Dart vs Java – Modern vs Traditional Programming Language

Quick Summary:

Dart Vs Java is an interesting comparison. Dart is a relatively newer kid on the block that has everyone wondering – is Dart better than Java? Which is better – Java or Dart? Let’s find answers to such questions in this ultimate Java vs Dart 2023 Comparison guide!

Dart and Java are two of the most popular object-oriented programming languages, with minor similarities and significant differences. The contrast in their differences starts from their inception dates – Java dates back to the 1990’s and is primarily used for Android app development. In comparison, Dart was introduced by Google in 2011 as a JavaScript alternative for app development and repowering their Google Products.

If we are to talk about Dart vs Java overview in terms of their similarities and differences, here is what you should know:

Java and Dart Similarities

  • Both are object-oriented programming languages supporting classes, interfaces, inheritance & more.
  • They are both based on and follow C-style syntax with curly brackets for blocks, variables declared as type and semicolons to end statements.
  • Dart and Java both support static typing, although Dart provides it as an option, whereas Java makes it mandatory.
  • Irrespective of what language you use, Java or Dart, they use garbage collection for automatically managing memory allocation & deallocation.
  • You can build event-driven apps with either programming languages – Dart or Java.
  • Both have a rich list of standard libraries and frameworks for everyday development needs.

Java vs Dart Key Differences

  • Intended Use: Java is a general-purpose programming language, whereas Dart focuses on client-side and mobile app development.
  • Optional Typing: Dart supports optional typing, whereas Java makes typing mandatory.
  • Development Philosophy: Dart was developed with a focus on ease of use and speeding development cycles.
  • JIT vs AOT Compilation: Java uses Just-In-Time Compilation, and Dart uses Ahead Time Compilation to improve start-up time.
  • Supported Platforms: Java uses JVM to help Windows, Linux, and Android, whereas Dart runs on native code using Flutter’s cross-platform framework.
  • Null Safety: Java is prone to NullPointerExceptions, whereas Dart has robust built-in null-safety features.
  • Concurrency: Java uses threads and locks, whereas Dart uses isolate and message passing to achieve coexistence.

As you can tell from the similarities, moving from Java to Dart or Dart to Java is relatively easy for experienced developers since knowledge transfer is easier with their bases being similar. Moreover, you can also hire dedicated developers who know how to convert Java to Dart or vice versa to save development time and effort. At the same time, you can focus on business strategies and other managerial decisions.

So, whether you are starting a new project and deciding between Java and Dart, or have an existing project in either of the programming languages and want to migrate from Java to Dart or Dart to Java, you won’t have many difficulties if you have access to a dedicated development team that has experience working with both these technologies.

So, which is better – Java or Dart?

Let’s find out!

Quick Tabular Dart vs Java Comparison

Comparison Factors Dart Java
Built By Google Sun MicroSystems
Inception Year 2011 1995
Primary Use Case Frontend and Mobile App Development Web Development, Android Development, Desktop Software, Backend Services
Typing System Optional Typing with Statical and Dynamic Options Statical with Strong Type Check
Syntax Modern and Concise Traditional and Verbose
Platform Independence Compiled to run time on multiple platforms Compiled to bytecode, which is run on the JVM
Performance Great for Mobile and Web Apps Excellent for enterprise applications & custom software solutions
Community & Ecosystem Smaller but growing ecosystem and community Established, active, and mature community & ecosystem
Popular Frameworks Flutter Spring, JavaFX, Android SDK
Learning Curve Shallow Learning Curve, especially for developers with familiarity with JavaScript Steeper Learning Curve due to complex syntax and concepts
Enterprise Adoption Growing market, especially in mobile app development Established a platform for enterprise development for decades

The comparison table of Dart vs Java clearly shows that which platform you should use greatly depends on your project requirements, focus areas, existing skillset and targeted media. If your primary goal is to create scalable and future-ready cross-platform mobile apps, Dart with Flutter can be a good choice, and if you are looking for a more comprehensive solution that includes – Native Android App, Web App, and Backend Development, Java is a better choice.

Dart vs. Java – What are Dart and its use cases?

Dart is a scalable and cohesive SDK (Software Development Kit) for building modern, secure, performance-oriented apps that can be deployed on the web, iOS, Android and other innovative platforms. The various Dart programming tools, libraries and resources make it an ideal choice for app development of varying complexities. It powers the popular mobile app development framework – Flutter.

