Skip to main content

Dart 1.12 Released, with Null-Aware Operators and more

Dart 1.12.0 is now released! It contains the new null-aware operators language feature, and enhancements to pub, Observatory, dartdoc, and much more.

Null-aware operators

The new null-aware operators help you reduce the amount of code required to work with references that are potentially null. This feature is a collection of syntactic sugar for traversing (potentially null) object calls, conditionally setting a variable, and evaluating two (potentially null) expressions.

Click or tap the red Run button below to see them in action.

??

  if null operator. `expr1 ?? expr2` evaluates to `expr1` if not `null`, otherwise `expr2`.


??=

  null-aware assignment. `v ??= expr` causes `v` to be assigned `expr` only if `v` is `null`.


x?.p

  null-aware access. `x?.p` evaluates to `x.p` if `x` is not `null`, otherwise evaluates to `null`.


x?.m()
  
  null-aware method invocation. `x?.m()` invokes `m` only if `x` is not `null`.


Learn more about Dart's null-aware operators in our Language Tour.

.packages file

We continue in our efforts to eliminate symlinks by introducing the .packages file, which is a new way to specify where to find package dependencies. The pub package manager now writes a .packages file when getting or upgrading dependencies, and the VM and dartanalyzer use the .packages file for package resolution.

The Dart SDK still generates symlinks in 1.12, but the .packages file gets us closer to eliminating them. If you have tools that introspect packages, now is a good time to investigate the .packages file.

dartdoc

The dartdoc tool is a new way to generate beautiful, fast-loading API docs. It replaces dartdocgen, which we plan to remove from the SDK as soon as 1.13. dartdoc generates static docs, helps you search with find-as-you-type, and looks great on a mobile device.

dartfmt

Speed up your code reviews by automatically formatting your code. The dartfmt tool has been largely rewritten to support better handling for long argument lists, smarter indentation for cascades, nested functions, and collections, and fixes over 50 issues.

Observatory

Help identify memory leaks with Observatory's updated allocation profiler. Turn it on for a class, and track where instances of that class are created. Also new in 1.12 is support for dart:developer's log() function, which your app can use to stream log calls into Observatory's (or any connected debugger) console.

Stepping through async/await code has been significantly improved with Observatory's new anext command. You can now step over an await call, onto the next line of your code.

pub

The pub run commands can now toggle checked mode, with --checked. Pub now writes a .packages file when getting, upgrading, and globally activating your packages.

Lots more

The Dart SDK 1.12 CHANGELOG has lots more details about various API tweaks. We look forward to your feedback

Popular posts from this blog

Const, Static, Final, Oh my!

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…

AngularDart 4

AngularDart v4 is now available. We've been busy since the release angular2 v3.1.0 in May. Not only did we "drop the 2", but we also improved the compiler and tightened up the framework to give you smaller code, we updated the package structure to improve usability, and we added several new features. Check out the updated documentation to get started.
Just angular Upgrading to v4 will require more than updating your version constraint. The package has changed names (back) to angular – dropping the 2. You'll need to update your pubspec.yaml and the corresponding imports in your code. In most instances, find-and-replace should do the trick. Going forward, the package will be called package:angular. We'll just update the version number.
Smaller code The updated compiler in 4.0 allows type-based optimizations that not only improve runtime performance but generate better code because we are able to strongly type templates. A big result of the update is that many ap…

The new AdWords UI uses Dart — we asked why

Google just announced a re-designed AdWords experience. In case you’re not familiar with AdWords: businesses use it to advertise on google.com and partner websites. Advertising makes up majority of Google’s revenue, so when Google decides to completely redo the customer-facing front end to it, it’s a big deal. The Dart team is proud to say that this new front end is built with Dart and Angular 2. Whenever you asked us whether Google is ‘even using Dart for anything,’ this is what we had in mind but couldn’t say aloud. Until now. We asked Joshy Joseph, the primary technical lead on the project, some questions. Joshy is focusing on things like infrastructure, application latency and development velocity, so he’s the right person to ask about Dart.Q: What exactly did we launch on Monday?It’s a complete redesign of the AdWords customer experience that is rolling out slowly as a test to a small initial set of advertisers. The most noticeable thing is probably the Material Design look and f…