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AngularJS Creator Misko Hevery on Angular 2 and More

Posted by on Jan 06, 2016

For most of our blog readers Misko hevery probably needs no introduction. He is the original creator of AngularJS and is very active in the Angular community and the open source community at-large. For the past 10 years he has worked at Google and before that at Adobe, Sun Microsystems and other Silicon Valley companies. You can follow him on Twitter: @mhevery

With the recent release of Angular 2 beta, we wanted to catch up with Misko and ask him his thoughts on Angular in general and specifically Angular 2. Here’s the interview.

Interview with Misko Hevery, Father of AngularJS

Q: You’ve talked before about the origins of Angular and how it came out of a project you originally intended for non-developers. It eventually transformed to the framework it is today. Can you tell us a little bit about what led to that transformation and why you think it’s so appealing to developers?

Misko: I think Angular has a good balance of declarative templating and JavaScript syntax. I personally attribute it to:

  • Templates are pure HTML and as such can be edited in any HTML editor and by any web designer, without the need to understand code.
  • JavaScript relies on plain-old-javascript-objects, which makes interfacing with existing libraries and systems easy. No need to extend special superclasses and or use special setter and getters to notify system of changes.
  • The ability to extend the vocabulary of the browser through the use of directives allows developers the ability to extend the browser capabilities in a known and well understood manner.
  • A lot of effort went into growing and supporting the community without which Angular would not be this popular.

Q: What do you find most exciting about Angular 2?

Misko: I am excited about many things. I view Angular 2 as having all of the learning applied.

  • Significantly simpler mental model, as can be seen by much fewer core directives.
  • Works with web standards such as: WebWorkers; WebComponents; Promises; Observables
  • Better tool support, whether it is code completion or minification, or static analysis.
  • Ability to code gen the application, which results in smaller payload for mobile, faster startup, and runtime.
  • Extending the platform from browser, to web-workers, and native platforms.
  • Lazy loading of the application.

Q: There’s a lot of hype over Angular 2, but how quickly do you expect it to actually be adopted?

Misko: We have just released beta, which means that we are now actively encouraging people to start using it. Beta to us means that we will try hard not to introduce breaking changes, and if we have to we will provide a deprecation / migration story. I think once developers will start using they will quickly see benefits of developer productivity gain as well as performance gains in the application runtime. Coupled to it the ability to run the application on WebWorker for even smoother user experience, and I think we have a very strong story to attract a lot of Angular 1 developers. The last missing piece is the ngUpgrade feature which will allow developers to migrate individual components of the existing application.

Q: How involved were you in Angular 2? Was it at the same level as in the original Angular project?

Misko: I have been equally involved with Angular 2 as I was with AngularJS v1. My current focus is on the core components / features of the framework. However unlike AngularJS v1, where the team was very small, I have the pleasure of working with a much larger group of some of the best developers in the industry helping me turn these ideas to reality. This allows the project to have a larger scope, and we can take on more ambitious goals.

Q: What’s in store for Angular in the future?

Misko: We will focus on making Angular great, by listening to the community and getting feedback for improvements. Our goal is to turn Angular into a platform not just for HTML but for any rendering architectures. We already have HTML and Ionic; NativeScript and ReactNative renders allowing us to cover HTML to native. Making sure that we have consistent and productive developer experience across many platforms including mobile is the key.

Q: Here at Backand, we have a very similar vision to yours — eliminate the need to deal with server-side and database stuff and just focus on the fun, innovative aspects of an application.
What do you think about cloud-based platforms, aka backend-as-a-service (BaaS), as a solution for developers?

Misko: The original vision of Angular was to enable persistence for basic HTML forms. It was much more of a backend than a front end offering. Over time the front end turned into a full featured framework, and we have dropped the backend. It warms my heart to see people build backends which work with Angular, as it completes my original vision for the product in much more grand way then I could have imagined. I am a big fan of all backend-as-a-service offerings, and I think they significantly lower the barrier to entry for building web applications.

Thanks, Misko!