Hello, Flutter!

road-to-flutter 18-03-2024

The past few days I’ve been exeprimenting with Project IDX, a up and coming IDE developed by Google, based on VSCode but runs on Google’s Cloud Workstations so you can access an entire environment from the web. Generally I’m wary about using proprietary tools (go neovim and vscodium!!), but as I was genuinely interested in what Google could come up with (and because Google already has my data + Microsoft already has all my code through GitHub) I signed myself up for the waitlist.

Upon looking through what IDX had to offer, I stumbled across Flutter: a cross-platform app development framework. I’d heard about it in the past, but this time I was motivated to dig a little deeper.

I’ve never touched app development, especially for mobile platforms, so I thought I could do some learning here and engage in some recreational development! So, here we are, on the road-to-flutter.

Hello, Dart!

Flutter happens to be based on the language known as Dart. Therefore, in order to get good at Flutter, one needs to get good at Dart. Thus, after looking through a primer at Learn dart in Y Minutes, I was ready to tackle some programming on my own.

First up was, of course, the classic hello world program. To make things easier, I decided to use Dartpad, a browser-based Dart playground. To print to stdout, one uses the print function:

void main() {
  print("Hello, world!");

This is among the easiest of the C-style languages I’ve had experience with to print something out. However, you could add a variable for more extensibility:

void main() {
  var name = "Dart"; // or perhaps const NAME
  print("Hello, ${name}!");

Here, string interpolation was used by using ${} with the variable name between the brackets. It is also useful to note that string concatenation can be achieved by just placing strings next to each other, no operator needed.

Next time, I would love to try out some Advent of Code problems (another stepping stone on my classic path to programming language familiarity)!

Author's photo

Lin Jiang

I’m a high school student that's passionate about computer science. Join me in having fun through recreational programming!

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