Angular 2 is coming soon (but Angular 1 is not going anywhere)
Google again reassures the community about the longevity of the Angular 1 series, while announcing new details of the next generation, among them Angular Universal and a new tool called angular-cli.
“We’re really close,” says AngularJS manager Brad Green about the approaching beta release of Angular 2. “We really wanted to come up here and say ‘we’re at beta.’ We’re not quite there,” the Google engineer director told attendees at this week’s AngularConnect conference in London.
Angular-cli, Angular Universal and browser support
During the opening keynote (see below), the Angular team announced several specifics of Angular 2. Among the demoed features was angular-cli, a prototype that lets users generate application scaffolds and is based on the ember-cli project. The Angular team sees this command line interface as a means of easing the transition to Angular 2.
“Configuration is a major barrier to tool adoption,” AngularJS team member Igor Minar explained on stage. “I’m sure you bumped into some issues with setting up the transpiler, making sure the module loader knows where to load stuff from, also setting up source maps. This can be pretty tricky. We don’t want these kinds of problems to stand between you and Angular 2,” says Minar who developed the CLI prototype to help improve the initial AngularJS user experience.
Another announcement was ‘Angular Universal‘, the name given to Angular 2’s server-side pre-rendering service that executes the first page of an app on the server when a user requests it, and then sends back HTML and CSS. “This is great not only for speed, where I can get the first view in a few hundred milliseconds, but also great for SEO so that web crawlers get and HTML-only view of your site,” Green explained.
During the keynote, the Angular team also announced that Angular 2’s browser support had been expanded from Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari to also include IE 9, 10 and 11.
93% of users still focused on Angular 1
In spite of vast improvements coming in Angular 2.0, it should be no surprise that the vast majority of AngularJS developers are still focused on working with the Angular 1.x series. This is reflected in the distribution of traffic to Google’s two sites for Angular 1 (angularjs.org) and Angular 2 (angular.io).
The fact that traffic from the community to Google’s new Angular generation has only reached 7% seems to have sent a clear message about the community’s interest in preserving the 1.x generation, something that Google has repeatedly promised to do until “the vast majority” of users have switched to Angular 2.
“We at Google are actually going to be on Angular 1 for some time, even though we’ve started to adopt Angular 2 internally,” Green said, speaking about Google’s own Angular-based projects showcased on the madewithangular.com website, alongside other examples like Ryanair.com and iTunes Connect.