Learning Dart
By Ivo Balbaert, Dzenan Ridjanovic
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Final Release Date: January 2014
Pages: 388

In Detail

Dart is a new open source programming language for the Web. Developed by Google, Dart is gaining popularity and has a steadily growing community. It is a single language for both client and server that can be used with a wide range of devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, and servers. It encompasses the lessons that have been learned over the last two decades of web programming. Stop solving new challenges with the same old tools - let Dart show you a whole new way.

"Learning Dart" provides you with a thorough overview of this new open source programming language. It will guide you step-by-step through building games and business applications for the Web, taking advantage of the power behind a modern language combined with HTML5.

"Learning Dart" starts by exploring the Dart ecosystem. This is followed by two chapters that will show you everything you need to know about Dart's syntax and development principles. Throughout the rest of the book, you will apply this knowledge to advanced topics with the help of an example-based approach.

You will explore how to build web games using HTML5, how to integrate audio and video into your applications, and how to process and show data in HTML5 forms with Dart. The book also shows you how web components fit together with HTML5 and how to apply them in business web applications. You also learn how to store data on the client, how to communicate data between client and server with JSON, and how to store JSON data with MongoDB.

"Learning Dart" provides you with everything you need to know to start or enhance your career in web development.


"Learning Dart" is a step-by-step guide that aims to give you hands-on knowledge about programming in Dart using an example-based approach.

Who this book is for

If you want to become a web developer, or perhaps you already are a web developer but you want to add Dart to your tool belt, then this book is for you. This book assumes that you have at least some knowledge of HTML and how web applications work. Some previous programming experience, preferably in a modern language like C#, Java, Python, Ruby, or JavaScript, will also give you a head start. You can also work with Dart on your preferred platform, be it Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great resource to get you up and running

By Aaron

from Corvallis, OR

Verified Reviewer

Comments about oreilly Learning Dart:

As an experienced software developer who is new to Dart, I really enjoyed this book. It begins walking through the structure and syntax of the Dart language. The description of each language feature also included the reasoning behind why particular conventions were chosen and what other languages the ideas came from. This additional information gave me a better understanding of the language and how it is designed to be used.

The book covers all the major components of Dart and is a great introduction to the language and how to use it. Beyond the standard syntax and semantics, there are several nice examples of working with Polymer and HTML5 in the book. Also, there are a few different sections covering writing server code in Dart. All of the various components required to get you up and running are covered. Including a brief section on installing git and getting connected to github and walk through on installing the Dart Editor.

One of the twelve chapters in the book is dedicated to a framework for automatically generating Dart code from data models. This is done using Model Concepts, Dartlero and Dartling, several open source applications created by one of the authors. There are also a few examples later in the book that use these tools as their basis. If this functionality is of interst to you, then you will really appreciate the tools and instruction the authors have provided in this area. Otherwise you might wish the space was used to cover a different topic.

Near the end of the book there is a brief overview of the various web and UI frameworks available for Dart and some descriptions of each. There is also a section listing the various databases drivers that are available in Dart. With so many options available in these areas as a new user I really appreciated having a brief overview of each of these libraries and what they provide.

I found myself wishing there was a whole chapter dedicated to AngularDart instead of just a short description. It is a new framework, but seems to be one of the most full featured application framework in Dart and it would have been great to explore it more. Perhaps this section can be expanded in a future edition or maybe it requires a book of its own.

Dart is a new an evolving language and keeping up with the fast pace of updates is a real challenge. However, the authors did a good job of updating the content as the language has evolved. For example the elements in the sample code use Polymer ui instead of the older Dart ui. I have done other tutorials that were dated in this regard.

Some minor suggestions. I might be nice to integrate some syntax highlighting in the sample code to increase the readability. Also, I did some of my reading on a mobile phone and found the sample code margins a bit too wide.

If you are interested in learning about Dart I think this book is a great resource. It covers all the major language features and goes in to deeper depth on many areas that you will find in most tutorials and examples on the web. The authors also seem to be active in the Dart community and are making efforts to provide useful open source tools for Dart developers such as their model based code generation framework.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Dart for experienced Web developers

By frapontillo

from Matera, Italy

Verified Reviewer

Comments about oreilly Learning Dart:

Finally, a Dart guide for experienced Web developers.
Being Dart a "better language" for the Web, a prerequisite for this book is the knowledge of the latest (and future) Web technologies, such as Futures, HTML5, Web Components, etc. If you know at least some of the former, you won't have any trouble seeing why Dart is the right language for future, well-structured, Web applications.
The book covers pretty much everything you need to know: Web components (much appreciated, many books and guides leave this part aside), common software engineering patterns, local storage, plugins, ...
There were a few chapters I read without much interest, mostly the game-oriented one; but I see there are many developers that are into game development, so that's fair.
I would have really loved some insight on server-side use of Dart and something more on AngularDart, but those are probably good ideas for future books (tip!).
If you need a book to start coding in Dart and see results right away, this one's definitely for you.

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