Interview : l’avenir d’AngularJS 1.x, par Pete Bacon Darwin

Angular Connect 2016 était évidemment “the place to be” pour tout amateur de ce framework. Nos Sfeiriens Wassim Chegham et Cyril Balit en ont profité pour poser quelques questions à Pete Bacon Darwin, que bon nombre d’utilisateurs d’ AngularJS 1.x connaissent déjà.

SFEIR: Hello Pete, could you introduce yourself?

Pete: So my name is Pete Bacon Darwin. I’m the lead developer on the Angular 1 team, a position I have for about two years now. On top of that, I’m also one of the organizers of Angular Connect. I live in London and I work remotely, so all my work is done from either my home or a coffee shop. I have a part-time freelance contract with Google. I look after my children for some part of my day, and I spend around 20 hours a week working on Angular.

Could you tell us a bit more about your job on Angular?

My main role is to lead the Angular 1 development. This involves a smallish team of about 4/5 developers. Some of them are paid, some of them are volunteers. People who use Angular 1 and want to contribute. We have a weekly meeting to decide what to do. During the week, we’ll work on fixing bugs and writing new code for Angular 1. With the release of Angular 2, the focus of Angular 1 is very much about making upgrading to Angular 2 easier. This means not making any major features, which will diverge from Angular 2. Most of the work that we do is around improving the framework: lowering the number of bugs, improving the speed and security…

Now that Angular 2 is out, what does this mean for Angular 1?

That’s an interesting question. No one really knows yet! I think by Christmas, we’ll have a much better idea of the usage of Angular 2. For the last, at least 12 months, everyone has been waiting and waiting. I think there are lots of potential projects which have been holding back and wondering whether to stay with Angular 1 or move to Angular 2 or even go to a different framework. Now that Angular 2 is out, suddenly you’ll find over the next few months that there will be lots of decisions being made. We will monitor how Angular 1 is doing but there is no doubt that a lot of big projects will keep using Angular 1 for many years. Even inside Google, we have thousands of projects using Angular 1. Some of them are going to migrate to Angular 2. Some of them will never migrate. We’ll need some kind of support for Angular 1 for quite a while.

At ng-europe and ng-conf, the Angular team said that they will continue to support Angular 1 for at least one year after the release of Angular 2. Do you think that will be more than that?

It’s definitely going to be at least one year, it’s a minimum I would say. There is no doubt about that. But in the end it will depend on how quickly people move to Angular 2. If this time next year 90% are using Angular 2, then we’ll probably start to drop off support for the v1. That means stopping adding new features. But if serious bugs are found, they will be fixed. And if you don’t add new features, the number and severity of bugs will be smaller. Then, the work needed for the maintenance, lower.

And then you’ll move to Angular 2 ?

At some point, I assume I’ll start doing other projects. Just recently the Angular 1 team have taken over responsibility for the upgrade library. Also, I’ve always been involved with the documentation side of things. I wrote this tool called dgeni and I think I could work on it some more, for example. There is no shortage of projects after Angular 1 anyway!

Thanks for your time, Pete!

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