Dart Use Cases – What is Dart used for?

Dart is a versatile SDK that can make apps on various platforms. Also, with each update, its reach and potential have increased significantly. Dart is mainly used for creating high-performing single-page web apps and software. One of the most popular single-page apps based on Dart that everyone operates is Gmail. This programming SDK has much to offer and can be leveraged for various projects.

Here are some of the top Dart use cases you should know:

  • Mobile Applications
  • Web Applications
  • Desktop Software
  • WearOS Apps
  • tvOS Apps

What is Dart used for

Java vs Dart – What is Java and its use cases?

Java is a server-side programming language and a computing platform primarily used for developing web and mobile apps. With over two decades of popularity and acceptance amongst developers, millions of active Java projects are in use today. One of its biggest USPs is that it is platform-independent, meaning Java-compiled code can be run on all operating systems using JVM.

Java Use Cases: What is Java used for?

Each platform has its ideal use cases where it excels. Since Java is platform-independent, it opens up a lot of potential to use Java on different platforms, making it capable of handling projects like:

  • Mobile App Development
  • Game Development
  • AI/Big Data
  • Chatbot
  • Software Development
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data
  • Internet of Things
  • Web Development

What is Java used for

We have you covered if you are looking for a more technical and detailed comparison to understand how these platforms handle multithreading, concurrency, security, performance and other such important factors. Let’s dive right into it:

Dart vs Java – Key Differences to assess the better choice for Your Project | Technical Comparison

To better understand the capabilities and limitations of Dart and Java and how to handle basic functionalities and processes, we need to compare the two on certain essential factors. These factors include technical, economical and substantial pointers to give you a practical overview of points to consider when choosing between Dart and Java for your next project.

  • Java Static Typing vs. Dart Optional Typing
  • Dart vs Java Syntax Comparison
  • Java vs Dart Concurrency – Thread vs Isolates
  • Dart vs Java Performance
  • Dart vs Java Scalability
  • Java and Dart for Enterprise Development
  • Dart vs Java Security
  • Dart vs Java: Which one is better for Android?

Technical Comparison of Dart vs Java

Java Static Typing vs Dart Optional Typing

Java is statically typed, which means the program expects the variables to be declared before they are assigned values. This allows the compiler to decide whether the given variable should be allowed to perform the actions it requested. This enables type safety during compilation, preventing programs from accessing memory inappropriately.

On the other hand, Dart is optionally typed, which means you can choose between static typing, like Java, and dynamic typing. Choosing between the two enables you to benefit from the type safety features of static typing and/or the flexibility of dynamic typing, where the compiler or interpreter assigns a type to all variables at runtime.

Dart vs Java Syntax Comparison

Both Dart and Java follow object-oriented programming, focusing on use of classes and objects for modelling data and behaviour. They both are also whitespace insensitive which means the indentation and spacing won’t break your code or impact the program execution. Although it is advised to follow coding best practices to ensure code quality and consistency when working with global dedicated development teams.

However, there are also some significant differences when comparing Dart to Java in terms of syntax.

Let’s look at the basic Hello World Syntax Comparison between Dart and Java to understand this better:

Java Syntax Example

public class HelloWorld {

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    // Prints "Hello World" to the terminal window
    System.out.println("Hello World!"); 
  }

}

Let’s break this down:

  • public class HelloWorld – Declares a class in Java called HelloWorld
  • public static void main(String[] args) – the main method, program entry point
  • System.out.println("Hello World");– Prints the text “Hello World!”

Java Syntax Key Pointers:

  • Java needs classes and methods
  • main() method acts as the entry point
  • All code is contained in methods that are inside classes
  • printIn() will display text to the console

Dart Syntax Example

// HelloWorld.dart

void main() {

print('Hello World!');

}

Let’s break this down:

void main() – Main function where the program starts

print('Hello World!'); – Prints the text ‘Hello World!’

