The Dart side of web development: a conversation with Claudio d’Angelis and Giovanni Laquidara (11th January 2015)

(This post is part of a serie on GDG Rome DevFest 2014)

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(Claudio d’Angelis and Giovanni Laquidara)

Everything you always wanted to know about Dart but were afraid to ask

Agatino Grillo: Hi Claudio, hi Giovanni. Could you introduce yourselves?

Claudio d’Angelis: I am a web and software developer located in Fondi (near Rome), working in IT as a configuration manager and programmer, experienced in digitization and document management systems, UNIX administration, modern web development. When not working, I like to dedicate to Dart language, trying to contribute to its spread: I'm building an italian support community, writing articles and tutorials at Engeene.it, presenting episodes for the Google Developers Live program and speaking at conferences.

Giovanni Laquidara: I am a Software Engineer working in Air Traffic Control and Command & Control System development field. Active member in GDG-Rome and CodeInvaders Communities having fun developing Android and Web Application. Startupper in love with new and life changing technologies. Android and Dart and Go enthusiast.

Agatino Grillo: You were speakers at the Google Developer Group (GDG) Fest on 8th November in Rome with a code-lab dedicated to web development using Dart language. What about it?

Claudio & Giovanni: In the code lab we developed, using Polymer-Dart, a showcase app of 700+ interesting monuments you can find in Rome! You can find the slide here on SlideShare or here in ppt and pdf format.

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Agatino Grillo: What is Dart? Why another web programming language?

Claudio & Giovanni: Dart is an open-source Web programming language developed by Google designed to be easy to write development tools for, well-suited to modern app development, and capable of high-performance implementations. Dart is a class-based, single inheritance, object-oriented language with C-style syntax. It supports interfaces, abstract classes, reified generics, and optional typing. Most importantly, Dart compiles to JavaScript so that your Dart apps can run all over the web.

Agatino Grillo:  Does the Web really need another language?

Claudio & Giovanni: Dart is more than a language. The project is also building an Editor, core libraries, a static analyzer, and even a virtual machine. The Dart VM can run Dart code directly on the command line for server-side apps.  Nowadays web developers’ expectations require a platform familiar to programmers of different backgrounds, and that is structured to enable the larger, more complex apps that users are demanding. So Dart brings fresh ideas to web programming, and this innovation help push the web forward for app developers and users.

Agatino Grillo: Could you better explain Dart’s innovations?

Claudio & Giovanni: Google wants web apps to load quickly, run smoothly, and present engaging and fun experiences to users. At the same time Google wants developers of all backgrounds to be able to build great experiences for the browser.
Modern HTML5-compliant browsers offer a lot of new features in tablets and phones field also.
Despite these improvements in the web platform, the developer experience hasn’t improved as much as we’d like. It should be easier to build larger, more complex web apps. It’s taken far too long for productive tools to emerge, and they still don’t match the capabilities offered by other developer platforms. You shouldn’t have to be intimately familiar with web programming to start building great apps for the modern web.
So Dart improves developers activities in two main ways:

  1. better performance because it is a structured language designed for optimize coding and based on a new Virtual Machine enabling faster startup,
  2. better productivity because its support for libraries and packages helps you work with other developers and easily reuse code from other projects.

Agatino Grillo: What about the app developed in your code-lab?

Claudio & Giovanni: We realized a web app you can test live here  which exposes Rome’s monuments data come from the City of Rome’s OpenData hub: dati.comune.roma.it. Source code is available on Github . Slides here on SlideShare or here in ppt and pdf format.

Agatino Grillo: Your app uses Polymer-Dart too. What is Polymer?

Claudio & Giovanni: Polymer is a library for creating Web Components, which are a set of W3C standards and upcoming browser APIs for defining your own custom HTML elements. Polymer-Dart  is a Dart port of Polymer to build structured, encapsulated, client-side web apps with Dart and web components.

Agatino Grillo: Thanks Claudio, thanks Giovanni.

Claudio & Giovanni: Thanks to you

Codelab: code, demo and slides

How to contact Claudio d’Angelis

How to contact Giovanni Laquidara

Links

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