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Angular News: Angular’s SDK, Best Practices for Upgrading, Material Design, & Angular Directives

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz on Angular’s SDK (a new version of the CLI), the never ending AngularJS to Angular upgrade question, Angular Material’s progress, and how to think of Angular’s directives in a way that may be more useful to your application development.

In these videos, we cover the latest Angular news with Hans Larsen (@hanslatwork)and Pete Bacon Darwin (@petebd) from the Angular Core Team, Elad Bezalel (@elad_bezalel) from the Angular Material Core team, Mike Brocchi (@Brocco)from the Angular-CLI Core Team, and Justin Searls (@searls), a JavaScript developer and speaker.

Angular CLI, SDK, and Angular 4.0

Hans Larsen Reveals Upcoming Angular Products and Discusses SDK

As a member of the core angular team, Hans has been working on SDK — the next version of CLI. He says his work involves helping developers with efficiency, by allowing them to manage their apps and projects, even before making an appearance to the browser. He’s also looking to make improvements to better the interface.

Hans further explains that individuals who are used to the current CLI, will be able to use the new version with ease. Default features will remain the same, and the upgrade path will be straightforward, made to support Angular 4.0. Having said that, SDK will be entirely redesigned from the ground up as a blueprint library. All very exciting news for the Angular community.

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Angular, AngularJS, and Ng-upgrade

Pete Bacon Darwin, Angular Core Team on The Best Way to Upgrade Your AngularJS Applications

As a contributor who is still working on one of the biggest JavaScript frameworks, he talks about how to slow down the development of AngularJS in order to allow migration towards Angular. The parts of AngularJS that many people came to love still exist in Angular, which is more reason to help push developers towards Angular.

Easy upgrade can be accomplished with ngUpgrade, which allows angular and angularjs to run at the same time. This way, developers can continue to keep uptime for their clients while moving their code one part at a time. NgUpgrade is one of many potential solutions for the switch over to Angular.

Going back to when Angular was introduced, Pete talks about whether there was a better way to prepare the community for the migration. From his point of view, due to the existing architecture of Angularjs, there wasn’t anything that could’ve been done differently, as the Angular now is much more advanced in comparison.

The interview ends with Pete describing the Angular community and different frameworks coming together and converging ideas. He believes comparing and discussing ideas helps immensely with solutions as JavaScript and modern web in general continues to evolve.

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Angular Material + Angular Material 2

Elad Bezalel, Angular Material Core Team: Being on The Angular Material Team

Elad Bezalel is a part of the Angular Material Team and is currently working on Material 2 components and features. He walks us through how he became a part of the team and what intrigued him the most about Material. Elad is very confident about this project and encourages developers to use it as an aid with their designing. He is still working on improvements and creating more components, but seeing as Material 2 is in its beta stage, it is ready for anyone who want to use it.

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Angular Directives

Mike Brocchi and His Thoughts on Angular Directives

Mike describes becoming a member of the Angular-CLI Core team and contributing to the angular community to be more involved. In this interview, he talks about directives in detail, starting with the fact that they are underrated and should be promoted. He hopes in the future, people will be more aware of how to use directives effectively. He explains how it’s still a key part of Angular, even beyond Angularjs.

With directives, developers can add behaviours to their applications without having to separate components or add logic into their component.This could be done for many situations.

Mike also discusses when not to use a directive and expands a little on host binding and host listening. He then gives a breakdown of what else directives can accomplish, such as improving accessibility or being used to access templates from existing components. Mike also describes the differences between different types of directives.

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Angular Community + Open Sourcing Projects

Overcoming the Challenges of being a Developer: Justin Searls Shares his Experience

Justin discusses what it’s like to learn Angular (coming from ember) and how frameworks have evolved, becoming more intense and “robust”. Although this is a good thing, he mentions it being important for there to be room for inventiveness, as this is why he chose to explore javascript in the first place. In his words “we need to make space for creativity and divergence instead of being on a unilateral path to solving applications”. This can easily be done with tools such as babel, which allows developers to experiment with different language features.

Justin elaborates on the non-technical side of being a developer. He talks about the feelings of frustration and upset, lack of motivation, and other barriers that come with being a developer. He then discusses how starting small, creative projects and open sourcing ideas can help channel these negative emotions, and turn them into something positive and applicable, as opposed to solely unbearable. He encourages developers to present their ideas even when they’re uncertain of the outcome, and gives tips on how to gain recognition in an effective and modest manner. All in all, Justin strives to provide a model for the industry, to normalize talking about weaknesses and shortcomings, no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what background you have as a developer.