Dart Syntax Key Pointers

  • Dart starts executing the main()function
  • Code goes directly in the main()function without depending on any classes
  • print() displays text to the console

There are other notable differences in terms of Java vs Dart Syntax attributes. They are:

Attribute Dart Java
Conciseness Designed for conciseness and readability. It is more verbose due to its requirements of explicitly declaring variables and parameters.
Null Safety Dart emphasizes null safety with features like nullable and non-nullable types. Java has always had an issue with null references, leading to NullPointerExceptions.
Asynchronous Programming Dart uses the ‘async/await’ pattern for handling asynchronous operations. Java believes in a more traditional approach to callbacks with CompleteableFuture API for asynchronous programming.
TypeSystem Dart offers optional typing, allowing you to choose between dynamic and static typing. Java imposes static typing.
Package Management Dart makes use of the Pub package manager for dependency management. Java developers can use various build tools like Gradle or Maven for dependency management.

While Dart and Java have C-like familiarity and are object-oriented and strongly typed, Dart has a more modern and concise syntax, providing developers flexibility. In contrast, Java is more traditional and verbose since it implements many rules, making the codebase heavier and more elaborate.

Java vs Dart Concurrency – Thread vs Isolates

Java vs Dart for concurrency is an interesting aspect to consider. Concurrency is the programming language’s ability to execute multiple instruction sequences of similar kinds simultaneously. Both Java and Dart support concurrency but through contrastingly different approaches.

Concurrency Features in Java

  • Multithreading: Java has built-in support for multi-threading using the ‘java.lang.Thread’ class and the ‘java.util.concurrent’ package. This allows Java developers to create and manage threads for executing tasks concurrently.
  • Synchronized Blocks: Java also has a feature called synchronized blocks and different concurrent classes under ‘java.util.concurrent’ like ‘lock’, ‘Semaphore’, and ‘CountDownLatch’), which allows developers to control access to shared resources and implement thread safety.
  • Async Programming: Starting from Java 8, there was an introduction for CompleteableFutureClass, which enabled Java developers to handle async operations and better handle future results.

Concurrency Features in Dart

  • Isolates: Dart follows concurrency on a different concurrency model known as isolates. Isolates are lightweight threads with a continuous event loop that keeps processing events within its assigned memory space. The primary difference between Java threads and Dart isolates is the fact that Dart isolates don’t share the memory.
  • Event Loops: Dart makes use of event loops that grab the oldest event from its event queue, process it, and then go back to the next event in line, process it and move to the next task till the event queue becomes empty. Whenever there are any breaks in the action, the thread waits for the next event to occur and executes it when it occurs.
  • Isolate Communication: Even if Dart isolates have their memory management mechanisms, they need to communicate with each other. They communicate through message parsing to ensure the data passed between the isolates are displayed securely and controlled.
  • Web and Server-Side Concurrency: Dart has multiplatform capabilities and hence can handle concurrent events on web apps and server-side projects.

Java overall has a traditional multithreading model with shared memory and synchronization mechanisms. Dart offers a modern approach to concurrency with isolates and event-driven programming, which helps avoid shared-state concurrency issues and gives you more control over handling your data in concurrent isolates.

Java vs Dart Performance

The overall performance of a programming language depends on various factors. The same applies to Dart vs Java for their performance capabilities. Since the two programming languages aren’t closely similar to their primary use cases or implementation details, comparing Dart’s performance vs Java can be challenging. Although many Dart vs Java performance benchmarks can indicate their performance capabilities theoretically, it is better to assess the performance practically.

You should know that both these programming languages provide impressive performance when optimized correctly. Let’s assess the strengths and weaknesses of both Java and Dart to understand their true performance potential.

Java Performance Strengths

Java has many built-in features and capabilities, making it a highly performant programming language that powers some of the most complex, scalable, and data-heavy enterprise applications. Here are the performance benefits of using Java over Dart:

  1. Just-in-Time Compiler: Java compiles applications into bytecode which gets executed by Java Virtual Machine. JVM uses the JIT compiler to convert this bytecode into native machine code during runtime, which results in highly optimized performance.
  2. Multithreading: Java also provides robust support for multithreading, as we already saw, which makes it capable of building scalable and concurrent applications.
  3. Mature and Optimized Runtime: Java has been around since the 1990s. It has continuously evolved and been worked upon by many developers to optimize it and improve its performance capabilities. Hence, it has a well-performing runtime environment.

