Programmatic functionality has been slipped into the template binding syntax, allowing for if/else style usage, and the assigning of local variables. The Angular Universal project, which allows Angular applications to run on the server, was also updated to be concurrent with this release.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Angular 4.0 release is neither the full numeral version jump nor the interesting updates and features that have been added to the framework. Instead, it is perhaps more interesting to take a look back at just how Angular has transformed since it hit 1.0 five years ago.
This is exemplified in last year’s release notes about Angular 2.0: “Angular 1 first solved the problem of how to develop for an emerging web. Six years later, the challenges faced by today’s application developers, and the sophistication of the devices that applications must support, have both changed immensely,” reads the release blog.
Compare this to the original goal of Angular, which was written out here: “Our goal with AngularJS is to eliminate the guesswork in creating web app structure and take the pain and the boilerplate out of web client apps.”
Anders Hejlsberg, technical fellow at Microsoft, said that for the first couple of years, TypeScript was hosted on the recently doomed Codeplex. “We moved to GitHub 2.5 years ago now, and after moving to GitHub, we saw an increased activity. Then we started working with the Angular team at Google, as a joint venture. They needed some features, we were interested in gaining more adoption, so we jointly jumped in. They concluded this is so good, we’re going to write Angular in TypeScript and recommend to our users that they use TypeScript,” said Hejlsberg.
This also makes Angular the tip of the TypeScript spear, and as such, perhaps the tip of the Visual Studio Code spear. That IDE not only supports TypeScript, it also supports the Language Server Protocol, a new way of spreading syntax highlighting and code completion to IDEs in a write-once, support anywhere manner.
Thus, it has indeed been a long strange trip for Angular to get to 4.0: One that has gone from simplifying DOM and making HTML templating easier, to offering a server-side application solution, and uniting Microsoft and Google in a single cause.
And only six years ago, this was Angular:
Feature image by Laura Aziz, via Unsplash.