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The Angular team has been consistently releasing new updates to the framework. You can learn more about the Angular framework at

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A Guide to (Typed) Reactive Forms in Angular - Part I (The Basics) cover image

A Guide to (Typed) Reactive Forms in Angular - Part I (The Basics)

When building a simple form with Angular, such as a login form, you might choose a template-driven approach, which is defined through directives in the template and requires minimal boilerplate. A barebone login form using a template-driven approach could look like the following: `HTML E-mail Password Login! ` `TypeScript // login.component.ts import { Component } from '@angular/core'; @Component({ selector: 'app-login', templateUrl: './login.component.html' }) export class LoginComponent implements OnInit { public credentials = { email: '', password: '' }; constructor(public myAuthenticationService: MyAuthenticationService) { } } ` However, when working on a user input-heavy application requiring complex validation, dynamic fields, or a variety of different forms, the template-driven approach may prove insufficient. This is where reactive forms** come into play. Reactive forms employ a reactive approach, in which the form is defined using a set of form controls and form groups. Form data and validation logic are managed in the component class, which updates the view as the user interacts with the form fields. This approach requires more boilerplate but offers greater explicitness and flexibility. In this three-part blog series, we will dive into the reactive forms data structures, learn how to build dynamic super forms, and how to create custom form controls. In this first post, we will familiarize ourselves with the three data structures from the @angular/forms` module: FormControl The FormControl` class in Angular represents a single form control element, such as an input, select, or textarea. It is used to track the value, validation status, and user interactions of a single form control. To create an instance of a form control, the `FormControl` class has a constructor that takes an optional initial value, which sets the starting value of the form control. Additionally, the class has various methods and properties that allow you to interact with and control the form control, such as setting its value, disabling it, or subscribing to value changes. As of Angular version 14, the FormControl` class has been updated to include support for **typed reactive forms** - a feature the Angular community has been wanting for a while. This means that it is now a generic class that allows you to specify the type of value that the form control will work with using the type parameter ``. By default, `TValue` is set to any, so if you don't specify a type, the form control will function as an untyped control. If you have ever updated your Angular project with ng cli` to version 14 or above, you could have also seen an `UntypedFormControl` class. The reason for having a `UntypedFormControl` class is to support incremental migration to typed forms. It also allows you to enable types for your form controls after automatic migration. Here is an example of how you may initialize a FormControl` in your component. `TypeScript import { FormControl } from '@angular/forms'; const nameControl = new FormControl("John Doe"); ` Our form control, in this case, will work with string` values and have a default value of "John Doe". If you want to see the full implementation of the FormControl` class, you can check out the Angular docs! FormGroup A FormGroup` is a class used to group several `FormControl` instances together. It allows you to create complex forms by organizing multiple form controls into a single object. The `FormGroup` class also provides a way to track the overall validation status of the group of form controls, as well as the value of the group as a whole. A FormGroup` instance can be created by passing in a collection of `FormControl` instances as the group's controls. The group's controls can be accessed by their names, just like the controls in the group. As an example, we can rewrite the login form presented earlier to use reactive forms and group our two form controls together in a FormGroup` instance: `TypeScript // login.component.ts import { FormControl, FormGroup, Validators } from '@angular/forms'; @Component({ selector: 'app-login', templateUrl: './login.component.html' }) export class LoginComponent implements OnInit { public form = new FormGroup({ email: new FormControl('', [Validators.required,]), password: new FormControl('', [Validators.required]), }); constructor(public myAuthenticationService: MyAuthenticationService) { } public login() { // if you hover over "email" and "password" in your IDE, you should see their type is inferred console.log({ email:, password: this.form.value.password }); this.myAuthenticationService.login(this.form.value); } } ` `HTML E-mail Password Login! ` Notice we have to specify a formGroup` and a `formControlName` to map the markup to our reactive form. You could also use a `formControl` directive instead of `formControlName`, and provide the `FormControl` instance directly. FormArray As the name suggests, similar to FormGroup`, a `FormArray` is a class used to group form controls, but is used to group them in a collection rather than a group. In most cases, you will default to using a FormGroup` but a `FormArray` may come in handy when you find yourself in a highly dynamic situation where you don't know the number of form controls and their names up front. One use case where it makes sense to resort to using FormArray` is when you allow users to add to a list and define some values inside of that list. Let's take a TODO app as an example: `TypeScript import { Component } from '@angular/core'; import { FormArray, FormControl, FormGroup } from '@angular/forms'; @Component({ selector: 'app-todo-list', template: Add TODO , }) export class TodoListComponent { public todos = new FormArray>([]); public todoForm = new FormGroup({ todos: this.todos, }); addTodo() { this.todoForm.controls['todos'].push(new FormControl('')); } } ` In both of the examples provided, we instantiate FormGroup directly. However, some developers prefer to pre-declare the form group and assign it within the ngOnInit method. This is usually done as follows: `TypeScript // login.component.ts import { FormControl, FormGroup, Validators } from '@angular/forms'; @Component({ selector: 'app-login', templateUrl: './login.component.html' }) export class LoginComponent implements OnInit { // predeclare the form group public form: FormGroup; constructor(public myAuthenticationService: MyAuthenticationService) { } ngOnInit() { // assign in ngOnInit this.form = new FormGroup({ email: new FormControl('', [Validators.required,]), password: new FormControl('', [Validators.required]), }); } public login() { // no type inference :( console.log(; } } ` If you try the above example in your IDE, you'll notice that the type of this.form.value` is no longer inferred, and you won't get autocompletion for methods such as `patchValue`. This is because the FormGroup type defaults to `FormGroup`. To get the right types, you can either assign the form group directly or explicitly declare the generics like so: `TypeScript public form: FormGroup, password: FormControl, }>; ` However, explicitly typing all your forms like this can be inconvenient and I would advise you to avoid pre-declaring your FormGroups` if you can help it. In the next blog post, we will learn a way to construct dynamic super forms with minimal boilerplate....

