Google spawns yet another language - Dart
Written by Mike James   
Friday, 09 September 2011

Dart is a new structured web programming language. What does Google want with yet another language? Isn't Go enough?

If one language is good then two must be better and three must be even more so. Google already has one new language to its name - Google Go. How successful it is, is a very debatable question, but there is no doubt that with Google's backing it has received much more attention than it would have without it. Now it seems Google is about to add another new language to its line-up - Dart.



A few weeks ago it was noticed that Google was registering domain names that included the word Dart. Inevitable speculation followed about what Dart might be. Given that one of Google's advertising platforms is called Dart it was assumed that it might have something to do with improved advertising facilities. However, it now appears that Dart is a new language.

At the moment information is thin on the ground, but the announcement and more details will be given at the forthcoming GOTO conference on the October 10th. The organizers of this European event being held in Denmark, seem quite excited to have been picked for this delivery:

"Breaking news: Google to unveil World News at GOTO Aarhus. The whole world will be on alert when Google presents a new programming language "Dart" in the opening keynote speak on conference Monday."

The two Googlers presenting Dart are Lars Bak, who is known for his work on object-oriented VMs and the V8 JavaScript engine, and Glad Bracha, creator of the Newspeak language. The common factor between these two is Smalltalk and a pure approach to object-oriented design. The Newspeak language invented by Bracha is closest to Smalltalk and Self, a language that influenced the design of JavaScript.

If you want to know why at least one of the two Googlers feel that language creation is a good idea then I can quote from the Newspeak home page:

"It’s hard to justify a new programming language.  Those of us who love programming languages need no justification: if we can make a better language, we obviously should."

Not everyone agrees of course. There is also the mismatch between Google closing so many experimental services and Google Labs and then launching a new language. Let us hope that it is an indication that innovation is not suffering at Google too much.

From the title of the keynote at the Goto conference we learn that Dart is for "structured web programming". This sounds as if it is to go head-to-head with client side JavaScript and if so it will find the market fairly crowded at the moment.

All will be revealed in a few weeks and, as they say, watch this space.

One final addition to the mystery. Just before Google was noticed registering domain names containing Dart, it was observed registering,, and Now these are just as obviously language-oriented domain names as the ones registered for Dart. Could Google be contemplating launching a third language? It could also be an elaborate joke as, for a computer language, the phrase "See Spot Run" takes on a whole new meaning!



More Information

Goto conference



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Last Updated ( Friday, 09 September 2011 )