- Create a structured yet flexible language for web programming.
- Make Dart feel familiar and natural to programmers and thus easy to learn.
- Ensure that Dart delivers high performance on all modern web browsers and environments ranging from small handheld devices to server-side execution.
The overall sentiment in places like Hacker News is that of disappointment, but some developers did find something to like. Dart features actor-like entities called isolates. The actor model is used in programming languages like Erlang and Scala, both of which are increasingly popular. Erlang developer jlouis goes into more detail on Dart’s similarities and differences with Erlang in a blog entry.
A Dart to JS compiler will never be “decent” compared to having the Dart VM in the browser. Yet I guarantee you that Apple and Microsoft (and Opera and Mozilla, but the first two are enough) will never embed the Dart VM.
So “Works best in Chrome” and even “Works only in Chrome” are new norms promulgated intentionally by Google. We see more of this fragmentation every day. As a user of Chrome and Firefox (and Safari), I find it painful to experience, never mind the political bad taste.
I agree that this is the biggest issue regarding Dart. If it gains any traction – or even if Google rebuilds major applications like Gmail and Google Maps with it – we could be brought closer to the bad old days of Internet Explorer 6-style fragmentation.