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So the joke is that a prototype of a whole separate language has to include its runtime in its cross-compiled output? Did people... think this wouldn't be the case? Do they think that Javascript is not thousands of lines of C/C++ lurking in your browser?

Good joke guys, but I don't think you realize which way the punchline is pointing...

It sort of amazes me that people are being so hard on Dart, given that they should be grasping for any chance to leave the warty and dated pile of compromises that is Javascript behind. Even the javascript community seems to tacitly admit that Javascript is a bit of diamond amongst a whole lot of dross; hence CoffeeScript and books like "Javascript: The Good Parts".




"...given that they should be grasping for any chance to leave the warty and dated pile of compromises that is Javascript behind..."

I would not characterize the JavaScript community as desperate graspers, but even so, I don't see the virtue in grasping for the chance to replace a dated pile of compromises with a contemporary pile of compromises. All the hate is totally overblown - this project is young and will likely improve a lot over time - but that doesn't change the fact that what we've seen of this project so far places it squarely in the category of 'novelty.'


Not desperate graspers? Try and count the number of libraries and frameworks that have come out in the last 5 years for JavaScript. Think of how many "to JS" solutions there are. Seriously, google that. Like 20? 25? How much "to C" solutions do you see getting on the front page of Hacker News these days?

It's staggering how much 'grasping' has been happening compared to other ecosystems. It's ironic that people would scoff at a well-designed replacement like Dart in its early stages. The only reason it's fashionable to do so is because it's Google. If this was some independent developer everyone would be falling over themselves to dig in.

"Oh, notch of Minecraft fame played a role? Count me in."

The mob mentality of the programming community at-large is worthy of being called despicable if only for creating precisely these sorts of regularly-scheduled circle-jerk bash sessions. The sessions I'm referring to involve "smarter than you" ass hats who walk around dumping on anything that doesn't "feel" right to them. If you want to "feel" good, go elsewhere. This is about moving the web forward.

Dear Internet, kindly get your head out of your ass.


I'll take the alleged mob mentality over Google elitism any day of the week. Google can try to move the web any direction it feels is appropriate - it's Google's time, it's Google's money - but let's be clear: JavaScript is not as deficient as you might think it is, and the JavaScript community is not dumb to expect more than what Dart has offered so far (in an admittedly short span of time).

"There are just two kinds of languages: the ones everybody complains about and the ones nobody uses."

Probably over-quoted these days, but I think we all know where JavaScript falls.


"Probably over-quoted these days, but I think we all know where JavaScript falls."

Well, if the distinction is between the ones nobody uses and the one "everybody complains about", then we also know where Dart falls...


It's off to an auspicious start ;)


Wow. What I'm seeing so far is the people critical being entirely reasonable (if perhaps misinformed), and the people defending Dart being positively hostile about it, calling "circle-jerk" left and right.

This post takes the cake in hostility, so far, though.

And what's it need defending for? Some people try to discuss the merits and flaws in a reasoned manner. The childish behaviour you speak of is entirely yours.


I'm seeing some pretty spurious arguments. The idea that semicolons would be a point of contention is mind-blowing to me.


"well-designed" is actually the point of contention, is it not? You're blithely asserting facts not in evidence.

Smart, experienced people "taking a dump" on things that "don't feel right" to them are in fact valuable and worth paying attention to (even if you ultimately ignore them).

There are many, many cases of teams of brilliant people producing deeply flawed stuff that turns out to be useless. Apple's ATG produced many useless products on top of Lisp back in the day (SK8, Dylan,...). Dylan in particular was "well-designed" for certain values of "well-designed" that turned out to be insufficient — time will tell, but don't assume talent + money -> useful.

Google right now "feels" a lot like Apple ca. 1993.


> Think of how many "to JS" solutions there are. Seriously, google that. Like 20? 25?

What do you expect? The most important platform to write software for only accepts a single language. It doesn't matter how good the language is, people will be writing things that get converted to that language.

> How much "to C" solutions do you see getting on the front page of Hacker News these days?

Well, there's ShedSkin, and HipHop. But that's not the point. Anything that can run C can run [arbitrary other language]. Because, often enough, that arbitrary other language was written in C. Surely, by your terms, everyone who programs in Python is a desperate grasper hoping to escape C?


    The only reason it's fashionable to do so is 
    because it's Google. If this was some independent
    developer everyone would be falling over themselves 
    to dig in.
Except that there's nothing released to "dig in" and if this came from an independent developer I would barely open the link.


Amen. The "me too" culture that's going on w/r/t Dart is really disappointing.

Google: "Hey everyone, let's make the browser better by switching to something that smells less like garbage than javascript."

Community: "You forgot a semi-colon!"

Shameful.


Sorry but it's been more like

Google: Hey everyone, we have decided the future, here it is, get used to it.

