back to article Dart 2.8 is out with a Flutter as Google claims to have solved the cross-platform dev puzzle

Google's first 2020 update of its cross-platform development toolkit has brought Flutter up to version 1.17 and the associated Dart language to 2.8. There are countless cross-platform libraries and frameworks out there, but a few things distinguish Flutter. First, it is entirely focused on GUI applications, primarily Android …

  1. karlkarl Silver badge

    "as Google claims to have solved the cross-platform dev puzzle"

    The cross platform dev problem was solved *years* ago.

    ANSI C with a sh*tload of #ifdefs to connect it to the underlying platform.

    Either you do it yourself, or you borrow someone elses work and use that. Flutter is the latter. Nothing has changed.

    1. J27 Silver badge

      Good luck finding a business who wants to pay 10x the price for the app over one written in a higher-level language.

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        Hmm, and yet most commercial GUI software released is written in C++.

        What would be a hard push is convincing a business to use a fairly niche (and experimental) language just to use a specific GUI library.

  2. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Angel

    But is it used?

    Developers' love is one thing; usability and feasibility a very different one. For instance, there are developers who really like Haskell...

  3. CederTree

    Dart is such a boring and conservative language, and like most things google make for developers, moving along at a glacial speed. No wonder their own developers wrote Angular in Microsoft's TypeScript rather than choose Dart. The community have been requesting null-safety and unions for years now. Looks like we'll eventually get null-safety, and then maybe in another few decades it might finally have half of the features of modern programming languages.

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      A language being boring and conservative is... my kinda language in all fairness XD

      The recent surge in people realising the future is C++ and trying to improve it with fancy async features etc, is killing it IMO.

  4. Richtea

    Much better than previous miracle cures

    We've been using it for a couple of months, to solve the Android/iOS dichotomy. I'd say at this stage - a whisker before the app's release - it's pretty good, with only a small number of wrinkles that need re-reading/checking.

    Pros:

    - It does what it says on the tin, i.e. build once deploy twice instantly. In our native app world that's about 30-40% dev time saved.

    - reasonable performance - good enough for casual apps with some animated widgets/'congrats', but not for gaming

    Cons:

    -a new development pattern. That's harder than a language swap IMHO, because you can code bits in old school patterns, and then you'll get pulled up halfway through the project, and have to rework.

    - when you need to go low level, you're back into the ugly world of native code (examples are decent splash screens, flexible app icons, etc)

    - min APK size seems to be around 15Mb. An equivalent native app would usually be 4-8MB.

    - You can hook Swift and Kotlin into Dart, but not into Java. You can go the other way (integrate a Flutter module into Java) but that's only good for Android devices, of course.

  5. Steve Evans

    Is this even legal?

    Is developing for iOS on this even permitted by Apple?

    Last time I looked at iOS development you had to use the Apple software, on a Mac (because it wasn't available on any other platform), whilst wearing a black turtle neck jumper and facing Cappuccino.

    Failure to comply would result in a firm "No" from the Apple app store.

    1. Richtea

      Re: Is this even legal?

      You still need an Apple dev account, a Mac to run Xcode, and some Apple devices to test on (you can wing it with emulators, but I'd recommend against that if you're serious).

      Android Studio running on a Mac builds and install an .ipa using XCode and scripts.

      So it's 'legal'.

      This won't save your Apple-related outlay, but it saves you time. For newer devs, it might also save you having to learn Swift.

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