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Geertjan's Blog

  • November 3, 2013

Dart and NetBeans IDE 7.4

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager

Here's the start of Dart in NetBeans IDE. Basic Dart editing support is done and on saving a Dart file the related JavaScript files are automatically generated. In the context of an HTML5 application in NetBeans IDE, that gives you deep integration with the embedded browser and, even better, Chrome, as well as Chrome Developer Tools.

Below, notice that the "Sunflower Spectacular" H1 element is selected (click the image to enlarge it to get a better view), which is therefore highlighted in the live DOM view in the bottom left, as well as in the CSS Styles window in the top right, from where the CSS styles can be edited and from where the related files can be opened in the IDE. Identical features are available for Chrome, as well as on Android and iOS. And if you like that, watch this YouTube movie showing how Chrome Developer Tools integration can fit directly into the workflow below.

Anyone want to help get this plugin further? What's needed:

  • Much deeper Dart editing support, i.e., right now only very basic syntax coloring is provided, i.e., an ANTLR lexer is integrated into the NetBeans syntax coloring infrastructure. Parsing, error checking, code completion, and some small code templates are needed.
  • A new panel is needed in the Project Properties dialog on NetBeans HTML5 projects for enabling Dart (i.e., similar to enabling Cordova), at which point the "dart.js" file and other Dart artifacts should be added to the project, so that a Dart project is immediately generated and the application should be immediately deployable.
  • Whenever changes are made to a Dart file, Dart should run in the background to create the Dart artifacts in some hidden way, so that the user doesn't see all the Dart artifacts as is currently the case.
  • Some way of recognizing Dart projects (there's a YAML file as an identifier) and creating NetBeans HTML5 projects from that, i.e., from Dart projects outside the IDE.

I think that's all...

The official Dart Editor is based on Eclipse and requires a massive download of heaps of Eclipse bundles. Compare that to the NetBeans equivalent, which is a very small "HTML5 and PHP" bundle (60 MB), available here, together with the above small Dart plugin. Plus, when you look at how NetBeans IDE integrates with a bunch of Google-oriented projects, i.e., Chrome, Chrome Developer Tools, and Android (via Cordova), that's a pretty interesting toolbox for anyone using Dart. And bear in mind that ANTLRWorks, Microchip, and heaps of other organizations have built and are building their tools on top of NetBeans!

Join the discussion

Comments ( 16 )
  • Steve Hamblett Monday, November 4, 2013

    Good work! This is needed, Dart is the only environment I use that's not Netbeans based. I too find eclipse to meaty for most of the things I do.


  • Constantin Monday, November 4, 2013

    Something I waiting so looong time !


  • guest Monday, November 4, 2013

    Is the dart plugin available?


  • Eric Sunday, November 10, 2013

    So where is the dart plugin for Netbeans, even if just basic right now?


  • Fleshgrinder Friday, November 15, 2013

    Great, you guys definitely have to push this feature further.


  • guest Monday, November 18, 2013

    I would like to use when it's ready.


  • guest Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    "Parsing, error checking, code completion" ... haha, what? So pretty much everything that makes an IDE is missing.


  • Geertjan Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    No, everything that makes an editor is missing. You're aware, are you not, that there's a difference between an editor and an IDE?


  • Samil Kale Monday, December 23, 2013

    This would be great!!!

    I really hate working on eclipse only for dart :-(


  • guest Thursday, January 2, 2014

    I'd like to use this right now. Imho the dart editor is so broken that it's completely useless. I'd love to start writing dart code in netbeans yesterday ;)


  • Kyle Friday, January 3, 2014

    Howdy Geertjan,

    Is there a repository we can contribute to for this plugin?

    Thanks :-) I think having it work like LESS does would be sweet.


  • guest Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    I don't think the official editor downloads any eclipse bundles. It is however based on eclipse.

    What it does include, and is very useful, is dartium. This is a build of chromium with the dart virtual machine (and accounts for 40 MB of the 120 MB download). This allows for very fast development.


  • Tal Sunday, January 19, 2014

    Please when is planned release of the plugin?


  • guest Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Nice, but what I'm really waiting for is TypeScript support in NetBeans.

    That would be great.


  • mawebis Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Hi all,

    is any progress on support dart to netbeans? Now, i would like start work on a new project with Dart and usually i use Netbeans for normal work, but maybe now i will need change IDE : (

    Thank's a lot


  • Laurent Forêt Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Hi Geertjan,

    Is there any news about Dart support in Netbeans. I will be pleased to help, at least in testing.

    Very minor support is needed for now.

    Best regards.


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