Angular JS

The latest thing that I’m in love with digitally right now is AngularJS. Yes, it’s not the newest hotness in the web development world. Over the years I’ve tried a large number of JavaScript frameworks, and they were either incomprehensible (i.e. they had such a strong point of view that developing in them was like learning a whole new language which comes with supportability problems) or only semi-finished. Because of that, I had developed my own methodology for building the front ends for Rich Internet Applications. It’s pretty good, and people that have used it really like it. But AngularJS has become my new favorite. At first, I was leery of building so much functionality into the markup. Markup is to provide logical structure, right? But once I got into it, I realized that as long as you did things correctly, all of the functionality you were removing from main code and putting into the markup was purely display oriented. If you do it right, you basically don’t have to write a View module any longer. You just wrote the business logic in your controllers. It’s great. I didn’t mind doing things the older way that I had come up with, but I love doing things the AngularJS way. So, if you’re interested in getting started, I can’t recommend the official site and docs. That’s its one downfall. Framework: awesome. Docs: meh, at best. They don’t do the job. I found this tutorial to be great though:

http://www.ng-newsletter.com/posts/beginner2expert-how_to_start.html

It had me up and running in a couple of hours. You do have to rearrange your thinking to get the most out of this framework, and you’ll find yourself slowly shedding your pre-conceptions the longer that you work with it. Without fail, when I’ve run into problems that I thought were gaps in the framework, it turned out that they were gaps in the way I had been thinking about the problems involved in building a rich front end, and that AngularJS provided what was often a simple, elegant solution to what I thought would be complex and hairy. So, if you’re a front-end developer that uses the RIA model (as opposed to the older, hopefully deader server-generated pages model), it’s a worth a couple hours of your time to learn the basics and try it out.

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