Dart addresses the heavy learning curve. It seemed to me the audience liked the new flexibility which comes with Dart, compared to Java. And that they could still think in “old patterns” and use for example Classes. And that the syntax was so freaking familiar.
Second, people were concerned whether Dartlang is an approach one needs to follow or if is just an experiment among thousand others.
There is a dart2js compiler, which lets you build your Apps right now. If Dart would become accepted by the masses is unknown to me. But I suspect there will be something “happen” in combination with Android.
Jochen Wiedmann summed up what I think on Android thing:
Had the pleasure to attend an interesting talk, organized by +JUG Stuttgart and given by +Christian Grobmeier on #Dart . Most appealing, in particular, a theory proposed by Christian: In order to resolve the chicken and egg problem that Dart’s not in widespread use, because the Browsers don’t support it natively, and vice versa, (and for a number of other reasons), Google might make Dart a first-class-citizen of Android: In other words, create a bridge between Dart and Dalvik that would allow to write Android Apps in Dart.
Well, that MIGHT be true. But I am not a Googler nor do I have insider information. It just makes… sense.
But Dart is still young and dart2js will optimize with time. And for just 100kb more (web fetishists will say its unbelievable huge and not acceptable) you get readable, maintainable code with great tooling which even the Java developers in your team can understand.
At the moment I do not use Dart in production. It is still changing to much. While the base syntax might be “pretty” stable, the libraries are undergoing a refactoring at the time of this writing which last for - i am guessing - 1 year or so. But once Dart is stable, I will surely start using it in production. Let us hope it this date is not so far away.
All speculations. What is real and fact: the evening was nice! The whole usergroup is organized in an excellent way. You would even get some snacks. And the location is wonderful. I simply decided that I will need to visit this beautiful city at daylight. Here is an unsharp photo of it. Sorry, but my Android phone wouldn’t make it better. For sure I will visit Stuttgart again - it is a great community over there.
NOTE: I have been asked if there was only one or two persons attending. That photo has been taken BEFORE the talk :-) In fact, around 40 people were there.