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Integrating Dart applications with Desktop applications

Fernando Carvalho

Joined: Feb 13, 2013
Posts: 7
I would like to know if there is any documentation covering how to create Desktop applications with Dart.
Chris Buckett

Joined: Feb 12, 2013
Posts: 16

No, and Yes!

Ok, so it depends what you mean by desktop app. If you mean something that compiles Dart code to a native .exe or binary, and has bindings for things like QT, Swing or WPF, then no, you can't build a "desktop app" with Dart.

On the other hand, if your definition of a desktop app is an app that can be installed, has it's own icon on the desktop, runs independently of a web browser, then the answer is definately Yes - using Chrome Packaged Apps.

Chrome Packaged Apps allow you to use modern web technologies to write an offline/online application in HTML, CSS, Dart/JavaScript. They are hosted in a Chrome process, but not within the Chrome browser itself. They get access to a wider range of APIs, such as USB, Serial ports, filesystem etc.. You can install chrome packaged apps for Win / Mac / Linux (from the same source-code). They have their own "skin", ie, they aren't visibly running inside a web browser. This gives you a "native" feel to the app, whilst still being able to write the app using web technologies.

(The book, Dart in Action has a chapter dedicated to using Dart to build an "offline first" application, and installing it in Chrome. The Chrome Package App is the next step on from this).

Want a demo... check out a recent blog post which contains a few video clips, some instructions, and a link to the Chrome Packaged Apps developer documentation.

- my DartWatch blog
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subject: Integrating Dart applications with Desktop applications
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