Monday, 18 May 2015

Introducing Dart Studio

Dart Studio is an Eclipse-based IDE for Windows users. It provides a convenient bundle of the Dart SDK, the Dart Editor plugin and the Eclipse Web Developer tools combined with a custom-branded version of the Eclipse IDE platform.

Although these components can be combined manually to create an equivalent environment, a single, pre-assembled download serves as an alternative to the recently discontinued Dart Editor.


Dart Studio can be downloaded from SourceForge. To install, simply unpack the zip file to a location of your choice and double-click DartStudio.exe to get started. You will be prompted to select a location for the workspace; this is the default location for new projects. That done Dart Studio will finish loading and present the Dart Studio development environment ready for a new project.

Remember you will need a recent version of the Java runtime environment (either version 7 or 8) to run Dart Studio. This can be downloaded from Oracle - select JRE, accept the license agreement and download the version appropriate to your system.

Dartium


Dart Studio provides a complete Dart development environment with the exception of Dartium which is not included in the download bundle and must be installed separately. Download the latest release here.

Note there is no 64-bit version of Dartium; you must download the 32-bit build even for the 64-bit version of Dart Studio.

Unzip the Dartium package; this will create a directory named something like dartium-win-full-stable-45396.0 (or whatever the particular build is named.) Rename it to chromium and move it into the Dart Studio directory so that it is at the same level as the dart-sdk folder.

Now run Dart Studio and select Preferences from the Window menu. Select 'Dart' then 'SDK' to show the Dart tools configuration. The Dartium panel should indicate that it has been correctly installed.

Symlinks


At the time of writing an issue with Eclipse's handling of symlinked directories presents a problem for Windows users. This is discussed in detail in a separate post here.

To prevent the accidental deletion of packages in the Dart Pub cache, Dart Studio disables the deletion of directories from within the 'Project Explorer'. If you need to remove folders from your project use Windows Explorer (or the command line) to delete them directly and refresh the project view by pressing F5. Similarly, a warning will be given if you attempt to delete a project from within Dart Studio; you will be allowed to proceed but make sure you have not selected the option to remove the project contents from disk. The project deletion warning does not work for closed projects so be sure to remember not to delete the disk contents.

These measures are intended to be temporary and will be removed once the Dart team have resolved the symlink issue.

Version numbers


Finally a note on version numbers. Dart Studio is based on a rebranded version of the Eclipse platform distribution and its version numbering was chosen to reflect that. For example Dart Studio 4.4.2.0 is based on Eclipse 4.4.2 with the final digit allowing for updated releases.

Dart Studio also includes a particular release of the Dart development tools so the remaining digits in the version number reflect this. For example, dartstudio-4.4.2.0-1.10.0-win32 includes Dart version 1.10.0. The final part of the name indicates either a 32-bit (win32) or 64-bit (x64) binary release.