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Google brings out new programming language

Strongtalk duo to pitch Dart at browser app bullseye

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Google has built a brand-new programming language for "structured web programming", one that appears to be suited to browser-based apps.

Two of the search giant's engineers will discuss Dart, Google's new language, at the Goto international software development conference next month.

News of the new language was posted to the Goto website.

There aren't yet any technical details on Dart but the bios of the two Googlers presenting at Goto strongly suggest a bent towards programming for the web and browser.

That, plus the fact Google has already taken a crack at the server-side with Go. Released in 2009, Go is an attempt to bring more dynamic-style programming properties to C++ for multi-process applications running distributed machines with multi-core CPUs.

Google describes Go as a "fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language".

Go is now running in Google's datacentres, while in July Google released a Go runtime for its App Engine, which lets you build and host your apps on Google's servers.

Dart, meanwhile, seems to have little to do with the DoubleClick for Publishers server Google took onboard with this summer's $400m purchase of AdMeld.

The Googlers presenting on Dart are tech lead manager Lars Bak and Google software engineer Gilad Bracha.

Both have backgrounds working on Strongtalk, the BSD-licensed rewrite of Smalltalk that boasted "the fastest ever" virtual machine for Smalltalk which was boosted by using "type feedback" to monitors the past execution of the code.

Bak is a VM heavyweight, having led development of Sun Microsystems HotSpot and the CLDC HotSpot implementation for use on devices and licensed by Symbian.

At Google Bak led development of V8, the Javascript engine that juices performance of Google's Chrome browser; performance is one of the key factors browser manufacturers have fallen upon to differentiate against each other and win customer downloads.

Bracha is also a former Sun staffer; the distinguished engineer co-authored the Java Language Specification. Before Sun, Bracha also worked on Strongtalk.

It remains to be seen how far Dart will fly. Go has been something used only by Google, as far as we can tell, while new programming languages constantly come and go in the computer industry, having often been invented to serve specific purposes. ®

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