AngularJS: A Javascript Framework Made for Web Apps [REVIEW]

June 15, 2017 6:00 am Published by

AngularJS Review

What is AngularJS?

AngularJS is an open-source front end JavaScript framework used to build dynamic mobile and web apps. It emphasizes simplicity, testability, and ease of construction. AngularJS allows users to bind HTML views to JavaScript models, meaning developers can get more functionality while writing less code. This facilitates rapid front-end development.

History of AngularJS

Angular JS was created in 2009 by two designers, Misko Hevery and Adam Abrons, under the name GetAngular. Abrons eventually left the project. Hevery, however, was working on a project for Google under manager Brad Green. Hevery and Green reshaped GetAngular into AngularJS in 2012. AngularJS is maintained almost entirely by Google, who uses it for both internal and external projects.

Features

  • Two-way data binding
  • AJAX handling
  • Dependency injection
  • Angular Directives that add functionalities to HTML elements
  • Based on Model-View-Controller/ MVx pattern
  • Manipulates DOM directly
  • Requires only HTML, CSS, and JavaScript on client side
  • Unit Testing Ready

Strengths

People who already have a solid understanding of HTML find AngularJS easy to learn. It’s well-documented and makes for organized, easy to maintain apps. Angular supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Safari for iOS, and Internet Explorer.

Single Page Applications (SPAs) are one of the most common uses for AngularJS, but it can adapted for a variety of purposes. Angular is ideal for complex SPAs that require large amounts of data retrieval. Projects that already rely heavily on other Google assets are good candidates for AngularJS.

Weaknesses

The complexity of AngularJS can be a weakness as well as a strength. There are many ways to accomplish the same task, which sometimes causes option paralysis in inexperienced programmers.

More than 2000 watchers can slow the UI noticeably. Skillful programmers can work around this by monitoring their creation of watchers and minimizing the number that rely on other watchers.

Finally, despite being cross-browser compliant Angular doesn’t work as smoothly in outdated browsers. For example, IE is only supported after 8.0. (This is less of of a problem in this age of auto-updates.)

Real-life Applications

Because it’s well-suited to CRUD (create/read/update/delete) client side apps, developers of user-generated content portals favor AngularJS. The framework is also suitable for ticketing and fleet management systems.

  • YouTube – Many developers of video streaming apps depend on AngularJS, and YouTube is no different. They used AngularJS in the design of their Playstation 3 app.
  • Weather.com – Weather.com is the second most popular weather forecasting website. They reworked their website in 2014 to become more mobile-friendly. Now, AngularJS is used to retrieve data for widgets on their mobile and desktop sites.
  • GoodFilms – GoodFilms is a social movie review app. People use it to get movie recommendations and find out which streaming service carries the film they want. GoodFilms’ mobile site incorporates AngularJS technology.

Future Outlook

Jobs listings including Angular as a requirement have risen 36% over the same period in 2016. In response to demand, Stanford University’s web development course has dropped Ruby on Rails to join other prestigious schools focusing on AngularJS. With the additional benefit of Google support, AngularJS should remain one of the primary choices of web developers.

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