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

Dart Dev Tools #

Pub Build Status

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

Quick Start #

Upgrading from v2? Check out the upgrade guide.

Looking for detailed guides on the available tools? Check out the additional docs.

Add dart_dev as a dev dependency in your project:

# pubspec.yaml
  dart_dev: ^3.0.0

By default, this provides three core tasks:

  • analyze
  • format
  • test

Run any of these tools via the dart_dev command-line app:

$ dart run dart_dev analyze
[INFO] Running subprocess:
dart analyze .
Analyzing dart_dev...
No issues found!

We recommend adding a ddev alias:

alias ddev='dart run dart_dev'

Additional Dart developer tools can be added and every tool can be configured. To do this, create a tool/dart_dev/config.dart file like so:

// tool/dart_dev/config.dart
import 'package:dart_dev/dart_dev.dart';

final config = {
  // See the "Shared Configuration" section for more info on this.

  // Override or add new tools and configure them as desired.
  'analyze': AnalyzeTool(),
  'format': FormatTool(),
  'test': TestTool(),
  'serve': WebdevServeTool()
    ..webdevArgs = ['example:8080'],

Motivation & Goal #

Most Dart projects eventually share a common set of development requirements (e.g. static analysis, formatting, test running, serving, etc.). The Dart SDK along with some core packages supply the necessary tooling for these developer tasks (e.g. dart analyze, dart format, or dart test).

While the core tooling gets us far, there are two areas in which we feel it falls short:

  1. Inconsistencies across projects in how these tools must be used in order to accomplish common developer tasks.

  2. Functionality gaps for more complex use cases.

With dart_dev, we attempt to address #1 by providing a way to configure all of these common developer tasks at the project level, and #2 by composing additional functionality around existing tools.

This package is built with configurability and extensiblity in mind, with the hope that you and your teams will find value in creating your own tools and shared configurations. Ideally, you or your team can settle on a shared configuration that individual projects can consume; projects with unique requirements can tweak the configuration as necessary; and developers can rely on the convention of a simple, consistent command-line interface regardless of the project they are in.

Project-Level Configuration #

Every task should be able to be configured at the project-level so that any variance across projects becomes a configuration detail that need not be memorized or referenced in order to run said task.

Consider formatting as an example. The default approach to formatting files is to run dartfmt -w .. But, some projects may want to exclude certain files that would otherwise be formatted by this command. Or, some projects may want to use pub run dart_style:format instead of dart format. Currently, there is no project-level configuration supported by the formatter, so these sorts of things just have to be documented in a README.md or CONTRIBUTING.md.

With dart_dev, this can be accomplished like so:

// tool/dart_dev/config.dart
import 'package:dart_dev/dart_dev.dart';
import 'pacakge:glob/glob.dart';

final config = {
  'format': FormatTool()
    ..exclude = [Glob('lib/src/**.g.dart')]
    ..formatter = Formatter.dartStyle,
$ ddev format
[INFO] Running subprocess:
dart run dart_style:format -w <3 paths>
Unchanged ./lib/foo.dart
Unchanged ./lib/src/bar.dart
Formatted ./lib/src/baz.dart

Extending/Composing Functionality #

Using existing tooling provided by (or conventionalized by) the Dart community should always be the goal, but the reality is that there are gaps. Certain use cases can be made more convenient and new use cases may arise.

Consider test running as an example. For simple projects, dart test is sufficient. In fact, the test package supports a huge amount of project-level configuration via dart_test.yaml, which means that for projects that are properly configured, dart test just works.

Unfortunately, at this time, projects that rely on builders must run tests via dart run build_runner test. Based on the project, you would need to know which test command should be run.

With dart_dev, the TestTool handles this automatically by checking the project's pubspec.yaml for a dependency on build_test. If present, tests will be run via dart run build_runner test, otherwise it falls back to the default of dart test.

# In a project without a `build_test` dependency:
$ ddev test
[INFO] Running subprocess:
dart test
00:01 +75: All tests passed!

# In a project with a `build_test` dependency:
$ ddev test
[INFO] Running subprocess:
dart run build_runner test
[INFO] Generating build script completed, took 425ms
[INFO] Creating build script snapshot... completed, took 13.6s
[INFO] Building new asset graph completed, took 960ms
[INFO] Checking for unexpected pre-existing outputs. completed, took 1ms
[INFO] Running build completed, took 12.4s
[INFO] Caching finalized dependency graph completed, took 71ms
[INFO] Creating merged output dir `/var/folders/vb/k8ccjw095q16jrwktw31ctmm0000gn/T/build_runner_testBkm6gS/` completed, took 260ms
[INFO] Writing asset manifest completed, took 3ms
[INFO] Succeeded after 12.8s with 1276 outputs (2525 actions)
Running tests...

00:00 +75: All tests passed!

Additionally, TestTool automatically applies --build-filter options to the dart run build_runner test command to help reduce build time and speed up dev iteration when running a subset of the available tests.

Generally speaking, these dart tool abstractions provide a place to address functionality gaps in the underlying tools or make certain use cases more convenient or efficient.