Java Performance Considerations

While Java has many performance enablers, there are also considerable caveats to maintaining such robustness and capabilities. Here are some performance considerations to know if you are planning to choose Java over Dart for your project:

  1. Memory Consumption: Java apps can be memory intensive since everything goes through JVM’s memory, which can cause an overhead. This impacts the performance significantly.
  2. Warm-Up Time: Java applications can be sluggish at first since the JVM can take time to process the initial compilation and optimization best practices. JVM adapts better as the app keeps running, hence, it works well with long-running applications but suffers with short runtime applications.

Dart Performance Strengths

    1. Ahead of Time Compilation: Dart follows AoT compilation, which means its code can be compiled ahead of time to native machine code for targeted platforms like web browsers and mobile devices. This helps create highly performant mobile applications and web applications.
    2. Frontend Optimization: Dart combined with Flutter framework for mobile app development services can result in highly responsive and performant user interfaces and animations.

Dart Performance Considerations

  1. Compilation Size Issue: Dart’s AoT compilation is excellent from a performance standpoint, but it’s not without limitations. Generally, AoT compilation results in larger binary sizes, which sometimes causes lag in the initial start-up time of web and mobile apps.
  2. Platform-Specific: In the Dart vs. Java comparison, Java stands out as being truly platform independent as its performance isn’t affected by the medium it is executed on. But Dart’s performance can fluctuate significantly depending on the quality of the AoT compiler. This makes Flutter feel like a jack of all trades, king of none.

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Dart vs Java Scalability

Scalability is one of the most important aspects to cover when comparing Dart vs. Java for your next project. A scalable architecture allows room for scaling and descaling your project per your current and near-future requirements.

Your application’s readiness to adapt to a sudden influx of increased traffic matters a lot since unexpected crashes and improper crash times can result in user abandonment and a sluggish user experience. Let’s see how Dart compares to Java in terms of scalability:

Which is more scalable – Dart or Java?

  • Performance Scaling: When you hire Flutter developers proficient in Dart programming, you can build mobile and web apps with impressive performance scalability. Dart’s isolates help keep the concurrent processing running efficiently, and its rendering engine can adapt to various screen sizes and resolutions.

On the other hand, Java has always been known for its scalability and performance. Java can be leveraged to build scalable server-side applications by adding more server resources or optimizing the Java codebase for improved performance.

  • Platform Scalability: Java is highly scalable irrespective of what platform you deploy it on. You can also use Java for the most rudimentary web applications and sizeable enterprise-level custom software solutions. Java’s write-once-and-run-anywhere philosophy makes the platform truly scalable.

Dart has come a long way since Dart 1.0 and has started supporting cross-platform app development beyond mobile and web to an extent. However, it is less reliable than Java, which is guaranteed to scale on all smart platforms and could be more versatile regarding platform scalability.

  • Ecosystem and Libraries Scalability: Java naturally has a broader ecosystem of libraries, tools, frameworks and all the important development tools that can help scale your project efficiently, whereas Dart is still a young ecosystem less extensive than Java. However, Dart does provide some impressive packages for mobile development and packages to ensure their scalability.

Java and Dart for Enterprise Development

Have you ever wondered whether you can use Java and Dart together? Enterprise software development must deal with large volumes of data or a complex multi-layered architecture. Since Dart is used for frontend development and Java is a server-side development library, we can use Dart with Java to develop robust, scalable and secure enterprise app solutions. Let’s break this down:

Dart for Enterprise Frontend

Using Dart with Flutter to build your enterprise software’s frontend allows you to create a mobile and web app solution with a single codebase. Hence, it is an ideal choice for enterprises targeting multiple platforms simultaneously or in the future. Here are specific Dart characteristics that make it suitable for powering the front of your application:

  • Focus on UI/UX
  • Rapid Development through Hot Reloading
  • Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
  • Single Codebase

Java for Enterprise Robust Backend

Java has been the popular choice behind many enterprises application’s backend infrastructure. Java is highly scalable and readable and hosts a mature library and ecosystem of relevant tools, libraries and frameworks needed to build robust server-side components. Here are the reasons why Java is a worthy consideration for powering the backend of your project:

  • Highly Scalable
  • Performance Oriented
  • High-Security Standards
  • Robust Ecosystem and Integration Capabilities
  • Active Community and Support

Hence,

  • If you want to revamp the UI/UX of your enterprise app, go for Dart and Flutter
  • If you want to migrate the existing backend structure of Java, Hire Java Migration Consultants
  • If you need a complete enterprise app revamp or build it from scratch, combine Java with Dart to construct a comprehensive solution.

