Angular creator MiŠko Hevery gives the lowdown on the thinking behind Angular 2 along with a peek into the future
Q. Angular 1 is a robust and popular language. How long do you think it will be before developers finally say goodbye to Angular 1?
A. Angular 1 is very popular and will be supported for as long as there is a significant user base still using it. We currently get about 1.3 million unique monthly visitors to the Angular 1 website and about 300,000 unique monthly visitors to Angular 2. We are pleasantly surprised by the speed of adoption even before we are out of beta.
Q. Angular 2 is a not a progressive update from Angular 1. It is almost a completely new variation on the first version. What was the thinking behind Angular 2?
A. Angular 2 follows the philosophy of Angular 1. With Angular 2 we set out to make it broader (native mobile) and faster, toolable, standards-inclusive, future-proof, and suitable for large teams and for large codebases. While Angular 1 was a framework, Angular 2 is a platform. To achieve such ambitious goals, we had to start from scratch, but you can see that the spirit of Angular 1 lives on in Angular 2. We think that ngUpgrade gives people a nice way to migrate from Angular 1 to Angular 2.
Q. What do you think are the key benefits of using Angular 2 for developers?
A. Angular 2 is built for large apps as well as large teams and to that end, we have focused on toolability and maintainability of the codebase. Support of TypeScript enables a large number of developers to work on the same codebase and it enables refactoring, which promotes code health. More consistent templating rules allow tool vendors to build better IDEs and support. Finally, we have focused on speed and memory footprint, which will make even complex desktop apps fast and mobile apps possible.
Q. What key features, that may not be available (or perhaps are in the pipeline and are planned for a later release), can we expect to see added to Angular 2 in the near future?
A. We have already done some work on Web Workers, native renderers and built some compelling demos. The goal is to bring these from Labs to the masses in the near future. Web Workers will allow you to get more out of your browser by utilising multiple CPU cores, which will allow building richer, more performant and interactive applications. The native renderer will allow for targeting native apps on multiple platforms with a single codebase as well as targeting native desktop apps.
Q. Angular 2 is currently still in beta, are there any hints on the release date? And looking to the future is their going to be a third incarnation of the framework? Is this new version of Angular already being worked on?
A. I think Angular 2 is built in a way which will allow us to grow the framework for many years without the need to do another major rewrite, so it is unlikely that there will be a third incarnation, as of now there are no such plans. As Angular 2 is toolable both in templates as well as in TypeScript, going forward we expect to accompany any incremental breaking changes with an automatic script which will migrate the application code on the behalf of the developers. This will let us grow the framework for years without major rewrites.