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Strange bedfellows: Google deal with Microsoft sees AngularJS 2 adopting TypeScript

angularIn one of the more interesting meetings of minds in recent times, Google Inc., and Microsoft Corp. have announced that they are working together to merge two of their javascript technologies into the one platform.

The announcement sees Microsoft’s TypeScript becoming the scripting language in Angular 2, Google’s javaScript web app framework.

AngularJS may not be well known outside of the development community, but it does power a range of sites, including Weather.com and Vevo.

“We’re excited to announce that we have converged the TypeScript and AtScript languages, and that Angular 2, the next version of the popular JavaScript library for building web sites and web apps, will be developed with TypeScript” Vice President of the Developer Division at Microsoft S. Somasegar said in a blog post.

“Working closely with a rich library like Angular has helped TypeScript to evolve additional language features that simplify end-to-end application development, including annotations, a way to add metadata to class declarations for use by dependency injection or compilation directives” Somasegear added.

Microsoft’s Jonathan Turner noted in a separate blog post that the new features will allow users to develop cleaner code when working with dynamic libraries like Angular 2, including a new way to annotate class declarations with metadata.

“Library and application developers can use these metadata annotations to cleanly separate code from information about the code, such as configuration information or conditional compilation checks.  ”

Not well received

Although the spin sounds great, the complete change between Angular version one and two hasn’t been well received in the development community.

John Pettersen at Codebetter writes that Google has broken the OSS compact with Angular 2.0, and further that “Why on Earth would a team want to disenfranchise the very community it relies upon and praises?,” while a thread on Hacker News sees many criticizing the move to Typescript.

The deal between Microsoft and Google is one of strange bedfellows, but likewise much of the criticism seems, in part anyway, to surround the level of secrecy leading up to the deal, combined with the fact that Angular users will now have to learn Typescript to code using the platform. Until it’s finally out there though the criticism may be somewhat premature; if it’s as good as described by Microsoft it may be a revolutionary, not evolutionary step in the right direction.

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