I wrote a post 8 months ago titled It’s OK to Still Use Angular 1 in 2017. There are still a lot of companies using Angular 1 in legacy products and it is OK. That being said, some of the arguments that I made in my last post no longer seem valid. I wanted to set the record straight and encourage Angular 1 users to begin planning to transition to a newer tech.
1. Angular 1 ecosystem is NOT in a good shape
In my earlier post I argued that Angular 1 has a mature ecosystem. As somebody who uses Angular 1 in my daily job, I no-longer feel like this statement is true. It is now very common for me to find that a library that we are using is either poorly maintained or no longer maintained at all.
Most libraries that ARE still being maintained are trying to support 2 version: Angular 1 and Angular 2+. I am not sure what this means for Angular 2+, but for Angular 1 it means a lot of bugs, slow response time and lack of focus.
I can’t blame the maintainers. If I was working on something for free, I would not want to work on the old tech. Anyone wants to maintain a COBOL open source library?
2. Angular 1 is going away
Angular 1 is still around and kicking. Google has not pulled the plug on it, but I almost wish they did. I predicted back in June that if Google were to stop their support, somebody would fork Angular 1 and continue to maintain it as an independent framework. Instead, Angular 1 is stuck in a zombie mode, where it’s neither alive nor dead.
I don’t know how long it will take for Angular 1 to go away, but it does not look nearly as healthy as it did 8 months ago.
3. It’s hard to hire Angular 1 talent
Two years ago when I was looking for my next job, I was surprised to see how much market penetration React had. I had a list of top companies that I wanted to apply for (Netflix, Facebook, Khan Academy, Slack etc.) and all I kept seeing was React, React, React.
While React has a few up and coming competitors these days, Angular 1 is definitely not one of them. Developers know the trends and nobody wants to work on the old tech.
Plan on moving to something else
I could keep going, but I think I’ve said enough. Angular 1 is not in a good shape and it will take a miracle to bring it back. Perhaps a fork by another large company that wants to invest in Angular 1? Seems unlikely.
I think it is wise for companies that are still using Angular 1 to get the ball rolling on other frameworks. Both React (who fixed their licensing issue since the last post) and Vue.js seem like mature alternatives, but there is no shortage of choices 🙂 .
In any case, as Nic F pointed out in his great comment on my original post:
It’s all just technical debt, and there are just two groups of people. Those who have paid their debt and use something else, and those who keep growing the debt by using AngularJS.