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Dart vs Elm: What are the differences?

Introduction

This Markdown code provides a comparison between Dart and Elm, highlighting the key differences between the two programming languages.

  1. Syntax and Typing: Dart is a statically typed programming language that supports both strong and weak typing. It has a C-style syntax and supports object-oriented programming paradigms. On the other hand, Elm is a strongly and statically typed language that has a Haskell-inspired syntax. It enforces immutability by default and supports functional programming paradigms.

  2. Framework Ecosystem: Dart has a wider range of frameworks available, such as Flutter, AngularDart, and Aqueduct, making it suitable for both web and mobile development. Elm, on the other hand, has a smaller ecosystem with its own framework called "The Elm Architecture" (TEA), which is specifically designed for creating web applications.

  3. Error Handling: In Dart, error handling is done through traditional exception handling mechanisms like try-catch blocks. It allows for more fine-grained control over exceptions and supports throwing and catching custom exception objects. In Elm, on the other hand, there are no exceptions. Instead, it uses a robust type system and the "Maybe" type to effectively handle and prevent runtime errors.

  4. Native JavaScript interop: Dart has built-in support for interoperation with JavaScript, allowing developers to use existing JavaScript code and libraries within their Dart projects. Elm, on the other hand, has a stricter boundary between Elm code and JavaScript code, making interoperation more limited. Elm code can only call JavaScript functions through port mechanisms, ensuring a clean and predictable separation.

  5. Package Management: Dart uses the Pub package manager, which provides a rich ecosystem of third-party libraries and packages. It allows for easy package installation and version management. Elm, on the other hand, has its own package manager called "elm-package." It focuses on simplicity and version compatibility to ensure reliable and maintainable package dependencies.

  6. Runtime Performance: Dart code is compiled ahead of time (AOT) into native machine code or just-in-time (JIT) compiled into optimized bytecode, resulting in fast runtime performance. Elm code, on the other hand, is compiled into JavaScript, which can have some overhead compared to native code. However, Elm's functional and immutable nature can lead to efficient code execution and optimized rendering performance.

In Summary, Dart and Elm differ in syntax and typing, framework ecosystem, error handling approach, JavaScript interop capabilities, package management, and runtime performance.

Advice on Dart and Elm
Needs advice
on
DartDart
and
KotlinKotlin

Can anyone help me decide what's best for app development or even android Oreo development? I'm in a state dilemma at the moment. I want to do Android programming, not necessarily web development. I have heard a lot of people recommend one of these, and it seems that both the tools can do the job. Which language would you choose?

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Replies (4)
Ondrej Malek
Recommends
on
DartDart

I assume that you mean Flutter by Dart. I have over 6 years experience programming in Android SDK, but about 1,5 month in Flutter. So far I think that Flutter is the future for mobile development. Flutter SDK is much better designed. Ecosystem of libraries seems having much higher quality. I would even say that android opensource libs are having really poor quality. Many times I am wondering how can garbage like that have so many stars at GitHub. Android SDK is hard to compose so you reinvent even basic things on and on, which is totally different story at Flutter. Lolcycle? Both are having good documentation. I quess apps in Flutter can be done in 1/3 of time compared to develop AndroidSDK and iOS, its design is that much better and contemporary. As of language comparison - Kotlin is better, but the difference is not that important. Go from one language to other is no problem. Dart is being updated with new features.

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Recommends
on
DartDart

I've selected Flutter and Dart for my side projects and never regretted. Dart learning curve is easy after any OOP language . Flutter as a framework is also has a low entry threshold. I've already started development after a week of learning. Pros for me: code can be build for Android and IOS devices (for ios you need mac or VM), apps written in Dart have great performance on each of these platforms, flexibility. Cons: if you want to build a product as a business and want to hire a new Flutter Developer in the future it can be a problem as the framework and language is not popular for the moment.

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Tran Phuc
CTO at Nextfunc Co., Ltd · | 3 upvotes · 262.3K views
Recommends
on
DartDart

I have worked in mobile development since 2010. I have experienced myself on various techs including Native SDK (Android), React Native (from 2016) and Flutter (2018). Almost the apps nowadays can be built using cross-platforms frameworks like React Native or Flutter. I suggest you start with Flutter. Flutter SDK is designed well to speed up your development and it still keeps the quality for your apps. If you're familiar with OOP languages (Java, C#...), switching to Dart is really quick and easy. Of course, sometimes you will need to dive deep into native parts but almost the cases you don't need. Good luck!

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Ranjeet Sinha
Senior Software Engineer · | 3 upvotes · 262.3K views
Recommends
on
KotlinKotlin

It depends on what is the purpose of your app development. Do you want to make one app that shares the codebase for both iOS and Android? If yes, then Dart is the way to go. Does your app include interacting with hardware features like camera, Bluetooth, if yes, then go for native Android for better performance? Dart is good for simpler UI apps where you just do basic crud operations over the network and show data but if you need richer UI experience go with native.

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Needs advice
on
DartDartDjangoDjango
and
JavaScriptJavaScript

I am currently learning web development with Python and JavaScript course by CS50 Harvard university. It covers python, Flask, Django, SQL, Travis CI, javascript,HTML ,CSS and more. I am very interested in Flutter app development. Can I know what is the difference between learning these above-mentioned frameworks vs learning flutter directly? I am planning to learn flutter so that I can do both web development and app development. Are there any perks of learning these frameworks before flutter?

