Google declined to provide further details about Dart in advance of the official announcement, scheduled to be delivered at the GOTO conference in October. But a document describing Google's position was published last November. The post, from Mark S. Miller, a Google engineer and designer of the E and Caja programming languages, who also serves as a representative to the ECMAScript committee, was sent to an internal Google developer mailing list. It was co-authored by Miller and over a dozen other Google engineers, including Lars Bak, who is scheduled to introduce Dart next month.
Google plans to continue to participate in the development of Harmony, a future version of ECMAScript that's being spearheaded by the ECMA T39 standards group.
The first Web application written using Dart that we're likely to see from Google is a cloud IDE known by the codename "Brightly," according to Miller's summary. Presumably, Brightly is based on the code for Writely, the online document creation app that Google acquired in 2006 and later turned into Google Docs.
IDEs, or integrated development environments, are tricked-out text editors for writing code, with tools for compiling, debugging, and the like. Mozilla has offered a Web-based IDE called Bespin since 2009, but Google, for all its promotion of Web-based apps, has yet to release one.
Miller's summary also notes that security is important, though less so than the three main goals: "Dash is also designed to be securable, where that ability does not seriously conflict with the three main goals," the document says.
The question facing Google is whether it can get to the next version of the Web, with or without the open Web community, before enough people decide that building on other platforms represents a more appealing way to create online services.
Attend Enterprise 2.0 Santa Clara, Nov. 14-17, 2011, and learn how to drive business value with collaboration, with an emphasis on how real customers are using social software to enable more productive workforces and to be more responsive and engaged with customers and business partners. Register today and save 30% off conference passes, or get a free expo pass with priority code CPHCES02. Find out more and register.