ng-conf 2016: A Coherent Stack for the Long Term

Written by Seth Davenport

Once again, Rangle was a Platinum sponsor of ng-conf in Salt Lake City, and this year made an even bigger impact than the last two years we've sponsored. Rangle's CEO Nick van Weerdenburg led a contingent of 23 Ranglers to the conference to learn about the future of the platform and even present some material on decorators and our new official Angular 2 developer tool Augury.

Igor Kamenetsky and Vanessa Yuen speaking at ngConf 2016

Here are some of our takeaways from the three-day conference.

TypeScript's Time is Now

A notable feature of the conference was the prevalence of TypeScript. There were presentations and workshops on it from Daniel Rosenwasser and Dan Wahlin; most of the other sessions just took knowledge of it as a given.

Rangle.io's own Michael Bennett gave a talk on decorators, a new and powerful TypeScript language feature used extensively by Angular 2. If you haven't made the jump to TypeScript, now is the time to start taking a good look.

Angular 2 is Already Being Used

Even though it's barely out of beta, people are using Angular 2 for real work, and not just in the browser. In fact, Rangle has been using Angular 2 for projects over the last year. At the conference we saw presentations from people who are actively moving their systems over to it; among them LucidChart, CapitalOne, and the Weather Network. We also saw people combining it with Electron for desktop apps and NativeScript for mobile.

Just in time for launch at ng-conf, Rangle and Telerik debuted a NativeScript and Angular 2 app for the microlender Kiva which was built in only four weeks. The response and enthusiasm around the application was impressive.

Kiva App, A cross-platform app made with Angular 2

Members of the core team themselves have switched from 'Beta' to 'Release Candidates' as they work to polish what is already a mature and powerful JavaScript framework.

Production-Grade Tooling is in the Works

The last major frontier between Angular 2 Release Candidates and a solid production experience is development and deployment tooling; on this front the members of the core team have not been idle.

Brad Green delved into plans to bring the library bundle size down aggressively, using an optimizing offline compiler and a tree-shaking bundler.

Just as exciting was a demo of the rapidly-maturing Angular CLI, which promises to provide baked-in tooling for both development and production workflows.

Minko Gechev also presented an automated style linter called Codelyzer which can automatically check your code base against the official Angular 2 style guidelines.

Rangle presented our Angular 2 Developer Chrome Extension, Augury, with a demonstration and workshop given by Igor Kamenetsky, Vanessa Yuen, and Sumit Arora.

All these developments underscore the core team's desire to provide Angular 2 with the type of enterprise-grade, 'batteries included' workflow enjoyed by developers working with more traditional offline languages.

Reactive Architecture

As with the previous ng-conf, architectural ideas continue to coalesce around reactive patterns. Of particular note were talks on RxJS by Matthew Podwysocki and the Redux-like ngrx by Rob Wormald.

For our part, Rangle has been contributing to the Ng2-Redux project since August, recently adding RxJS and decorator based bindings that plugin seamlessly with the Angular 2 API.

Stay tuned for Ng2-Redux maintainer Evan Schultz's upcoming Redux talk at Angular Camp 2016 in Barcelona.

Fun

Of course, no conference is complete without some fun. Ng-conf featured a Star Wars night (May the 4th), plenty of games and giveaways, and another of Shai Reznik's hilarious talks. Rangle threw an amazing party, called #RangleUp, with many confernece attendees and Angular core team members in attendance.

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