Dart Adds Unified Developer Tool
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 12 October 2020

Dart has been upgraded with a new unified Dart developer tool that can be used to create projects, analyze and format code, run tests, and compile apps. The new release also incorporates a tool that checks for incorrect assignment of nulls.

Dart is described as a client-optimized language for fast apps on any platform. It began life as an alternative to JavaScript that would be supported directly by browsers, but when this didn't work out it was redeveloped as a better compiler. Recently, Dart has achieved market share as the foundation of the Flutter SDK: it provides the language and runtimes that power Flutter apps, and also supports many core developer tasks like formatting, analyzing, and testing code.

dartlogo

Flutter has the benefit of a single, general-purpose developer tool (the flutter command), but until now Dart developers have used a number of different developer tools for separate tasks, such as dartfmt and dartanalyzer. This release adds a new, unified dart developer tool that’s very similar to the flutter tool and can be used for all common tasks.

darttool

Unsurprisingly, the new tool has also been added to Flutter, and from Flutter 1.22 SDK onward, the /bin directory  contains both flutter and dart commands. If you do both Flutter and general-purpose Dart development, you get both developer experiences from a single Flutter SDK, without needing to install anything else.

The Dart team says that over the coming stable releases, they plan to add more to this dart tool and gradually deprecate the smaller tools (dartdoc, dartfmt, dartanalyzer, etc.). Next year they expect to ship Dart SDKs that contain only the single dart tool.

dartnull

The other main improvement in the new release is the Null safety feature that was released as a technical preview earlier in the year. The Null safety tool helps you avoid a class of bugs that are often hard to spot, and as an added bonus enables a range of performance improvements. The tool works by giving you warnings when you try to assign a null value to a type that doesn't support it.

dartlogo

More Information

Dart

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Last Updated ( Monday, 12 October 2020 )