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Replies (5)
Gagan Jakhotiya
Engineering Manager at BigBasket · | 11 upvotes · 223.7K views
Recommends
on
Node.jsNode.js

Hey Muhamed, For web development, you'll have to learn how to write backend APIs and how to build UI for browsers, apps, etc. If you're just starting off with programming, I'd suggest you stick to one language and trying developing everything using it to cut the unnecessary learning overhead. Although Python and JavaScript are very similar for beginners, JavaScript is the only available option for both frontend and backend development for a web application. You can start working with Node.js for your API development and Vanilla JS along with HTML/CSS for UI. You'll only need to learn one language to do all of this. Hope this helps.

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Dennis Barzanoff
Recommends
on
DartDart

Flutter is good for everything and it is getting better as I am speaking. Flutter Web is almost ready for production and I have made 2 complex working websites already.

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Yohnathan Carletti
Senior Technical Product Manager · | 3 upvotes · 217.7K views
Recommends
on
DartDart

From a management and hiring perspective, I recommend Flutter (Dart). It provides native solutions to both mobile platform ( (Android and IOS) while having the same knowledge. Hiring managers look at this as an advantage since a developer can provide solutions for both platforms whit the same knowledge. The Flutter framework is growing and there is a lot of resources to ground your knowledge and start experimenting. Dart is also a great language that covers most E2E necessities, so again, no further need of learning one language for FE and another for BE and services. It is my belief that Dart will surpass Kotlin soon, and will leverage to Python and Java in the upcoming year.

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Recommends
on
DartDart

Well. Flutter is just a Framework (just like Django btw.) and it uses Dart as a programming language. Django is kind of solving a different problem than Dart. Dart is intened for use in Front End Applications and Django is a Framework for Back-End Web Development.

So if you want to program Flutter Apps (although i wouldn't recommend it for any serious web development yet since Flutter web isn't very mature yet) i would recommend you just lern Dart.

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Recommends
on
DartDart

If you are interested in Flutter, learn it on your own time, parallel to the course. No matter what order you do them, eventually you will end up learning them all anyway ;-)

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Decisions about Dart and Elm
Lucas Litton
Founder & CEO at Macombey · | 8 upvotes · 252K views

JavaScript is at the forefront of our entire development approach. Not only do we use different JavaScript frameworks and management tools, but we also use pure vanilla JavaScript to solve simple problems throughout all of our client's builds. JavaScript is a general purpose programming language that can be blazing fast and fun to work with. There's not one project we are working on that doesn't involve it.

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Pros of Dart
Pros of Elm
  • 59
    Backed by Google
  • 53
    Flutter
  • 39
    Twice the speed of Javascript
  • 35
    Great tools
  • 30
    Scalable
  • 27
    Open source
  • 26
    Made for the future
  • 25
    Can be used on Frontend
  • 22
    Polymer Dart
  • 22
    Angular Dart
  • 18
    Cross platform
  • 16
    Like Java
  • 14
    Easy to learn
  • 13
    Dartanalyzer
  • 12
    Runs on Google Cloud Platform
  • 10
    Easy to Understand
  • 9
    Amazing concurrency primitives
  • 8
    Is to JS what C is to ASM
  • 7
    Flutter works with darts
  • 3
    R
  • 3
    Can run Dart in AWS Lambda
  • 1
    Looks familiar, with purposely implemented features
  • 45
    Code stays clean
  • 44
    Great type system
  • 40
    No Runtime Exceptions
  • 33
    Fun
  • 28
    Easy to understand
  • 23
    Type safety
  • 22
    Correctness
  • 17
    JS fatigue
  • 12
    Ecosystem agrees on one Application Architecture
  • 12
    Declarative
  • 10
    Friendly compiler messages
  • 8
    Fast rendering
  • 7
    If it compiles, it runs
  • 7
    Welcoming community
  • 5
    Stable ecosystem
  • 4
    'Batteries included'
  • 2
    Package.elm-lang.org

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Cons of Dart
Cons of Elm
  • 3
    Lack of ORM
  • 3
    Locked in - JS or TS interop is very hard to accomplish
  • 0
    A
  • 3
    No typeclasses -> repitition (i.e. map has 130versions)
  • 2
    JS interop can not be async
  • 2
    JS interoperability a bit more involved
  • 1
    More code is required
  • 1
    No JSX/Template
  • 1
    Main developer enforces "the correct" style hard
  • 1
    No communication with users
  • 1
    Backwards compability breaks between releases

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What is Dart?

Dart is a cohesive, scalable platform for building apps that run on the web (where you can use Polymer) or on servers (such as with Google Cloud Platform). Use the Dart language, libraries, and tools to write anything from simple scripts to full-featured apps.

What is Elm?

Writing HTML apps is super easy with elm-lang/html. Not only does it render extremely fast, it also quietly guides you towards well-architected code.

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What companies use Dart?
What companies use Elm?
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What tools integrate with Dart?
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What are some alternatives to Dart and Elm?
TypeScript
TypeScript is a language for application-scale JavaScript development. It's a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.
Golang
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
JavaScript
JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
Kotlin
Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for the JVM, Android and the browser, 100% interoperable with Java
Java
Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
See all alternatives