Dart Development: dual programming language

By: Marios Constantinou / Created: Tuesday January 26, 2021

Dart Development: dual programming language

Dart’s Productivity Hacks – a perky programming language

For those who don’t know it well, Dart doesn’t seem like much. It may even look a bit scary. It is strongly typed, requires semicolons at the end of every line, requires manual import of local files, and some other stuff, features that modern programmers tend to avoid in order to program faster. It feels a bit like Java, with a dash of C++, while also having some Python features.

However, all of that contributes to Dart’s strong point: its dual nature. Dart is both an interpreted language and a compiled language. Which one you use will depend on your objectives. Although people commonly use the Dart Virtual Machine for debugging and compiling the code for release.

Like you can see with flutter coding language Cyprus, Dart’s dual nature is what gives its strength. You can run it anywhere and test it anywhere. And even though it is strongly typed, it is also flexible, meaning you can code stuff quickly. And with flutter language used, you can even make UIs extremely quickly. And this programming speed exists thanks to three main features.

Streamlined code 

Yes, Dart feels like Java. However, it took away most of the clutter. In Java you have those huge chains of namespaces and classes and static members which you have gone through to use classes or functions.

Want to print something to the console? You have to use “System.out.println()”. Although it is pretty self-explanatory as to what it does, it is unnecessarily big for a print function. We all find out what “printing” does in basic programming classes, no need to remind it to us. So in Dart, it is just “print()”.

It also has some of the “quick constructors” Python has for different kinds of lists, such as “[]” for List objects and “{}” for dictionaries. You can also use the “=>” notation for one-line functions and anonymous functions, like this: (int i) => i*i; . Simple, no? The “return” is implicit, making it small like Python lambdas.

There is also built-in syntax to easily create getters and setters, you can easily define a member variable as private just by prepending an underscore, and many other simple and intuitive syntax rules like those.

Hot reload

Dart’s dual nature gives its greatest benefits during testing and debugging applications. The Dart Virtual Machine comes with a built-in way to do a “hot reload”, that is, update the application’s code while it is running.

This means that you can tweak most aspects of your application very easily. You just update the code, do a hot reload, and see how it turned out. Each hot reload takes just about a second to give you the result.

This is especially useful in Flutter, Google’s Dart-based multi-platform UI framework. Flutter’s usual compilation can take about a minute to complete when working with Android,dart game development for example. So tweaking the UI would become a bit tricky. It would take too long to do just that. But with hot reload, it becomes much quicker.

Dart Observatory

The most helpful tool though, is definitely the Dart Observatory. If you have programmed in C++ for some time, you know how debugging C++ programs can be a bit tricky. Sure, there is GCC’s debugger (GDB), for example, which allows you to examine a code line for line, and most IDEs have support for it. But, if you want detailed data about the program’s memory, and CPU usage in specific functions, you are going to need some specialized library for it, such as Valgrind, and do a lot of work.

The Dart Observatory, on the other hand, tracks all of that information while the program is running inside the Dart Virtual Machine, and displays it all to you in an interactive way in your computer’s internet browser. It is both a profiler, meaning it tracks all of the data regarding the application’s performance, and a debugger, allowing you to insert breakpoints while the program is running, as well as just pause the app anytime you need to find out what is going on.

Dart may not look like much from the outside, but it is state-of-the-art programming at its finest. It features many quality-of-life improvements over other contemporary programming languages and can make your life much easier.