Get started with Angular: The InfoWorld tutorial

A step-by-step guide to installing the tools, creating an application, and getting up to speed with Angular components, directives, services, and routers

Get started with Angular: The InfoWorld tutorial

Angular, the successor to AngularJS, is a development platform for building mobile and desktop applications using TypeScript and/or JavaScript and other languages. Angular is popular for building high-volume websites and it supports web, mobile web, native mobile, and native desktop applications.

The Angular core development team is split between Google employees and a robust community; it’s not going away any time soon. In addition to its own extensive capabilities, the Angular platform has a strong external ecosystem: Several prominent IDEs support Angular, it has four data libraries, there are half a dozen useful tools and over a dozen sets of UI components, and there are dozens of Angular books and courses. In 2015, when InfoWorld awarded AngularJS a Bossie Award, I explained that it is a model-view-whatever (MVW) JavaScript AJAX framework that extends HTML with markup for dynamic views and two-way data binding. Angular is especially good for developing single-page web applications and linking HTML forms to models and JavaScript controllers. The new Angular is written in TypeScript rather than JavaScript, which has many benefits, as I’ll explain.

The weird-sounding “model-view-whatever” pattern is an attempt to include the model-view-controller (MVC), model-view-view-model (MVVM), and model-view-presenter (MVP) patterns under one moniker. The differences between these three closely related patterns are the sorts of things that programmers love to argue about fiercely; the Angular developers decided to opt out of the discussion.

Basically, Angular automatically synchronizes data from your UI (views in AngularJS and templates in Angular 2 and above) with your JavaScript objects (model) through two-way data binding. To help you structure your application better and make it easy to test, Angular teaches the browser how to do dependency injection and inversion of control. The new Angular (version 2 and above) replaces views and controllers with components and adopts standard conventions, which makes it easier to understand, and allows developers to concentrate on developing ECMAScript 6 modules and classes. In other words, Angular 2 is a total rewrite of AngularJS that tries to implement the same ideas in a better way. Angular view templates, which have a fairly simple syntax, are compiled into JavaScript that is well optimized for modern JavaScript engines. The new component router in Angular 2 can do code-splitting (lazy loading) to reduce the amount of code delivered to render a view.

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