What is AngularJS?
The graph below is an indicator of the fact the AngularJS has seen massive growth (Source: Indeed Job Trends)
So why pick AngularJS?
While there are new frameworks rolled out everyday, AngularJS doesn’t seem to lose its popularity to competitor frameworks. Not only are developers sticking to AngularJS, a lot of developers are adopting this coding framework because:
- Makes tasks like binding, templating, routing, unit testing etc. much simpler
- Eliminates efforts put to build slow, hard to maintain applications
- There isn’t a need to use observable functions since Angular analyses the page DOM and builds the bindings based on the Angular-specific element attributes.
- Angular allows for multiple ways to do the same things, accommodating various development styles and tasks
- Supported by IntelliJ IDEA and Visual Studio .NET IDEs.
- Supported by Google and a great development community.
- It feels very natural to me to design dedicated services, create modules with abstract classes and implementations (ie to provide different persistency providers like firebase or cloudboost) with well designed API.
- Having static typings being used in Angular internals make it also more readable and easier to understand even if AngularJS 2 is even bigger and complex framework in compare to the 1.x.
- Supports multiple languages
A lot of developers today use AngularJS but the question that’s on our minds is, what is the future of this code with the rapidly changing technology? Let’s take a look at how this framework stands its ground against advances in technology and the future:
Better Management, HTTP communication support
AngularJS started with pure XHR request support (through $http and $resource).
What we can expect with the new version:
- Support for Http communication (using ngHttp), Local Storage, Session Storage, and IndexedDB access and WebSocket API.
- Enable building of offline-first applications, which would be able to check connectivity status, cache data offline, and more.
- Better management of offline access, querying network, routing, fetching pages and so on.
AngularJS 2.0 in ECMAScript 6
The entire AngularJS 2.0 code will be written in ES6 but will compile into standard ES5 using Traceur compiler. AngularJS is also adding support for annotations and assertions into the Traceur compiler, so that the application you write can be even more declarative even though it is an AngularJs application, by just adding annotations instead of any other syntax.
Keeping up with speed
The no. 1 demand of 21st Century … fast food, fast load speed and fast Internet. Can AngularJS keep up? The version 2.0 is focused on speed. Object.observer is a proposal to add native support for model change listeners and data binding. AngularJS 2.0 will totally use this to significantly speed up the whole data-binding and update cycle. Although Object.observe is only supported by Chrome, currently, AngularJS folks are working towards improving the checking for objects and arrays without the need for Observe.object support in the browser.
Routing made Flexible
Routing was a core of AngularJS 1.0 but became optional in the new version. With version 2.0, the aim is to bring in some features like nested states, sibling views into the core AngularJS router.
- State-based transitions: UI-Router allowed for this, but it wasn’t part of the core routing module of AngularJS. So sub-states, sibling states where different parts of the views corresponded to different states of the URL / application will be declaratively and simply specified as part of the routing in AngularJS 2.0.
- Security & Authentication: Resolves in AngularJS made this possible but Angular JS 2.0 aims to introduce an easy to understand way of authentication & authorization. For example, a user needs to be logged in,only those with admin rights can access a certain pages, only members of a certain group can navigate to the admin section etc.
- Preserve state during transitions allowing state transitions to be faster & more optimal without erasing old routes and the need for recreation.
Where can you learn?
As you can tell, AnuglarJS is most definitely here to stay but can you keep up? Here are some great tutorials and material to help you get acquainted with the framework.
- Egghead’s video tutorials are a great learning source with over 190 free AngularJS videos that range from 2-10 minutes.
- You can also learn from w3schools.
- Year of Moo covers the basics of Angular JS.
- Codeacademy teaches you Angular basics, controllers, directives etc. It also throws some challenges within the editor.
- Learn with tutorials from Turtorialspoint with examples and live demos.
- Thinkster splits Angular topics into 12 parts with reading material from other sites and the official Angular doc.
Madewithangular has some examples of projects built with AngularJS to show you just how cool the framework is.
Alternatives to AngularJS
Just in case you aren’t very impressed with this framework yet or don’t want to wait for version 2.0, Alternativeto lists out some open source frameworks that you could work with. Here are some, to name a few.
- Vue.js: Fast & intuitive platform to help build interactive interfaces
- Ember.js: Intuitive integrated templates automatically update with data changes
- Polymer: Lets you create custom HTML elements with latest web technologies
- Backbone.js: Provides structure to JS heavy applications through custom events & key-value binding
You can see the entire list here.
The new version of AngularJS will empower developers to create websites that are future-proof and technologically advanced. Assessing the above, it’s clear that AngularJS could be a framework that’s here to stay.