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AngularJS Is Being Ported to Dart

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AngularJS is being ported to Dart, offering a parallel implementation of Google’s JavaScript framework.

Brad Green, Engineer Director at Google and Manager of AngularJS, has announced the porting of their JavaScript framework to Dart during a meeting outlining some of new features coming in AngularJS 1.2 (video, min. 40). The idea is to provide the same templates but different implementations. Angular.dart is not a wrapper calling JavaScript but is actually written in Dart.

While still work in progress, Angular.dart has a number of key components already ported, such as the compiler, scope, and expressions, and a number of directives are done: bind, repeat, shadow DOM. Also, testing has been ported. DI and Routes are next.

Green said they are not going to replace JavaScript with Dart, but rather provide a parallel AngularJS implementation for Dart.

AngularJS is growing in popularity and the porting to Dart announcement has been well received if we consider the comments both on the initial announcement and on Seth Ladd’s subsequent post. Ladd is a Google engineer working on Dart, and has welcomed Angular.dart:

It's still early, but how exciting! We've always encouraged a rich ecosystem, and there are a lot of fans of Angular.

But this porting raises some questions. What will happen with the common functionality now provided both by Dart and Angular.dart, such as Web UI and Routes? Ladd said that Angular.dart won’t replace existing Dart functionality, but rather complement it:

[Angular.dart] doesn't replace Web UI. Web UI is a bet on modern and emerging web specs such as Web Components  …

We're working on a routes package: https://github.com/dart-lang/route  We don't have it wired into Web UI fully, but it'll still work with Web UI.

It remains to be seen what role Angular.dart will play in Dart’s future. Will Angular.dart be eventually included into the Dart project? Perhaps it depends on Angular.dart’s popularity among Dart users. And the majority of those users are inside Google.

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