Community: Maybe you should get behind Harmony instead of secretly building replacements to the building blocks of the web and issuing them by imperial decree.


There was an internal memo. They're going to push it. Why do you have to "buck the man" in order to feel like you're in control of your tools? Why does it need to be repeated that everyone has a choice?

If Dart grows and solves some of the junk I have to deal with in the JS ecosystem, I will use it. We'd all be fools not to.


Wouldn't happen to be a Flash dev would you?

I do not want the core technologies on which the web is built owned or controlled by any one company. No matter how you look at it Dart is not a standard, it's not controlled or directed by any open body and its development is not public.

It took a goddamn decade to break Microsoft's endless attempts to own core web technology, if you're happy with another company doing it just because you think they're a 'nice' company you're the fool.

There is a large, public and active effort to solve many of the issues JS has, it's called Harmony. Maybe you should get involved with that instead of jumping on a proprietary bandwagon.


"Dart is not a standard, it's not controlled or directed by any open body"

You say that like it is a bad thing. I don't think it is.

Standardizing technologies is great once they are mature and are already accepted as the obvious de-facto standard, but trying to push real change through standards bodies results in exactly the sort of morass that JavaScript has been stuck in and which makes Dart a refreshing attempt at change.

Yeah, yeah, the great new version of JavaScript will be here next year, same as it has been going to be here next year for the past 10 years.

When it comes to making real progress you almost always need to buck the standards and drag the world kicking and screaming into a better future and then let the standards bodies figure out how to fit things in to their world later on. I'm continually shocked there are so many people in this industry that don't see this even though the proof for it is everywhere.

I'm not sure Dart really is the better future we need in a client-side language as there is still a ton more work to be done (the technology is far less baked than I expected it would be, even though it is only a preview release), but I applaud Google for trying and I'd suggest other players trying to sabotage their efforts should redirect their own efforts into something even better than Dart. Win on the merits of the technology, not on slavish devotion to existing standards. With increased competition everybody wins, especially if everyone uses an OSS model as permissive as Google is with Dart, and maintains JavaScript as a legacy lingua franca.


> exactly the sort of morass that JavaScript has been > stuck in

You mean the one where some large corporations are doing what they can to keep it from improving?

Seriously, Google has been sabotaging all sorts of JavaScript improvements by flat-out refusing to implement them.

So in fact the "other players" _are_ directing their effort to something they perceive as better than Dart: Harmony.

As for the rest, what will "win" is not necessarily going to be based on the merits of the technology but on the strength of single-vendor tie-ins, in the usual way....


JavaScript was stuck in the mud before Chrome or V8 even existed. Before Google, Microsoft and Yahoo got the blame.

Regardless of who the actors are that are most currently gumming up the works, all of this just proves the point that standard bodies are not an effective tool for actually creating useful technology.


There was all sort of innovation in JavaScript going on at the time; still is.

As you note, getting the innovation into a standard is the hard part, when some of the parties to the standards process don't actually want the language to improve...

But Google claiming this is a problem for JavaScript while it is one of those exact parties is just hypocritical.


Mozilla has been implementing new ES Harmony features for a while. Proxies work now. Strict mode works now. Let, const, destructuring assignment, generators, they all work now. V8 hasn't gotten around to implementing a lot of that stuff, but that's its problem.


This was explicitly announced as "work in progress", "please give us feedback", "this is the first impression" and so forth. If you read the language spec, it has "we don't know how to do this yet" and "we're requesting feedback on this" all over the place.

I really fail to see the imperial decree part here. In any case, JavaScript is there, it's supported by Google (and really only has been made viable by the speed improvements triggered by V8's development), it's not like anyone is taking anything away.


I think you overestimate the impact of V8 on JavaScript speed improvements. Both Apple and Mozilla were working on JITs well before V8 was announced...


> Community: "You forgot a semi-colon!"

The user is king. If Google doesn't give a shit about dart's users - ie programmers - then why should we care?


mate, it's not all that bad. people's reactions here will have pretty close to zero impact on the long term success or otherwise of Dart; programming languages are still much of a meritocracy

that said, wading in and telling people the things they like smell like garbage isn't the most effective way of getting them onside. If you're going to do that, then what you're selling better darn well blow their socks off, and Dart isn't doing that.

personally, I really enjoy writing js (and I have a growing love for coffeescript as well) and I don't feel Dart offers anything I need yet. I'll wait and see what happens


Yes, but I don't have to download the umpteenth thousands of C/C++ code that comprise the javascript engine and compile that each time I download jQuery.js.

Now, to be fair, I did a check of Lua, and it's 16,370 lines of C code (version 5.1.4, with all the current patches), so yes, 17,000+ lines of code for a VM doesn't appear quite that bad. I think what most people are complaining about is downloading that each time they hit a dart script.




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