Michael Brown August 31 2016 05:13:55 AMWho’d be an AngularJS Developer? Well, quite a lot of people if the stats are to be believed! But oh Lordie, they really seem to be having a really rough time it with the upgrade to Angular 2.
I've just listened to a recent Adventures in Angular podcast, entitled Angular RC5 and Beyond. I’m not much fan of a fan of Angular, as you can probably tell, but I like to keep up with it anyway. If for nothing else, it’s good to have reasons to show people/bosses that moving to Angular would be a truly terrible idea. The Angular 2 rollout is giving me plenty of those!
Of Release Candidates
Anyway, RC5 refers to Angular Release Candidate 5. "Aha", I thought; "they must be pretty close to release if they're on a fifth Release Candidate!" However, I was disabused of this thought within the first few minutes, in which we’re told that Release Candidate 5 of Angular 2 contains “major breaking changes from release candidate 4”.
Say what? Major breaking changes in Release Candidate? Thankfully, a couple of Google people are on hand to explain that in GoogleLand, things work a little differently. A Release Candidate isn't a candidate to be release, as in the gold release; you know, how the term is applied by just about every other software company in the world. No, it seems that for Google, Release Candidates are actually the first serious test releases geared towards public consumption. Alphas and betas are mainly for internal testing, within Google only. Angular 1 had seven Release Candidates, apparently. Well, that's one approach, I suppose.
There's a telling moment about half way through the podcast. As one of the Google guys is detailing change after change in RC5, the podcast host pauses proceedings to ask one of the other participants why he hasn’t spoken much yet. “Oh I’m just sitting here all grumpy, thinking of all the code I have to change...across hundreds of projects”, comes the reply. Quite so. And I don't think he was referring to Angular 1 code, either.
One of the big new things in RC5, apparently, NG Modules. These are a way of breaking up your application in some more manageable fragments or components. (So like React has had from the get go then.) It seems that Angular 1 had some kind of modules thingy in it too. These were originally removed for Angular 2, but they’re back now. Only they’re not quite the same as they were in Angular 1, but "it helps if you think of them that way”.
Almost as an afterthought, the Google guy drops another bombshell during the podcast's closing moments: "did I mention that Angular 2 is now moving from SystemJS to Webpack?", he asks, laughing at what I took to be a joke, at first. But no, he was serious: they really are moving to Webpack. That may be all to the good, because Webpack rocks, IMHO. But really, they want to be making a change like that in the fifth Release Candidate? (Oh, I forgot; they're not really really Release Candidates, are they!)
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