.

But first, let’s talk about its recent TIOBE ranking – the de-facto standard for gauging the popularity of programming languages. The latest rankings show Dart at the 24th spot out of the 50 languages that TIOBE tracks, behind languages like R, Delphi, even Swift which was released in 2014, 3 years later after Dart was introduced. Even languages like Delphi and R have seen a recent spike in implementation across various application domain.

Codementor ranks Dart at #1 in the list of programming languages one should not learn in 2018. They looked at community engagement, growth, and the job market to arrive at this conclusion.

Worst programming languages to learn in 2018

Source: Codementor.io

The job trends for Dart also have been quite stagnant for some time. After a minor dip in between 2015-16, the job trends are now back at the 2014 mark. There has been neither any growth nor decline. The major cause of concern for Dart has been that very few companies are using Dart in their development stack. Other than Google backed websites such as AdWords, Google Fiber, Flutter etc, only few other major companies like Workiva, Adobe, Blossom have actively implemented Dart. The Job listings are also similar in number as in 2014, the developer salaries are pretty high. The lack of sustained growth balances that advantage out. Google had also shifted to TypeScript as the official language for it’s most popular front-end development framework Angular. This was also seen as a minor setback for Dart. When compared to other late entrants like Swift, is this a sign of worry for Dart?

Dart

Source: ITJobswatch.uk

The answer is a definitely ‘No’. The reason being Dart’s ease of use, lack of boilerplates and extremely lightweight nature. Developers have termed it as a language for the long run. These predictions got a major boost when Google recently announced their latest Cross-Platform mobile development framework, Flutter which was written in Dart. The reviews of Flutter has also been encouraging since it paves way for simpler and native like mobile apps. The popularity of Flutter could mean a revival of Dart in the mobile development scenario. But Google might have even bigger aspirations with Dart.

Google might be thinking of a possible replacement of its flagship Android operating system which is bugged by irregular update cycles due to multiple instances of it running on different devices. Google is developing an operating system called Fuchsia which is also being written in Dart. All of these point out to one single direction, Dart is here to stay. If everything goes as per Google’s vision, Fuchsia will bring Dart to the forefront of mobile development.

 

**edited for better clarity on Dart’s comparison to other languages like Swift, Delphi and R and elaborated on Dart’s real world use cases.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Wait, did you just say that Delphi (Object Pascal), released in 1986 is newer than Dart? Or R, which came out in 1993? Did you do any research at all before posting this article?

    What about “Companies who use Dart” which you list at a grand total of 3, but that Dart themselves have shows as demonstrably false
    https://www.dartlang.org/community/who-uses-dart

    I suggest the author of the article does even the basics of research before claiming a language is dead/dying and making claims that as very easily proven to be false.

    • Hi Matt, my apologies for not having been able to put across my thoughts more clearly on Dart’s place in the languages arena. When I wrote this article, my intention was to break the popular belief that Dart is not worth investing time in. To do this, it was important to bring out the issues that are perceived in the language first, and then to highlight the latest developments surrounding Dart and the exciting upcoming projects (Fuchsia, for example) it is central to.

      The primary objective of this article was not to assert the idea that Dart is going to perish soon. Rather, the core idea was to nudge the readers towards the positive developments related to Dart, and it being implemented in different application areas. The fact that Dart was ranked lower in Tiobe index, than other languages, which have very limited potential for application development like R or Dephi, or which are newer like Swift, in-spite of being backed by Google was represented in the article. But this was shown in order to focus on the recent developments related to Flutter and how dart is changing the way mobile apps are being developed. Also the article mentions Fuchsia, the proposed new OS from Google which might change the entire mobile development domain. These are all the positive factors about Dart, which are also mentioned in the article. In no way does the article claim that Dart is history, rather it might be the source of a new beginning. If the title has implied something else, then that is purely un-intentional.

      We have edited this article further to ensure that these points come out in a clearer way. We appreciate the time and effort you took to read our thoughts and then to share your views on the same.

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