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Python vs. Dart for your Backend: Which one to choose?

In the previous article, I presented an overview of the differences between Node.js and Dart. Today we will talk about Dart, a programming language that is currently gaining plenty of ground in the world of developers.

Marny Lopez
May 13, 2024

Python vs. Dart

Even though Dart is a young programming language, it has already established itself, especially in mobile application programming.

Google created Flutter, a software development kit (SDK) that uses Dart, promoting the use and dissemination of this programming language.

Furthermore, Dart’s readability has already earned it a place of preference among developers, as it makes it easy to understand, change, copy, and share code.

There is no confusion, bugs, or conflicting paradigms, which leads to a more efficient exchange of algorithms, ideas, and tools.

Dart’s large libraries and open-source code also add to its great advantages.

Now, what are the differences between Dart and Python? Which is better to use? Is Python better or comparable to Dart? Let’s dive into all this and more!

Dart and Python can be classified primarily as "Language” tools. First, let's get into a brief description of them.

Created by Google as an alternative to JavaScript, Dart is inspired by languages like C#, Java, and CoffeeScript. It is a new web programming language that includes libraries, a virtual machine, and development tools.

Together, they create a cohesive and scalable platform for creating applications that run on servers or the web (using Polymer.)

You can use Dart's libraries and tools to write pretty much anything, from simple scripts to full-featured applications, using the same code for all platforms.

Python is a clear and powerful object-oriented programming language comparable to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, and Java. It is a general-purpose programming language with dynamic semantics, integrated mainly for web and software development.

As it is an interpreted language, compilation is not required to run applications written in Python. Instead, Python applications are executed directly by the computer using an interpreter.

Architecture-wise, Dart's compilation technology enables it to execute code in different ways:

● Native platform: Dart includes a Dart VM with just-in-time compilation (JIT) and an ahead-of-time compiler (AOT) to produce machine code for desktop and mobile applications.

● Web platform: For web applications, Dart includes a development-time compiler (dartdevc) and a production-time compiler (dart2js). Both compilers translate Dart to JavaScript.

● A fast development cycle is critical for interaction; Dart VM offers a just-in-time (JIT) compiler with incremental compilation that allows hot reloading, live metrics compilations, and rich debugging.

Python’s general architecture can be divided into three main sections:

● On the left, the built-in module library and the user-defined module provided by Python.

● On the right, the Python operating environment, including objects/type systems, memory allocators, and execution status information.

● In the middle is the main Python interpreter.

● Remember, Python does not convert its code to machine code directly. Instead, it compiles the code into bytecode, which is then converted to machine code by an interpreter at run time.

Here are some of Dart’s and Python’s similarities and differences:

Dart’s Advantages

● The same Dart scripts work in native iOS and Android apps without modification.

● Dart scripts can be compiled into stand-alone snapshots that run on Linux, Mac, and Windows without the need for any additional programs or libraries.

● As of Dart 2.12.0, null safety is optional. Dart is moving toward null safety as the default style.

● Dart makes it much easier to spot bugs early in development and makes the complexity of the application easier to manage.

Dart’s Disadvantages

● Its biggest issue is the lack of comparable library support.

● Even though Flutter Web can definitely be used for this purpose, it is not ideal for text-heavy websites such as a blog.

● Compared to JavaScript, Dart has a rather small support community and lower availability of learning materials.

● To Flutter it is necessary to learn the Dart programming language.

Python’s Advantages

● The Python standard library is very extensive and includes a large collection of libraries and frameworks.

● Python is compatible with all operating systems and is open source, so everyone can use it and distribute it freely.

● It is a great option for software development, as developers can use great frameworks such as Django and Flask.

Python’s Disadvantages

● Slowness, mainly due to its dynamic nature and versatility.

● Large memory requirements, mainly due to its data type flexibility.

● Not suitable for mobile app development.

● Server hosting issues: many servers do not support Python and if they do, their configuration is usually complex.

Definitely, Python and Dart have similarities, so depending on what you have in mind, you can use any of them and even combine them!

Take into account their pros and cons and how you can complement them to get the most out of your project. Go for it!