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How to convert from Ruby to Dart

Converting code from Ruby to Dart can be a challenging but rewarding process. With the rise of Dart, especially due to its use in Flutter for cross-platform mobile app development, understanding how to transition between these languages can give developers a powerful edge. This guide will walk you through the key differences and steps needed to migrate your Ruby code to Dart effectively.

Understanding the Key Differences Between Ruby and Dart

Ruby is a dynamic, interpreted language known for its simplicity and productivity. Dart, on the other hand, is a statically-typed, compiled language that emphasizes performance and scalability. Here are some core differences to keep in mind:

  • Typing System: Ruby uses dynamic typing, whereas Dart is statically typed.
  • Compilation: Ruby is interpreted, while Dart is often compiled ahead of time (AOT) for better performance.
  • Syntax and Structure: The syntax of Ruby and Dart differs significantly, from variable declarations to method definitions.

Converting Basic Syntax

Variables and Data Types

In Ruby, you can freely assign variables without declaring types:

name = "John"
age = 30
is_student = true

In Dart, you need to declare the types explicitly:

String name = "John";
int age = 30;
bool isStudent = true;

Strings and Interpolation

Ruby and Dart both support string interpolation but with different syntax:

  • Ruby:

    greeting = "Hello, #{name}!"
  • Dart:

    String greeting = "Hello, $name!";

Conditional Statements

Conditional logic in Ruby employs if and unless, while Dart uses if-else in a more structured format:

  • Ruby:

    if age >= 18
  • Dart:

    String status = (age >= 18) ? "Adult" : "Minor";

Converting Functions/Methods

In Ruby, method definitions are straightforward:

def greet(name)
  "Hello, #{name}"

In Dart, you need to declare the return type:

String greet(String name) {
  return "Hello, $name";

Handling Collections and Iteration

Ruby uses arrays and hashes, while Dart uses lists and maps.

Arrays to Lists

  • Ruby:

    numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4]
  • Dart:

    List<int> numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4];

Hashes to Maps

  • Ruby:

    person = { "name" => "John", "age" => 30 }
  • Dart:

    Map<String, dynamic> person = {
      "name": "John",
      "age": 30

Iterating Over Collections

In Ruby, you use each for iteration:

numbers.each do |number|
  puts number

In Dart, you can use a for loop or forEach method:

numbers.forEach((number) {

Class and Object Conversion

Object-oriented programming in Dart closely resembles that in Ruby but includes explicit type declarations and visibility keywords.

Ruby Classes

class Person
  attr_accessor :name, :age
  def initialize(name, age)
    @name = name
    @age = age

  def greet
    "Hello, #{@name}"

Dart Classes

class Person {
  String name;
  int age;

  Person(, this.age);

  String greet() {
    return "Hello, $name";

Error Handling

Ruby uses begin-rescue for exception handling:

  # code that might raise an exception
rescue StandardError => e
  puts e.message

Dart uses try-catch blocks:

try {
  // code that might throw an exception
} catch (e) {


By understanding these core differences and how to handle them, you can effectively convert your Ruby code to Dart. This transformation enables you to leverage Dart's performance benefits and the powerful Flutter framework for mobile app development. Although the syntax and some concepts vary, the underlying programming principles remain the same. With practice and attention to detail, you can become proficient in Dart and extend your development capabilities.

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