Is angular.js is the hottest JavaScript framework?

AngularJS

JavaScript is a high-level, dynamic, type less and interpreted programming language. It is amongst the top 3 pillars of the World Wide Web contact alongwith HTML and CSS. It is utilised by majority of websites worldwide and is supported by all current day web browsers without plug-ins.

JavaScript uses the Model View Controller (MVC) framework on the client side. Various distinct and clean application frameworks were created amongst which the leading ones are Angular.js, Backbone.js, and Ember.js.

All the frameworks are open-sourced, released under the permissive MIT license, and endeavour to solve the problem of creating Single Page Web Applications using the MV* design pattern. They all have the concept of views, events, data models and routing.

AngularJS

AngularJS was launched in 2009 and is the oldest of the three frameworks. It also has the largest community. Some of the most well-known companies that credit AngularJS as the JavaScript framework include Google, Nike, General Motors cars, and front pages of the Guardian, the Huffington Post, and MSNBC.

BackboneJS

BackboneJSwas launched in 2010 and almost as popular as AngularJS. Backbone.js architecture is based on a MVC approach that greatly enhances managing and scaling your code. Many popular applications use the Backbone framework, including Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn Mobile and music like Soundcloud, Pitchfork, and Pandora.

EmberJS

Ember is the newest framework and launched in 2011. It has fantastic loading speed. Popular applications using EmberJS are LivingSocial, Groupon, Zendesk, Discourse, and Square.

Features of AngularJS

AngularJS was born in 2009 as a part of a larger commercial product, called GetAngular. AngularJS was created by reducing the 17,000 lines of code to 1,000 lines of code within just 3 weeks. It was so exciting that even Google decided to sponsor the project. Amongst AngularJS unique and innovative features are two-way data bindings, dependency injection, easy-to-test code and extending the HTML dialect by using directives.

Community is the prime factor to consider while selecting a framework. A large community means more questions answered, more third-party modules, more YouTube tutorials. As on 30th June 2015, AngularJS is the clear winner here, being the 3rd most-starred project on GitHub and having more questions on StackOverflow than Ember and Backbone combined.

Page load times are an essential factor to determine a website’s success. Users area not quite patient and therefore speed must be fast. You must consider Framework size and the time to bootstrap.

Javascript assets are usually served minified and gzipped, so we are going to compare the size of the minified-gzipped versions. Backbone.js, despite being the smallest (only 6.5kb), requires both Underscore.js (5kb) and jQuery (32kb) or Zepto (9.1kb), and you will probably need to add some third party plug-ins to the mix. Here also, AngularJS is a clear winner with smallest size.

Pros of AngularJS

  1. AngularJS has introduced a number of innovative concepts such as the two-way data binding saves a lot of boilerplate code. Now, you never have to write this code yourself. Rather, you just declare the bindings in your HTML template.
  2. Promises play a main role in AngularJS. Javascript is a single-thread, event-loop based language, which implies that many operations (such as network communication) happen in an asynchronous manner. Asynchronous Javascript development code tends to grow quickly into spaghetti of nested callbacks, better recognized as “Pyramid Code” or “Callback Hell.”
  3. AngularJS has the largest community and substantially greater online content.
  4. AngularJS is supported by Google.
  5. The core team is constantly growing, resulting in innovation and tools that improve developer productivity: Protractor, Batarang, ngmin and Zone.js, etc. The team also collaborates with the community on the design decisions.
  6. AngularJS helps you categorize your application building blocks into several types: Controllers, Directives, Factories, Filters, Services and Views (templates). Those are organized in turn into modules, which can depend one upon the other. Each type of building block has a different role. Views do the UI, Controllers work out the logic behind the UI, Services take care of communication with the backend and hold together pieces of common and related functionality, while Directives make it easy to create reusable components and extending HTML by defining new elements, attributes and behaviours.
  7. The automatic testing implies that programmers do not require to access model data with getters and setters. They can modify any property of an arbitrary scope object and AngularJS will automatically detect the modification and notify all the watchers for that property.
  8. AngularJS is written with testability in mind. AngularJS indeed puts a lot of emphasis on separation of concerns, unit isolation and provides ready-to-use, powerful mocks for fundamental built-in services such as http and $timeout.

Cons of AngularJS

  1. AngularJS has extremely complex Directives API. Developers get confused with Transclusion with its compiling function, pre/post linking functions, the different scope kinds (Transclusion/isolate/child scope) and all the other configuration settings for directives takes some time to master.
  2. Programmers also have difficulty to grasp Prototypal Inheritance in AngularJS, which is a new concept to grasp for people coming from Object Oriented languages such as Java and C#.
  3. AngularJS Expressions are used extensively in the View layer of Angular. This expression language is has too much power. It enables developers to use complicated logic and even perform assignment operations and calculations, all inside the view templates. Putting logic inside the templates results in difficulties in testing and it becomes impossible to test it in isolation.
  4. A number of times, mistakes such as misspelling a directive name or calling an undefined scope function are silently ignored and can be difficult to locate.
  5. AngularJS has the magical dirty checking that surprises developers. Also, developers have to be very careful not to cause slow watches or infinite digest loops.
  6. For pages with a lot of interactive elements, AngularJS becomes really slow. One should not have more than 2000 active bindings on the same page.

Conclusion

We have compared AngularJS with leading frameworks. AngularJS is definitely the most popular with largest number of community members. Also, it has the highest number of StackOverflow questions. Even Google supports it. It is ideal for large-scale production applications and rapid prototyping projects. Web developers from the heart love and patronize it.