You Don't Need NgRx To Write a Good Angular App cover image

You Don't Need NgRx To Write a Good Angular App

NgRx is a great tool that allows you to manage state and side effects in Angular applications in a Redux-like manner. It streamlines state changes with its unidirectional data flow, and offers a structured approach to handling data and side effects. Numerous posts on our blog detail its strengths and affiliated techniques. Some Angular developers even argue that incorporating NgRx is imperative once an app expands beyond two features. While NgRx can undoubtedly enhance an Angular application or library by simplifying debugging, translating business logic into code, and improving the architecture, it does present a steep learning curve. Despite the provocative title, there is some truth to the statement: your app or library may indeed not need NgRx. Surprisingly, I successfully developed a suite of enterprise Angular libraries over five years without involving NgRx. In that project, we decided to opt out of using a state management library like NgRx because of its steep learning curve. Developers with varying levels of Angular expertise were involved, and the goal was to simplify their experience. My bold assertion is that, with careful consideration of architectural patterns, it is entirely possible to develop a robust app or library using only Angular, without any third-party libraries. Employing select design patterns and leveraging Angular's built-in tools can yield a highly maintainable app, even without a dedicated state management library. Having shared my somewhat audacious opinion, let me now support it by outlining a few patterns that facilitate the development of a maintainable, stateful Angular application or library without NgRx. Services and the Singleton Pattern Services provided in root` or a module yield a shared instance across the entire app or module, effectively rendering them singletons. This characteristic makes them ideal for managing and sharing state across components without requiring a dedicated state management tool like NgRx. Particularly, for small to medium-sized applications, a "state service" can be a straightforward and effective alternative to a comprehensive state management solution when implemented correctly. To accurately implement state in a singleton service, consider the following: - Restrict state data to private properties and expose them only through public methods or observables to prevent external mutations. Such a pattern safeguards the integrity of your state by averting unauthorized modifications. - Utilize BehaviorSubjects or signals to enable components to respond to state changes. Both BehaviorSubject` and `SettableSignal` retain the current value and emit it to new subscribers immediately. Components can then subscribe to these to receive the current value and any subsequent updates. - Expose public methods in your service that manage state modifications to centralize the logic for updating the state and incorporate validation, logging, or other necessary side effects. - When modifying state, always return a new instance of the data rather than altering the original data. This ensures that references are broken and components that rely on change detection can accurately detect changes. Good Component Architecture Distinguish your UI components into stateful (containers) and stateless (presentational) components. Stateful components manage data and logic, while stateless components merely receive data via inputs and emit events without maintaining an internal state. Do not get dragged into the rabbit hole of anti-patterns such as input drilling or event bubbling while trying to make as many components presentational as possible. Instead, use a Data Service Layer to provide a clean abstraction over backend API calls and handle error management, data transformation, caching, and even state management where it makes sense. Although injecting a service into a component technically categorizes it as a "smart" component, segregating the data access logic into a separate service layer ultimately enhances modularity, maintainability, scalability, and testability. Immutability A best practice is to always treat your state as immutable. Instead of modifying an object or an array directly, you should create a new copy with the changes. Adhering to immutability ensures predictability and can help in tracking changes. Applying the ChangeDetectionStrategy.OnPush strategy to components whenever possible is also a good idea as it not only optimizes performance since Angular only evaluates the component for changes when its inputs change or when a bound event is triggered, but it also enforces immutability. Change detection is only activated when a different object instance is passed to the input. Leveraging Angular Router Angular's router is a powerful tool for managing application state. It enables navigation between different parts of an application, allowing parameters to be passed along, effectively using the URL as a single source of truth for your application state, which makes the application more predictable, bookmarkable, and capable of maintaining state across reloads. Moreover, components can subscribe to URL changes and react accordingly. You can also employ router resolvers to fetch data before navigating to a route, ensuring that the necessary state is loaded before the route is activated. However, think carefully about what state you store in the URL; it should ideally only contain the state essential for navigating to a specific view of your application. More ephemeral states, like UI state, should be managed in components or services. Conclusion Angular provides lots of built-in tools and features you can effectively leverage to develop robust, maintainable applications without third-party state management libraries like NgRx. While NgRx is undoubtedly a valuable tool for managing state and side effects in large, complex applications, it may not be necessary for all projects. By employing thoughtful design patterns, such as the Singleton Pattern, adhering to principles of immutability, and leveraging Angular's built-in tools like the Router and Services, you can build a highly maintainable and stateful Angular application or library....

