Joining forces

Angular and React teams looking to collaborate

Natali Vlatko
High five image via Shutterstock

The Angular and React teams have met up to discuss how they can work together on similar problems they’re facing. But not everyone is happy about the need to reinvent working tools rather than sharpen them.

Members of the Angular and React teams have recently met to discuss possible collaborations and the decision to take on NPM as package manager. While this meeting between the two popular JavaScript frameworks could hint at future partnerships, an eventual merging of the technologies is unlikely.

Show and tell

Christopher Chedeau and the React team made their way to Google Headquarters, where Igor Minar shared Angular’s plans for a Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) build that incorporated a number of JavaScript tools.

According to Minar, the reason behind the build was to “provide a good default experience out of the box”, since they believe the JS tools out there don’t do what the Angular team wants. The CLI will look at scaffolding, skeleton files, setting up the build and testing environments as well as possibly covering deployment.

Angular are also working with the Ember CLI crew and NPM directly on their decision to standardise the package manager, with Minar saying “the package managers that exist today aren’t good, but NPM is the closest of all of them”.

News about a new CLI build isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea and users on Hacker News feel a bit weary about “the need to reinvent the incredible tools that we have already instead of iterating and improving them”.

Sharing performance tips

Both teams freely demonstrated the work they’ve been doing and were able to compare what they need from each feature or tool. In Brad Green’s meeting minutes, performance measurement tooling and techniques were mentioned via Benchpress, which is a framework for E2E performance tests.

When looking at measuring performance in a predictable way, Minar explained that as micro-benchmarks weren’t very useful for framework code, the Angular team tried moving to macro-benchmarks:

We got close on a first version of Benchpress that was a runner that executed instructions in your app and measured the timing.  But we had variable results. With Chrome canary, we could run GC and approximate how much garbage was created/collected on each pass.  This got us excited.  Wasn’t perfect, was Chrome-only, etc.  Also, having it running in the page made things difficult.

We now use Webdriver to control the browser.

On the React side, Lee Byron expressed their team’s interest in testing the React internals and how they perform, as opposed to the browser front-end in the way that Angular use their build system to run comparisons with previous builds.

While Byron shared that React aren’t doing anything yet about locking down the kernel or turning off extensions, the teams agreed that performance was a particularly good area to collaborate on.

This isn’t the first time the teams have met. The Angular gang made their way to React.js Conf at Facebook in January, and both parties have expressed their desire to work together previously.

Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for (S&S Media Group).

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