A pub transformer that rewrites Dart script tags to JavaScript script tags, eliminating 404s and speeding up initial loads. Useful when building for deployment.

Why? Load your app quicker!

A traditional Dart application is deployed with HTML that looks something like this:

<script async type="application/dart" src="test.dart"></script>
<script async src="packages/browser/dart.js"></script>

This is a performance problem for initial startup, because:

  • Some browsers will attempt to download test.dart, but that file is not deployed. This causes unnecessary server strain and noisy 404s.

  • The browser needs to run dart.js to replace a script tag in the DOM, so that the actual JavaScript version of the app can be downloaded. This is an unnecessary delay, since today no production browser includes Dart VM and thus only the JavaScript version is required.

With this transformer, you can address the above issues, speed up the load time of your apps, and make happier users.


Add the transformer to your pubspec.yaml:

- dart_to_js_script_rewriter

(Assuming you already added this package to your pubspec.yaml file.)

How it works

When run in "release" mode, this transformer does two things:

  • Removes script tags that point to dart.js.
  • Rewrites a Dart script tag to a JavaScript script tag.

For example, this code:

<script async type="application/dart" src="test.dart"></script>
<script async src="packages/browser/dart.js"></script>

is turned into this code:

<script async src="test.dart.js"></script>

Pub, modes, and this transformer

This transformer only runs when pub is running in release mode.

This transformer only makes sense when you want to build your app for a production deployment. You probably do not want to run this transformer during the normal develop/reload cycles.

Pub can run in different modes, which have different semantics. The debug mode, for example, can disable minification. The release mode can turn on optimizations.

By default, pub serve runs in debug mode. By default, pub build runs in _release_mode.

See the pub docs for more on modes.

In a world with Dart VM in browsers, don't I need dart.js?

Right now, pub build does not build a production release of your app that includes Dart code. Mainly, this is because the dart2dart program is still in development. Also, no browsers have the Dart VM.

Probably the ultimate answer for Dart apps that run as both Dart and JavaScript and load fast is to use the server to check the browser and respond with the correct file. But I'll worry about that when Dart VM in browsers is closer, and pub build supports building Dart source to something deployable.

Reporting issues

Please use the issue tracker.