Java vs Dart Security

Security is an important comparison aspect that must be considered in this Dart vs Flutter comparison. Java is a veteran programming language with various Java development tools that secure Java apps. Dart is naturally a newer player but is off to a good start with a decent number of dedicated Flutter Development Tools catered towards security. However, since Flutter is still a newer programming language, you should know Flutter development best practices to ensure proper security measures are in place.

Java security advantages over Dart

Sandbox Execution: Java code is compiled inside the JVM, providing a sandbox environment that isolates untrusted code from the host. Dart also has a Dart VM, which offers similar facilities, but developers who don’t use Dart VM can risk the software by allowing untrusted code into the system.

Compile Time Checking: Java follows a robust static type system, which ensures it catches most errors during compilation time and avoids runtime exceptions. Dart provides an option between static and dynamic, so oversight by Flutter developers who go for dynamic typing could end up making runtime errors if they were they were careful.

Memory Safety: Java Virtual Machine uses automatic memory management and garbage collection, eliminating most memory safety bugs like buffer overflows. On the other hand, Dart allows pointer manipulation and unsafe code, leaving the codebase more susceptible to memory corruption.

Identity and Access Management: Java has proper identity management and access control mechanisms like JAAS, JASPIC, authorization and authentication, whereas Dart requires you to rely on external libraries for most of these tasks.

Dart vs Java for Android

As we all know, Java is the official language for Android app development, and the Android SDK and documentation are based on Java. On the other hand, Dart can be used for Android development via the Flutter framework. However, it doesn’t have any official support. Here are the comparison points between Dart and Java for Android app development:

  • Java can access all Android APIs; Dart can access only the APIs exposed by Flutter.
  • Java gets better integration support with Android Studio and other IDEs; Dart requires configuring the Flutter plugin and isn’t supported by all IDEs.
  • Java code can be optimized using Android Runtime, and Dart code can compile to native code but lacks platform-specific optimizations.
  • Java is more complex to learn Android app development, whereas Dart is more accessible due to its concise syntax and component-based architecture.

Java vs. Dart: Market Share, Popularity, Hourly Rates & Other Comparisons

We covered the technical aspects of Java and Dart development in great detail. However, when you decide to hire Java developers or Dart programmers, many factors influence the availability and access to expertise. Hence, you should also keep these pointers in mind when finding the right developers for your needs.

Dart vs Java Stats

Dart vs Java Stats according to WebTechSurvey

Stats Dart Java
Website Using 1420 886,813
Most Popular in the Country United States United States
Market Position in Programming Language #16 #2

Wrapping Up!

This was your ultimate comparison guide on Java vs Dart for 2023. Dart and Java have different focal points, but both stand out in their respective light regarding performance, scalability, security, and other essential aspects. They can help create fully customised, robust and secure cross-platform apps. Make sure to choose the right platform that matches your current or future needs the closest.

FAQs

Java has been around for a longer time hence there are much more documentation, tutorials, and guides available to learn Java than Dart. Also, Java follows very standardized coding standards and styles, which makes collaborating with teams much easier.

Dart on the other hand is a modern programming language with many useful tools that ease the development process. Its syntax and coding style are somewhat similar to Java while avoiding some boilerplate issues of Java.

Overall, when we talk about the learning curve, Dart is much easier than Java.

The question is like comparing apples to oranges since Java and Flutter have distinctively different target audiences. Java is mainly used for native Android application development whereas, Flutter is more like a toolkit that allows developers to create modern UI focused app solutions that target multiple platforms like mobile phones, desktops, and the web with a single codebase.

Overall, your decision would depend on various different features and your project’s specific requirements.

No, Dart is a separate programming language developed by Google as the primary programming language for Flutter. Dart does draw some influences from Java in terms of similarities from their C-style syntax, however they are separate programming languages with their own ecosystems.
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    Saurabh Barot

    Saurabh Barot, the CTO of Aglowid IT Solutions, leads a team of 50+ IT experts across various domains. He excels in web, mobile, IoT, AI/ML, and emerging tech. Saurabh's technical prowess is underscored by his contributions to Agile, Scrum, and Sprint-based milestones. His guidance as a CTO ensures remote teams achieve project success with precision and technical excellence.

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