Ecma Approves Dart
Written by Alex Denham   
Thursday, 03 July 2014

Ecma, the international technology standards body, has approved the first edition of the Dart Programming Language Specification.

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Google's Web development language Dart was first released last November, and reached version 1.5 last week with extra support for mobile development.

Ecma is an industry association dedicated to the standardization of information and communication systems. It is best known for ECMAScript, the ‘official’ client-side scripting language better known in implementations such as JavaScript and, if you have a long enough memory, JScript.

By getting the Ecma ‘approved’ sticker, Google presumably hopes to make Dart more acceptable to developers as a proper language that might be adopted across mainstream browsers.

The problem Dart faces is that while it’s a nice open-source programming language with the might of Google behind it, and the ability to adapt rapidly as the needs of Web developers change, JavaScript is already there as a winner. It’s been around since the mid 90s and was standardized in 1996 as ECMAScript and still developing with the help of ECMA standards. 

If Google is to see Dart adoption grow, it has to start with external approval. And if ECMA is good enough for JavaScript it's good enough for DART. 

As we discussed when Dart 1.5 was launched last week, Dart does have benefits including a VM that can be used for server-side apps or scripting, and Dartium, the Chrome browser with the Dart runtime for development use. More importantly Dart is supposed to be a better language than JavaScript free of all its perceived faults. However, it’s by no means clear that such attractions will gain Dart mainstream adoption. 

The big problem is that JavaScript is already there in the browser. To use it you have to make no assumptions - you just take it for granted. To get Dart into all of the browsers as Google has to generate a demand and to do this it has to convince programmers and browser makers that this isn't just Google's language. Now with an ECMA standard Google can claim that it isn't its language. It's shared between it, ECMA and the community. 

If you are a Google created language then being open source isn't enough you also have to get standardized to even inspire a tiny amount of confidence in the whole process. 


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More Information

Google's Dart Becomes ECMA's Dart

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 July 2014 )