Google preps new web programming language

Google is slated to debut a new programming language known as “Dart” at the GOTO conference in October.

Although little is known about Dart thus far, the GOTO conference website describes it as a “language for structured web programming.”

Dart will be unveiled by Google engineers Gilad Bracha, who created the Newspeak programming language and co-authored the Java language spec, along with Lars Bak, a veteran virtual machinist who developed Chrome’s V8 accelerator and was involved with Beta, Self, Strongtalk, Sun’s HotSpot, CLDC HI, and OOVM Smalltalk.

As Sebastian Anthony of ExtremeTech points out, Dart probably won’t be a C-like system-oriented dialect, but rather, some kind of interpreted, in-the-browser language akin to JavaScript or Python.

“One of the biggest hints, though, is that both Bracha and Bak have worked extensively with Smalltalk in the past,” wrote Anthony.

“[As such], an interpreted Smalltalkesque language would fit right into the ‘structured web programming’ mold, too.”

However, Anthony noted that the industry already boasted “a ton” of viable and well-supported languages. 

“Dart, if it is indeed an interpreted Smalltalk, would compete almost directly with JavaScript and Python, the latter of which is one of Google’s most popular languages.

“If Go [is used] as a yardstick, though, Dart will probably be more of a curio than a groundbreaker – a language that is designed to explicitly solve Googlecentric issues, rather than an endemic programming language issue – and who knows, outsiders might find a use for the language too,” he added.