Angular 2 may see the light of day soon

AngularJS interview: Angular 2, TypeScript … and a release date

Tom Wießeckel

Martin Probst, a software engineer at Google in the AngularJS team, signals that the feedback regarding Angular 2 has been positive and that a release date is approaching. As far as TypeScript is concerned, one should expect a substantial change.

The release of Angular 2 is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most anticipated events in the JavaScript-Community. However, the community has its hands full right now…

The switchover from AtScript to TypeScript in March 2015 has been a clear sign to many developers that there’s a lot going on in the field of the most frequently used JS-framework. Angular 2, currently available in beta stage, obviously provokes discussions. For this reason and in expectation of the next AngularJS Days, we are talking to Martin Probst, a member of the AngularJS-Team at Google, about what changed inside the framework, which consequences developers will have to face from these changes and last but not least, when we are to expect a final release.

JAXenter: Mr Probst, from the point of view of a team member, what has changed internally after you decided to switch to TypeScript?

Martin Probst In the Angular project we migrated a huge codebase from ES6 JavaScript (to be accurate: AtScript) to TypeScript. As developers, we observed ourselves to be considerably more productive. Auto-Completion, Go-To-Definitions and other IDE-Functions are very useful in daily life. Automated Refactoring (e.g. renaming of functions) is very helpful, especially when building a framework and an API. Better type-checks interestingly found only just a few bugs – probably because Angular has a very good unit-test-coverage, too. Then again, it is very reassuring that the compiler is able to rely on type-checks.

TypeScript is a game changer for a framework like Angular.

JAXenter: JavaScript does not necessarily have a good reputation when it comes to the available toolchain. Does that change with Angular 2 – especially with regard to the switchover to the strong type-system, which is possible with TypeScript?

Martin Probst: Yes! TypeScript is a game changer for a framework like Angular. Although there have been several good IDEs before, the productivity gain in daily life is significant. Especially features like auto-completion are just not stable enough without a static type-system – that is going to change with TS. This isn’t the end though – the angular-team is working on tools beyond TypeScript. Take “angular-cli” for example. It will help you start new projects more easily. Together with npm, reusing components and libraries will be much easier too.

JAXenter: During your Night Session at the AngularJS Days you will show the audience how to create a highly productive work environment in Angular 2 and TypeScript. What does it encompass?

Martin Probst: The basics, first; version control, chrome developer tools, automated tests, automated build system. On top of that, you can use linter, Type-Script-Compiler, IDE, package manager, a web server for development mode and many more. A lot of different tools are available – I will show [the audience] during my session how to put together an intelligent setup.

SEE ALSO: 5 big changes in Angular 2 that impact developers

JAXenter: A lot has changed under the hood: data binding, dependency injections, the language… As for experienced developers, will they have to learn everything from scratch yet again?

Martin Probst: To be honest… yes. It’s been five years since the release of AngularJS 1.x and a lot of things changed on the web during this time. ES6-Modules and –Classes, promises for better asynchronous code, decorators, package manager and so on. All frameworks have to keep up with those developments to make the improvements usable. Angular 2 is modernized from top to bottom. By doing this, it will also be easier to use and learn (so don’t be afraid!).

JAXenter: Google has already started migrating internal applications to Angular 2. What feedback did the teams offer regarding the new version?

Martin Probst: The feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Performance is one of the factors we are intensely monitoring. Angular 2 plays in a totally different league than Angular 1. We are also seeing how the improved structure of Angular 2 makes it easier to write reusable components. As a result, it becomes possible for significantly larger teams to work with Angular.

It seems as if it has even become easier for developers to learn to work with Angular 2 – the new structures are easier and more logical.

JAXenter: We just have to ask THE question now: After all the feedback you got from the community and internally – when will the final release date of Angular 2 take place?

Martin Probst: It’ll be ready when it’s done ;) We are positive that the final release of Angular 2 will take place in 2016.

Tom Wießeckel
Thomas Wießeckel is an editor at Software & Support Media, specialized in Web technologies, Mobile Development and Open Source. He writes regularly for the portal and is responsible for the German publications PHP Magazin and Mobile Technology. Before his engagement as IT journalist he worked as a freelancer PHP and frontend developer.

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