Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Umbraco and Angular 2.0

We were fortunate to attend the recent NG-Europe conference in Paris, where the Angular core team presented their vision of the next major version of Angular. There has already been written quite a bit about this, the official version is here.

Basically, Angular will change, alot, it will move away from many of its current core concepts and start embracing web-components, ES6 and loads of other stuff that current browsers do not fully support yet, but future browsers will. So the current state of Angular 2 is an experiment in progress, the community can still give feedback, and a release is ealiest at the end of 2015, and after that, The core team will still support Angular 1.x for years.

Don't panic

If you've followed this debate on the interwebs, you will have seen mostly negative feedback. People who have invested time and money in Angular, feel the rug being pulled away under them.

But what is important to remember here, is that the Angular team is sharing what they intend to do, over the coming years. That means we as a community have a chance to give them feedback on the proposed changes, and have plenty of time to upgrade our codebases.

We are talking about a timeframe of 2-3 years, think about how you wrote web apps 2 years ago, how much of that code would you reuse today? At Umbraco HQ we see the transition to Angular 2 as a natural evolution, a chance for us to improve and prune our own codebase.

To us, Angular is stil the best Javascript MVC framework out there, and we have no plans to change to something else.

What does that mean for Umbraco?

Today it doesn't change anything, our next goal is to get Umbraco running on Angular 1.3 and clean up alot of our code in the process, this work will be part of 7.5 and 8.0 which is our 2 next big releases.

After getting up and running on 1.3 we will have an ongoing progress to improve our code so it follows conventions and Angular styleguides, making a future upgrade easier, we might also consider writing new code in ES6 (and transpile to ES5)

When the first alphas and betas of Angular 2 starts arriving we will start to do experiments of porting our 1.3 codebase to 2.0 - it will not happen overnight, it will not happen just after 2.0 is released, it will happen when we feel our users and their browsers are ready - and we will let you know in good time, so you can prepare.

This work will go into what we currently call "Umbraco 9"

So, in short:

  • Angular is still the best JS framework out there
  • We will get on Angular 1.3 as fast as we can
  • As soon as there are 2.0 alphas out we will start experimenting
  • We have a timeframe of 2-3 years to get upgraded to 2.x

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Chances are that if you get an idea for something you would like to build in Umbraco, someone has already built it. So it is very likely that you can get good and friendly advice from someone from the Umbraco community on Our- just ask.

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