Strong opinions, weakly held

Selected links

Dart; or Why JavaScript has already won explains why Google’s new client-side scripting language Dart isn’t going to replace JavaScript anytime soon. For more on Dart, check out the official site. Dart is exactly the sort of thing that it’s impossible for me to get excited about.

Why the Occupy Wall Street protesters are angry, in charts.

Did you know that one in five infants drink soda? That seems incomprehensible to me.

And your don’t miss link of the day: Steve Yegge compares Google and Amazon.com and explains how to build a platform. Incredibly interesting. This was meant to be internal to Google but he posted it on Google Plus with the wrong permissions and now it’s been copied and pasted everywhere. Privacy features are funny.


  1. Re Dart, I think Peter-Paul Koch is right that Dart is not going to beat Javascript in any sense. But at the same time he overestimates Google’s goals.

    It’s pretty clear to me that Dart is intended to be easier for Java programmers and anyone else used to a language with strict OO concepts to learn than Javascript. And beyond that, I’d be willing to bet they’ve also stripped away some aspects of Javascript that make it hard to optimize (perhaps that’s the implication of the optional types), so a Dart VM can theoretically be faster than a Javascript VM.

    So strategically, even if no one outside Google adopts Dart, if they eventually build a Dart VM into Chrome and Android (I’m sure they plan to–not sure why anyone would expect them to announce full support across all platforms on day one for a brand new language), and migrate their own apps to Dart (there’s an example browser spreadsheet app in the Dart examples), then their browsers can get a performance boost unavailable to the competition.

    And finally, the biggest error made by the poster was missing that Dart will compile down to Javascript. If they can pull that off, then support for other browsers will be a given.

    So, no one needs to get excited about Dart. Assuming they can get performance gains from it over Javascript, and assuming they can pull off the compile-to-Javascript functionality for non-trivial code, then it’s a huge strategic win for Google, seems to me. Basically it’s the same story as Go and GWT, make it a little easier on the developers, and make it more efficient to run than the alternative, and it’s a win. Google is big enough and has enough smart people to support these kinds of things in-house. I’m just glad they opened it up to the world as well.

  2. All that said, I have no personal interest in learning Dart or writing Dart code. I’ll stick to Bash and Ruby, thanks.

  3. Dart’s salespitch seems like GWT without the Java. (Compiles to JS, better syntax).

    I expect Dart will have as much impact as Go

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