Dart Dev Tools

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Centralized tooling for Dart projects. Consistent interface across projects. Easily configurable.


All Dart (https://dartlang.org) projects eventually share a common set of development requirements:

  • Tests (unit, integration, and functional)
  • Code coverage
  • Consistent code formatting
  • Static analysis to detect issues
  • Documentation generation
  • Examples for manual testing/exploration
  • Applying a LICENSE file to all source files

Together, the Dart SDK and a couple of packages from the Dart team supply the necessary tooling to support the above requirements. But, the usage is inconsistent, configuration is limited to command-line arguments, and you inevitably end up with a slew of shell scripts in the tool/ directory. While this works, it lacks a consistent usage pattern across multiple projects and requires an unnecessary amount of error-prone work to set up.

This package improves on the above process by providing a number of benefits:

Centralized Tooling

By housing the APIs and CLIs for these various dev workflows in a single location, you no longer have to worry about keeping scripts in parity across multiple projects. Simply add the dart_dev package as a dependency, and you're ready to go.

Versioned Tooling

Any breaking changes to the APIs or CLIs within this package will be reflected by an appropriate version bump according to semver. You can safely upgrade your tooling to take advantage of continuous improvements and new features with minimal maintenance.

Separation of Concerns

Every task supported in dart_dev is separated into three pieces:

  1. API - programmatic execution via Dart code.
  2. CLI - script-based execution via the dart_dev executable.
  3. Configuration - singleton configuration instances for simple per-project configuration.

Consistent Interface

By providing a single executable (dart_dev) that supports multiple tasks with standardized options, project developers have a consistent interface for development across all projects that utilize this package. Configuration is handled on a per-project basis via a single Dart file, meaning that you don't have to know anything about a project to run tests or static analysis - you just need to know how to use the dart_dev tool.

Note: This is not a replacement for the tooling provided by the Dart SDK and packages like test or dart_style. Rather, dart_dev is a unified interface for interacting with said tooling in a simplified manner.

Supported Tasks

Getting Started

Install dart_dev

Add the following to your pubspec.yaml:

  coverage: "^0.7.2"
  dart_dev: "^1.0.0"
  dart_style: ">=0.1.8 <0.3.0"
  dartdoc: "^0.4.0"
  test: "^0.12.0"

Create an Alias (optional)

Add the following to your bash or zsh profile for convenience:

alias ddev='pub run dart_dev'

Bash Completion

Symlink or copy the file tool/ddev-completion.sh into /etc/bash_completion.d/ (or wherever your completion scripts live, if you have installed Bash through Homebrew on a Mac, for instance, this will be /usr/local/etc/bash_completion.d/).

If you are using Bash installed through Homebrew, you'll also need to install the completion machinery with brew install bash-completion. Then make sure something like the following is in your .bashrc file:

if [ -f $(brew --prefix)/etc/bash_completion ]; then
  . $(brew --prefix)/etc/bash_completion

Next time you load a Bash session you'll have basic completions for the ddev alias described above.


In order to configure dart_dev for a specific project, run ddev init or pub run dart_dev init to generate the configuration file. This should create a tool/dev.dart file where each task can be configured as needed.

import 'package:dart_dev/dart_dev.dart';

main(args) async {
  // Define the entry points for static analysis.
  config.analyze.entryPoints = ['lib/', 'test/', 'tool/'];
  // Define the directories where the LICENSE should be applied.
  config.copyLicense.directories = ['example/', 'lib/'];

  // Configure whether or not the HTML coverage report should be generated.
  config.coverage.html = false;
  // Configure the port on which examples should be served.
  config.examples.port = 9000;
  // Define the directories to include when running the
  // Dart formatter.
  config.format.directories = ['lib/', 'test/', 'tool/'];
  // Define the location of your test suites.
    ..unitTests = ['test/unit/']
    ..integrationTests = ['test/integration/'];

  // Execute the dart_dev tooling.
  await dev(args);

Full list of configuration options.

Try It Out

The tooling in dart_dev works out of the box with happy defaults for each task. Run ddev or pub run dart_dev to see the help usage. Try it out by running any of the following tasks:

# with the alias
ddev analyze
ddev copy-license
ddev coverage
ddev docs
ddev examples
ddev format
ddev test

# without the alias
pub run dart_dev analyze
pub run dart_dev copy-license
pub run dart_dev coverage
pub run dart_dev docs
pub run dart_dev examples
pub run dart_dev format
pub run dart_dev test

Add the -h flag to any of the above commands to receive additional help information specific to that task.

