Community concerns

Google announces new, softer approach to Angular 2.0 and retires AtScript

Coman Hamilton
Angular's Brad Green and Igor Minar speaking with TypeScript's Jonathan Turner at the ng-conf (via ng-conf.org)

The Angular team has announced a partnership with Microsoft in TypeScript that brings an end AtScript, while also attempting to alleviate community concerns about migration to Angular 2.0.

Google has addressed concerns from the community about its forthcoming Angular 2.0 release at the ng-conf.

The initial plans for Angular 2.0 were met with much scepticism from the community, with many users voicing their concerns about the absence of a migration path, the future of 1.x releases and the drastically new syntax proposed in the next release.

Angular remains committed to its vision of Angular 2.0, but has added a failsafe for Angular’s innovation in 2.0. Releases in the 1.x series will remain hosted on angularjs.org, while the alpha version of Angular 2.0 is already on angular.io. This will allow Google to evaluate the community’s acceptance of Angular 2.0.

Google claims that if developers remain invested with the 1.x releases, it will work to maintain this series longer. Project lead Igor Minar told ng-conf attendees that Google would “continue releasing Angular 1 releases until the vast majority of you migrate to Angular 2.”

Microsoft and Google collaborate on TypeScript

TypeScript’s Jonathen Turner was welcomed to the stage to announce that TypeScript is taking a leaf out of AtScript’s book by adding its annotations feature to the forthcoming TypeScript 1.5 release.

Microsoft simultaneously announced that it has partnered up with Google, with whom it has been collaborating on a convergence of TypeScript and AtScript over the past months. Starting with the release of Angular 2.0, the JavaScript library will use TypeScript for development.

Angular 2’s planned introduction of the separate AtScript language was a major surprise to the community. Engineering Director Brad Green yesterday told the community “we’re happy to announce that we’re going to retire the term AtScript and we’re just going to call it TypeScript from here on out.”

However, Google’s decision to backpedal on AtScript and switch to TypeScript might also prove controversial in the community, as many Angular users have already begun discussing TypeScript as another potential “reason to move on from Angular”.

todomvc Sublime_Intellisense

TypeScript autocomplete in Sublime 3 for Angular 2 (via blogs.msdn.com)

At the ng-conf Microsoft previewed an example of TypeScript 1.5 in Angular 2.0 with a TodoMVC example, available on GitHub. With TypeScript 1.51.6, Microsoft claims to have made writing asynchronous code “dramatically easier” with features like async functions (async..await).

“We have worked with the Angular team to design a set of new features that will help you develop cleaner code when working with dynamic libraries like Angular 2, including a new way to annotate class declarations with metadata,” the TypeScript team announced. “Library and application developers can use these metadata annotations to cleanly separate code from information about the code, such as configuration information or conditional compilation checks.”

The upcoming TypeScript 1.5 release will also add a means of retrieving type information at runtime, which will make it possible to carry out simple type introspection. Anyone looking to get started on TypeScript can do so on the TypeScript Playground.

Angular 1.5

With Angular 1.4 just around the corner, speculation about the 1.5 release has already begun. Speaking about the start of Angular at the ng-conf, Angular’s Lucas Galfaso and Pawel Koslowski said that it has become clear that the upcoming 1.5 release “will have to be a step towards Angular 2.”

Although the team didn’t announce an exact release date for 1.5, Angular’s release cycles have become increasingly shorter over the past two years, and the team are aiming for 1.5 to be released in Summer or Autumn this year.

SEE ALSO: A sneak peek at the radically new Angular 2.0

Opening the ng-conf, Angular core team Brad Green and Igor Minar said their would still need to be “painful breaking changes” to Angular 1.x. Although the team has responded to concerns in the community with a less black and white approach to migration, the team remains committed to the drastically new syntax and semantics of Angular 2.0. During the ng-conf, the Angular team will be introducing further new features implemented in Angular 2, including viewports, web components, new template syntax and unidirectional data flow.

Angular 2.0’s release date is yet to be announced. In spite of the planned release for 1.5 later in Summer/Autumn this year, Green said the first production of Angular 2.0 at Google would ship as a early as May 2015.

Author
Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of JAXenter.com at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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