Google is building a Chrome-based development environment, code-named Spark. The IDE would function as a Chrome app on a Chromebook and would enable developers to build apps for Chrome faster and easier than they can currently.

As Google France employee Francois Beaufort notes, Spark has a public GitHub repository where Google is building the app, and Google engineers are using Dart, a “new language for scalable web app engineering.” Dart is a class-based and object oriented language that compiles to Javascript to build and run web apps — which is essentially what Chrome apps are.

And, he says, it contains a graphical user interface library powered by Polymer, a pre-alpha “only for the daring” library that includes a set of user interface components for building web applications. That likely translates into what Google is calling the “Spark Widget Library,” a set of GUI components that app developers can draw from as they build apps.


The app is clearly under active development, as components have been updated as recently as a minute ago, as I write this, with regular commits days, weeks, and up to a month ago. And the repository is clearly in a fairly raw state, with typical developer misspellings such as “impromevents” in the commit comments.

As The Next Web says, it’s not clear right now if this is a project that Google will actually officially support, or a playground for a couple of Google engineers to mess around in.

But if it’s a project that Google will eventually support, this shows significant progress towards a way to simply create Chrome apps. Chrome apps are a little bit more than web apps as they have access to local Chrome APIs, meaning that you can build desktop-class applications with little more effort than web applications, including resource-intensive apps that can’t have the latencies you might typically find online, such as music and video editing apps.

I’ve asked Google for a comment on Spark and will update this post when the company responds.

Get more stories like this on TwitterFacebook

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google ... All Google news »

Track Google's Landscape to stay on top of the industry. Access the entire ecosystem, track innovation & deals. Learn more.