Project Configuration

Project configuration occurs in the tool/dev.dart file where the config instance is imported from the dart_dev package. The bare minimum for this file is:

import 'package:dart_dev/dart_dev.dart';

main(args) async {
  // Available config objects:
  await dev(args);

analyze Config

All configuration options for the analyze task are found on the config.analyze object.

Name Type Default Description
entryPoints List<String> ['lib/'] Entry points to analyze. Items in this list can be directories and/or files. Directories will be expanded (depth=1) to find Dart files.
fatalWarnings bool true Treat non-type warnings as fatal.
hints bool true Show hint results.
fatalHints bool false Fail on hints (requests hints to be true).

copy-license Config

All configuration options for the copy-license task are found on the config.copyLicense object.

Name Type Default Description
directories List<String> ['lib/'] All source files in these directories will have the LICENSE header applied.
licensePath String 'LICENSE' Path to the source LICENSE file that will be copied to all source files.

coverage config

All configuration options for the coverage task are found on the config.coverage object. However, the coverage task also uses the test suite configuration from the config.test object.

Name Type Default Description
html bool true Whether or not to generate the HTML report.
output String 'coverage/' Output directory for coverage artifacts.
reportOn List<String> ['lib/'] List of paths to include in the generated coverage report (LCOV and HTML).
pubServe bool false Whether or not to serve browser tests using a Pub server.
If true, make sure to follow the test package's setup instructions and include the test/pub_serve transformer.

Note: "lcov" must be installed in order to generate the HTML report.

If you're using brew, you can install it with: brew update && brew install lcov

Otherwise, visit http://ltp.sourceforge.net/coverage/lcov.php

docs config

There are currently no project-configuration settings for the docs task.

examples Config

All configuration options for the examples task are found on the config.examples object.

Name Type Default Description
hostname String 'localhost' The host name to listen on.
port int 8080 The base port to listen on.

format Config

All configuration options for the format task are found on the config.format object.

Name Type Default Description
check bool false Dry-run; checks if formatter needs to be run and sets exit code accordingly.
directories List<String> ['lib/'] Directories to run the formatter on. All files (any depth) in the given directories will be formatted.

test Config

All configuration options for the test task are found on the config.test object.

Name Type Default Description
concurrency int 4 Number of concurrent test suites run.
integrationTests List<String> [] Integration test locations. Items in this list can be directories and/or files.
platforms List<String> [] Platforms on which to run the tests (handled by the Dart test runner). See https://github.com/dart-lang/test#platform-selector-syntax for a full list of supported platforms. * Not all platforms are supported by all continuous integration servers. Please consult your CI server's documentation for more details.
unitTests List<String> ['test/'] Unit test locations. Items in this list can be directories and/or files.
pubServe bool false Whether or not to serve browser tests using a Pub server.
If true, make sure to follow the test package's setup instructions and include the test/pub_serve transformer.
* Individual test files can be executed by appending their path to the end of the command.
ddev test path/to/test_name path/to/another/test_name

CLI Usage

This package comes with a single executable: dart_dev. To run this executable: ddev or pub run dart_dev. This usage will simply display the usage help text along with a list of supported tasks:

$ ddev
Standardized tooling for Dart projects.

Usage: pub run dart_dev [task] [options]

    --[no-]color    Colorize the output.
                    (defaults to on)

-h, --help          Shows this usage.
-q, --quiet         Minimizes the logging output.
    --version       Shows the dart_dev package version.

Supported tasks:

  • Static analysis: ddev analyze
  • Applying license to source files: ddev copy-license
  • Code coverage: ddev coverage
  • Documentation generation: ddev docs
  • Serving examples: ddev examples
  • Dart formatter: ddev format
  • Initialization: ddev init
  • Tests: ddev test

Add the -h flag to any of the above commands to see task-specific flags and options.

Any project configuration defined in the tool/dev.dart file should be reflected in the execution of the above commands. CLI flags and options will override said configuration.

Programmatic Usage

The tooling facilitated by this package can also be executed via a programmatic Dart API:

import 'package:dart_dev/api.dart' as api;

main() async {
  await api.analyze();
  await api.serveExamples();
  await api.format();
  await api.init();
  await api.test();

Check out the source of these API methods for additional documentation.

In order to provide a clean API, these methods do not leverage the configuration instances that the command-line interfaces do. Because of this, the default usage may be different. You can access said configurations from the main package:dart_dev/dart_dev.dart import.