Shared Configuration #

This package provides coreConfig as a minimal base configuration of dart_dev tools. It is the default configuration if your project does not have a tool/dart_dev/config.dart.

This shared config contains the following targets:

  • ddev analyze
  • ddev format
  • ddev test

The actual configuration of each of these targets can be found here: lib/src/core_config.dart

coreConfig is just a getter that returns a Map<String, DevTool> object, so extending it or customizing it is as easy as creating your own Map, spreading the shared config, and then adding your own entries:

// tool/dart_dev/config.dart
import 'package:dart_dev/dart_dev.dart';

final config = {

  // Override a target by including it after `...coreConfig`:
  'format': FormatTool()
    ..formatter = Formatter.dartFormat,

  // Add a custom target:
  'github': ProcessTool(
      'open', ['https://github.com/Workiva/dart_dev']),

  // etc.

Format on save #

dart_dev can be used to facilitate formatting on save inside of JetBrains IDEs. For setup instructions, see below.

A Note on VS Code #

A VS code extension exists to run either dartfmt or over_react_format on save. For information on it, see its project. However, that VS Code extension does not run dart_dev, but rather has its own logic to run a formatting command.

JetBrains IDEs (WebStorm, IntelliJ, etc.) #

Webstorm exposes a File Watcher utility that can be used to run commands when a file saves. For this approach, all you need to do is set up the file watcher. Shoutout to @patkujawa-wf for creating the original inspiration of this solution!

NOTE: Before setting up the watcher, there are three basic limitations when using it:

  1. dart_dev's minimum must be at least version 3.6.0 in the projects that uses the watcher.
  2. Only dart_dev's FormatTool and OverReact Format's OverReactFormatTool are supported.
  3. Literals need to be used when possible when configuring the formatter. This primarily pertains to the formatter tool itself and setting the property that is responsible for line-length. For example:
    // Good
    final Map<String, DevTool> config = {
      // ... other config options
      'format': FormatTool()
        ..formatter = Formatter.dartStyle
        ..formatterArgs = ['-l', '120'],
    // Bad
    // Example 1: Line-length as a variable
    const lineLength = 120;
    final Map<String, DevTool> config = {
      // ... other config options
      'format': FormatTool()
        ..formatter = Formatter.dartStyle
        ..formatterArgs = ['-l', lineLength],
    // Example 2: Args as a variable
    const formatterArgs = ['-l', '120'];
    final Map<String, DevTool> config = {
      // ... other config options
      'format': FormatTool()
        ..formatter = Formatter.dartStyle
        ..formatterArgs = formatterArgs,
    // Example 3: Formatter as a variable
    final formatter = FormatTool()
        ..formatter = Formatter.dartStyle
        ..formatterArgs = ['-l', '120'];
    final Map<String, DevTool> config = {
      // ... other config options
      'format': formatter,

Setting Up the File Watcher

  1. Go into Webstorm's preferences. It doesn't matter what project you do this in, as you'll ultimately want to make the watcher global. More on that later, though!

  2. Navigate to the "File Watchers" settings. This is under "Preferences > Tools > File Watchers". The File Watcher pane should look something like:

    File Watcher Pane
  3. Clicking on the import icon on the bottom toolbar.

  4. Import the format_on_save.xml file found in this project, at "dart_dev/tool/file_watchers/format_on_save.xml".

  5. After importing, change the watcher scoping (AKA "level") to Global on the right hand side under the "level" column, which makes the watcher available for use in all projects.

  6. In each project, you will also have to enable the watcher by checking the box on the file watcher's row.

For additional reference on how the watcher is set up, see JetBrains File Watcher Configuration.

JetBrains File Watcher Configuration

Final File Watcher Configuration
  1. The Name: Webstorm treats this like the process name, so it's the identifier that will be used to display any output that the process is running. It can be whatever you like!
  2. File Type: Dart, since that's what the formatter was built for.
  3. Scope: Project Files will produce the desired effect, but if a different option works better for you then feel free! For more information on scoping, see the docs.
  4. Program: The exutable to run. In this case, it can just be pub. If there are any issues, providing a full path to the executable may have the desired outcome. For pub, this is most likely /usr/local/bin/pub.
  5. Arguments: The rest of the command, and by default should be run dart_dev hackFastFormat "$FilePathRelativeToProjectRoot$". Here's the breakdown:
    • run dart_dev hackFastFormat: Simply the process to run.
    • "$FilePathRelativeToProjectRoot$": The environment variable that will target only the changed file.
  6. Output Paths to Refresh: "$FilePathRelativeToProjectRoot$".
  7. Working Directory: $ContentRoot$.
  8. Advanced Options: Uncheck all the boxes. Again, if you experiment and find having some of them checked is better then feel free! However, the expected behavior occurs when none of them are checked.
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Centralized tooling for Dart projects. Consistent interface across projects. Easily configurable.

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analyzer, args, async, build_runner, collection, glob, io, logging, path, pub_semver, pubspec_parse, stack_trace, yaml


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