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Beyond AngularJS: Angular 2 is a Whole New World

Transitioning to Angular 2 from Angular 1 also known as AngularJS, the Google supported open-source web application framework, is not so much about upgrading as moving to something different, according to experts.

The differences between the two frameworks were explained in a Visual Studio Magazine Q&A with Ted Neward, who is director of Developer Relations at Smartsheet.com and well-known as a presenter at Visual Studio Live!.

When asked about the challenges developers faced when moving from Angular 1 to Angular 2, Neward pointed first to the naming conventions that started with AngularJS, the JS reference to its JavaScript frontend for client side web apps.

“The Angular team chose to rename the framework from AngularJS to Angular, meaning that Angular should actually be AngularJS, and Angular 2 should actually be just plain ol' Angular, Neward said. “That raises no end of confusion when speaking about the two frameworks, to be sure.”

Basically, Angular 2 is a complete rewrite of Angular 1, the framework formerly known as AngularJS.

It seems AngularJS had issues.

Ashish Bakshi explained in his What is the difference between AngularJs and Angular 2?, Quora blog that “… around year 2012–14 frameworks like ember.js and react.js (developed by Facebook) popped in with better benchmark results and performance, highlighting the AngularJS drawbacks to the developer community.”

As Bakshi relates this history, “… the angular team decided to create a new framework instead of upgrading AngularJS by incorporating all their hard learned lessons from AngularJS. Hence, Angular 2 was released in Sept. 2016 which is a complete re-write of AngularJS.”

Since the release of Angular 2, there have also been more traditional upgraded versions called Angular 4 and Angular 5. (Angular 3 didn’t make the release cut at some point in its development.) Basically Angular 2/4/5 are all best thought of as what Neward referred to as “plain ol' Angular.”

He said “… the naming change was appropriate, because in many ways Angular was a near-total rewrite of AngularJS, meaning that any AngularJS code will not be silently upgradable to Angular. They kept many of the same concepts, but sought to strengthen those concepts and make them more apparent and clear.”

While there has been resistance among AngularJS/Angular1 coders to adopting the new improved plain ol’ Angular, upgrading seems to be the wisest career choice.

In a blog titled Angular 2: Should You Upgrade? Dave Ceddia offered his reasons including:

  • Leaving your software using the old version of a library is Just Not Done.
  • Because the features are better
  • Because Components are the way of the future and the future is awesome.
  • I don’t want to fall behind.
  • I don’t want to be stuck holding the bag (and 100k lines of code) when they deprecate the old one.
  • If I don’t know the newest thing then no one will hire me.

From a practical I-need-a-job standpoint, the last bullet may be the strongest reason to move into the new Angular world.

Also the component approach in plain ol’ Angular is a big deal.

Neward cited it as his favorite part of the re-written framework: “Component-based design is like object design, but with thicker skin, meaning we treat components in a more opaque fashion, making them more accessible and usable for reuse purposes, among other things. Components were what enabled the Golden Age of GUI Builders (the days of VisualBasic, Delphi, PowerBuilder and the like), and there's solid reasons to imagine that something similar will emerge out of this approach for the web -- which in turn means that developers can deliver useful and powerful applications for the web so much faster than before.”

When Neward was asked for tips that would help developers transition to the new version of Angular, he listed:

  • Bookmark the Angular CheatSheet on the Angular Web site.
  • Learn and master the TypeScript language.

He also pointed to Visual Studio Live! sessions on Angular.

At the upcoming VSLive! in Austin, Texas, April 30 - May 4, sessions include:

  • “Angular 101” with Deborah Kurata, Microsoft MVP and Google Developer Expert
  • “Fast Focus: Living Happily Together: Visual Studio and Angular” with Brian Noyes, Solliance CTO, Microsoft Regional Director, MVP
  • “Securing Angular Apps” with Brian Noyes

Posted by Richard Seeley on 04/24/2018 at 10:09 AM


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