Google Leans on Microsoft for Angular 2 Launch

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-12-18 Print this article Print
Angular 2

"TypeScript brings a lot of productivity features that server-side developers love to the JavaScript world, such as type checking and API auto-completion," said TJ VanToll, a senior developer advocate at Telerik. "We at Telerik provide first-class TypeScript support in NativeScript, and having the same TypeScript support in Angular 2 makes it that much easier for us to integrate the two frameworks. The best thing is neither Angular 2 nor NativeScript depends on TypeScript, which means developers that want to use TypeScript get the benefits they're looking for, and those that don't aren't forced to use the language."

Google's reason for supporting TypeScript in the first place was that the team saw it as a solid language with functionality it wanted to use. In addition, it wanted to support a number of different languages. At Google, Dart—a language developed by the company—is popular, and externally ES6 is popular.

"We also saw a need for big teams to use a typed language to be able to build apps that scale so we could communicate across many different members without having to talk to each other," Green said. "And that they could have a better tools experience, particularly in their editors—such that the editor would do a lot more refactoring for navigating their source code and helping them find bugs. These were the main reasons we liked TypeScript and that we recommend it to our developers. But it also lets us generate versions of Angular for all of these other languages because we've got this rich typing information in our source code."

Still, the big things Google has delivered in Angular 2 include performance, where Angular 2 is about eight times faster than Angular 1 in terms of rendering UI updates. The team also dramatically simplified how apps are built with the new version. "We've got a new syntax we're using for templates that allow you to bind directly to properties in the DOM [Document Object Model] at events," Green said. "It gets rid of about 43 of the directives that we had to ship in Angular 1. So just by these two moves you had to do a ton more just in your templates."

Meanwhile, Kramer called Angular 2 "blazingly fast" as compared with Angular 1, and the team also made it a lot simpler so that it's easier to learn than the prior version.

Game Changer

Yet, "one of the greatest things about it is it works not only on the desktop, but also on mobile Web and native mobiles," Kramer said. "So as a developer you can learn one framework and target multiple platforms. It also has a lot of other capabilities, and our collaboration with the Visual Studio Code team makes it so that Visual Studio Code already understands all of those capabilities and is a great choice of editor for Angular developers."

For Telerik's VanToll, this is a game changer because it means that developers that are already using Angular to develop apps in browsers will now be able to develop apps for the iPhone and Android, too.

"The most important part of this new version of Angular for developers is that it is no longer limited to building apps inside the browser," he said. "Angular 2 is breaking that tie to the browser and making it possible for Angular to be used in other ecosystems."

For its part, Google's Angular team wanted to enable scenarios where they could decouple UI rendering from the DOM. This lets them build native UI apps with libraries on top of Angular 2 like NativeScript from Telerik or React Native from Facebook.



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