Google Leans on Microsoft for Angular 2 Launch

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

The team also built a service that allows developers to run Angular inside a Web Worker, and Web Workers run in all the modern browsers today. Web Workers provide a simple means for Web content to run scripts in background threads. Web Workers allow for concurrent execution of the browser threads and one or more JavaScript threads running in the background.

"JavaScript apps are single-threaded by default, but with Web Workers it lets you run your app inside a separate thread essentially," Green said. "So you've now got a multi-threaded JavaScript application with very little or no work on the developer's part. What this means is you can have a very responsive UI even when your app is doing heavy lifting like garbage collection or data processing—loading data from the server, all the way down to like old Android phones. So that's exciting."

Angular 2 also enables a feature called Angular Universal where you can use Node.js to render the first view of your application on the server, ship that to the client and have the user be able to see the content as the rest of your app's JavaScript downloads and is live, Green said.

Upgrading to Angular 2

With the beta of Angular 2, Google hopes more developers will come in and have a look at the technology. There is a Quickstart and Tutorial, and for those who have built Angular 1 applications there are two paths for them. One is called ng-upgrade, which allows developers to mix and match components and other services from Angular 2 inside their Angular 1 apps. It allows Angular 1 and Angular 2 projects to coexist. Developers can take advantage of the simplicity, speed and other benefits of Angular 2 without having to do a full rewrite.

The second approach is for developers who do not want to include both Angular 1 and Angular 2 libraries in their app. These people can use the services in ng-forward, which features a number of APIs that allow you to write your app in the syntax and style of Angular 2 so that you can get your app very close to Angular 2 and then decide, 'Well, it's close enough' and then developers can do a full rewrite on top of Angular 2 APIs and then ship.

"You need to do the full rewrite eventually if you want to take advantage of some of those more advanced features like Web Workers and server-side rendering," Green said.

According to Green, early adopters of Angular 2 include Morgan Stanley, HBO, Netflix, OpenTable, ADP, Marks & Spencer, JetBlue and more. In addition, several Google projects use it, including AdWords, GreenTea and Google Fiber.

Angular has become the language of choice for front-end Web development, as there are more than 1,300 contributors to the Angular open-source project. And Angular is currently the most popular, highest-ranked JavaScript project on GitHub.

On the enterprise side, Angular is making inroads across a wide range of industries, including the following:

  • Retail: Marks & Spencer, Walmart, Kroger, Staples, Target, Walgreens
  • Media: Disney, HBO, Thomson Reuters, The New York Times, Netflix, The Weather Channel
  • Financial Services: Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, Intuit, Paychex, ING
  • Services: BSkyB, KLM, CDK, Hawaiian Air, JetBlue
  • Health: Kaiser
  • Education: Blackboard
Google is pushing ahead to a final release of Angular 2 and is working on several things, including reducing Angular 2's binary size, making the Angular command line interface (CLI) usable end to end throughout the development process, creating a more developer-friendly API for the Component Router, support for animations and more.

Other team efforts include more documentation, particularly around ES5/ES6 usage; even better startup and runtime performance; an architectural style guide; more support for mobile Web and installable mobile apps; material Design components for Angular 2; a tools platform for deep IDE support; and better support for ES6 and Babel.



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