Since then, it got rather quiet around Dart. But that’s about to change. Google is hosting a Dart developer conference in Munich this week that marks Dart’s return into the spotlight. Internally, Dart has also been a major success at Google. Both the AdWords and AdSense teams (which drive most of Google’s revenue), as well as the Google Fiber teams, now rely on it to write their consumer-facing web apps. The AdSense update is already live and the next-gen AdWords interface is currently in testing and will launch more broadly in the near future. The Google teams that use it report that it gives them a 25 to 100 percent increase in development speed. Inside of Google, Dart is also now the fastest growing programming language, and the number of lines of Dart code written by Google developers has increased by 3.5x over the course of the last year (though, to be fair, it’s probably starting from a relatively low base, so I would take that “fastest growing” moniker with a grain of salt).
Outside of Google, companies like Wrike, Workiva, Blossom and others have also been using Dart to develop their products, so there is definitely still a Dart user community outside of Google, too.
By default, Angular 2.0 uses Microsoft’s TypeScript as its preferred language. Unsurprisingly, for AngularDart 2.0, which is launching out of beta today, that language is Dart. At its event in Munich this week, the team is also releasing many of the AngularDart Material Design components it developed for its internal teams (think date-picker widgets, etc.) as a developer preview.
With Flutter, Google is also launching a new project into preview that allows developers to write both iOS and Android apps from a single Dart codebase. Flutter’s widgets use a functional-reactive framework — if that sounds familiar, that’s probably because the overall idea isn’t that different from Facebook’s React Native (something the team freely admits). React Native does have a significant head start, though, but for Google, the overall idea here is to be able to give developers a full Dart toolkit that addresses the majority of use cases.
Given Dart’s popularity inside of Google, Dart is obviously not going away anytime soon. And that’s really the message the company is trying to send this week. Given its history, the team will have to work hard to get outside developers on board, though.