Nuxt DevTools v1.0: Redefining the Developer Experience Beyond Conventional Tools cover image

Nuxt DevTools v1.0: Redefining the Developer Experience Beyond Conventional Tools

In the ever-evolving world of web development, Nuxt.js has taken a monumental leap with the launch of Nuxt DevTools v1.0. More than just a set of tools, it's a game-changer—a faithful companion for developers. This groundbreaking release, available for all Nuxt projects and being defaulted from Nuxt v3.8 onwards, marks the beginning of a new era in developer tools. It's designed to simplify our development journey, offering unparalleled transparency, performance, and ease of use. Join me as we explore how Nuxt DevTools v1.0 is set to revolutionize our workflow, making development faster and more efficient than ever. What makes Nuxt DevTools so unique? Alright, let's start delving into the features that make this tool so amazing and unique. There are a lot, so buckle up! In-App DevTools The first thing that caught my attention is that breaking away from traditional browser extensions, Nuxt DevTools v1.0 is seamlessly integrated within your Nuxt app. This ensures universal compatibility across browsers and devices, offering a more stable and consistent development experience. This setup also means the tools are readily available in the app, making your work more efficient. It's a smart move from the usual browser extensions, making it a notable highlight. To use it you just need to press Shift + Option + D` (macOS) or `Shift + Alt + D` (Windows): With simple keystrokes, the Nuxt DevTools v1.0 springs to life directly within your app, ready for action. This integration eliminates the need to toggle between windows or panels, keeping your workflow streamlined and focused. The tools are not only easily accessible but also intelligently designed to enhance your productivity. Pages, Components, and Componsables View The Pages, Components, and Composables View in Nuxt DevTools v1.0 are a clear roadmap for your app. They help you understand how your app is built by simply showing its structure. It's like having a map that makes sense of your app's layout, making the complex parts of your code easier to understand. This is really helpful for new developers learning about the app and experienced developers working on big projects. Pages View lists all your app's pages, making it easier to move around and see how your site is structured. What's impressive is the live update capability. As you explore the DevTools, you can see the changes happening in real-time, giving you instant feedback on your app's behavior. Components View is like a detailed map of all the parts (components) your app uses, showing you how they connect and depend on each other. This helps you keep everything organized, especially in big projects. 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