Angular 2 may see the light of day soon

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

Gabriela Motroc

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.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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