Angular 1.4 and 2.0: My Two Cents

Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you are familiar with all the buzz around Angular 2.0. Or maybe not? Check it out.

It seems that everyone and their mom has something to say about the Angular 2.0 news, largely split into two extremely opposite groups. The large group of people complaining about the woes of such a large framework shift and challenges that will ensue, and the minority (as it would seem) embracing the change.

As the shock settles in finally of the changes and what exactly Angular 2.0 is, everyone is back to business and more recently we have updated information about planned versions for Angular 1.4  and potentially 1.5.

Most recently Dave Iffland (Technical author from infoq.com) contacted me in regards to my thoughts on these future releases and how it may affect my development choices. I wasn’t necessarily inclined to dish out my opinion previously, but now that the waters have settled a bit I think it is worth a short outburst to sit in the pile.

First off, I will give away my position by giving a strong “hats off” to the Brad Green and Rob Eisenberg, the managers / architects on Angular and Durandal respectively. Thank you for taking the principles of two amazingly popular and awesome frameworks and tackling the challenge of how to combine efforts and work towards a centralized goal. We do not yet know the outcome, but I am strongly looking forward to what Angular 2.0 might offer, and in the some way I fell in love with Angular 1.x, I believe something to the similar effect can be created again to both maximize my productivity and flexibility. While there are times that it is essential to break off and develop something entirely new to promote creativity, I think this is a great example of some opportunities well taken to combine all the previous learnings to build the next wave web framework.

That being said, I also, like others, have several long term projects built on Angular 1.x. However, no different from any other JavaScript library or framework I use, there are no real guarantees as to exactly how long it may be officially supported and maintained. I think many people got behind Angular based on its relationship to Google. Which is not necessarily wrong, but may be leaping assumption. The point is that I used this framework for what it offers today. Of course it is an added bonus of the upgrades thereafter – that’s just life working in such a volatile community with an endless number of JavaScript libraries and frameworks!

The future doesn’t look grim at all though when we talk about 1.x in my opinion (though you wouldn’t know that from all the recent media action). In fact, the understood roadmap for 1.x is looking fairly decent in retrospect. An earlier quote from the team indicated that you can expect 1.3 support for Angular for up to 2 years after the launch of Angular 2.0, which we shouldn’t expect until the end of 2015 at the earliest. Realistically speaking, I’m betting more on early 2016 before its ready (remember it took almost 2 years to reach a 1.0 release – and this is a complete rewrite). In the meantime we now have many things to look forward to in the coming 1.4 version – specifically speaking the new router (which will also be used in 2.0). I think it is fantastic that Angular 1.x is receiving parallel development to Angular 2.0, and really indicates the commitment of the team to the community.

One of my favorite recent technologies is using the Ionic Framework to build Hybrid Cordova apps using Angular. I simply love how everything integrates to create such a fast method of creating mobile applications, using my existing Angular skills. I had some initial concern about the future direction of this Framework.  Though the team has indicated they are in close contact with the Angular team in preparing their next version to support Angular 2.0/

At the end of the day, we know there is at least another year of active development for new features for Angular 1.x, and a year or two of support after that giving those of us ample opportunity to design our next move. Keeping in mind that 2-3 years is an eternity in our business. I like the tone of this article from K. Scott Allen, and could not agree more on surfing the waves of change.

Looking forward to another year or two with Angular 1.x, and then moving on with new projects after that onto Angular 2.0 (or the next big thing)…

One Comments

  1. Torgeir Helgevold says:

    I think the migration pain will be manageable. I have jotted down a few thoughts here: http://www.syntaxsuccess.com/viewarticle/migrating-from-angular-1.x-to-angular-2.0