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Evolving the Dart language with Dart Enhancement Proposals

In July 2014, Ecma published the first version of the Dart language specification. Ecma TC52 continues to release updated versions with new features (for example, async/await). Our developers have asked for more insight into the discussion process, and for a formal way to seed the spec process with proposals. Today, we're happy to announce Dart Enhancement Proposals as the primary way for the Dart team and the larger Dart community to work together to evolve the Dart language and libraries.

To make a great language that can be used to write great programs means we need to work together. The DEP process is how we do that. We want to:
  • Create an open, collaborative, and inclusive Dart ecosystem.
  • Be responsive to developer needs.
  • Give the community a sense of shared ownership and stewardship.
  • Be transparent about the work leading to Dart language changes.
  • Ensure rationale for changes (or decisions not to change) is clearly communicated.
  • Close the loop and check if stakeholders are happy before a change is finalized.
Anyone can create and champion a DEP, but this does not mean that Dart is a democracy. The DEP process is a key part of how we decide how Dart should evolve, but it's only one part. DEPs are managed by the DEP committee. The committee meets on a regular basis to review the proposals. Because Dart is an open Ecma specification, TC52 has final say on what changes land in the spec.

We're just getting started with the DEP process. To learn more, check out the GitHub repo for more details, review some of the initial proposals, and review the notes from the first DEP meetings. You can also join our DEP discussion mailing list.

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Posted by Seth Ladd

(This is an "oldie but a goodie" misc@dartlang.org post originally written by Bob Nystrom. It is being posted here as the explanations still ring true.)

Bob writes:


"static", "final", and "const" mean entirely distinct things in Dart:

"static" means a member is available on the class itself instead of on instances of the class. That's all it means, and it isn't used for anything else. static modifies *members*.

"final" means single-assignment: a final variable or field *must* have an initializer. Once assigned a value, a final variable's value cannot be changed. final modifies *variables*.

"const" has a meaning that's a bit more complex and subtle in Dart. const modifies *values*. You can use it when creating collections, like const [1, 2, 3], and when constructing objects (instead of new) like const Point(2, 3). Here, const means that the object's entire deep state can be determ…