Dart 2.12 Released With FFI
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 11 March 2021

Dart has been updated to provide smaller code size, faster type checks, better usability for type errors, and new language features to improve productivity when building user experiences.

Dart is a client-optimized language designed to provide a way to create 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. Flutter 2.0 has recently been released as I reported earlier this week.

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Dart 2.12's improvements start with the inclusion of stable versions of sound null safety. Null safety intended to help developers avoid null errors, a class of bugs that are often hard to spot. The development team describes null safety as the largest addition to the Dart language since the introduction of the sound type system in Dart 2.0. Null safety improves the strength of the type system, enabling you to catch null errors during development, preventing crashes in production.

FFI is an interoperability mechanism that lets you invoke existing code written in the C programming language, such as calling Windows Win32 APIs. both for better portability and for integrating with highly tuned C code for performance critical tasks. It was included in the previous release as a beta feature, but is now considered stable and ready for production use. The developers have added some new features, including nested structs and passing structs by value. Structs can be passed both by reference and by value in C code, but the beta version of FFI only supported passing by reference. This has now been expanded.

Dart 2.12 is available now.

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More Information

Dart website

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 March 2021 )