AngularJS is the frontend part of the MEAN stack, consisting of MongoDB database, Express.js web application server framework, Angular.js itself, and Node.js server runtime environment. Version 1.7.x is on Long Term Support until July 1st 2021. After that date AngularJS will no longer be updated and Angular 2.0+ is suggested instead.
AngularJS is built on the belief that declarative programming should be used to create user interfaces and connect software components, while imperative programming is better suited to defining an application's business logic. The framework adapts and extends traditional HTML to present dynamic content through two-way data-binding that allows for the automatic synchronization of models and views. As a result, AngularJS de-emphasizes explicit Document Object Model DOM manipulation with the goal of improving testability and performance.
AngularJS's design goals include:
AngularJS implements the MVC pattern to separate presentation, data, and logic components. Using dependency injection, Angular brings traditionally server-side services, such as view-dependent controllers, to client-side web applications. Consequently, much of the burden on the server can be reduced.
AngularJS uses the term "scope" in a manner akin to the fundamentals of computer science.
Scope in computer science describes when in the program a particular binding is valid. The ECMA-262 specification defines scope as: a lexical environment in which a Function object is executed in client-side web scripts; akin to how scope is defined in lambda calculus.
As a part of the "MVC" architecture, the scope forms the "Model", and all variables defined in the scope can be accessed by the "View" as well as the "Controller". The scope behaves as a glue and binds the "View" and the "Controller".
The task performed by the AngularJS bootstrapper occur in three phases after the DOM has been loaded:
AngularJS directives allow the developer to specify custom and reusable HTML-like elements and attributes that define data bindings and the behavior of presentation components. Some of the most commonly used directives are:
ng-* attributes are not valid in HTML specifications,
data-ng-* can also be used as a prefix. For example, both
data-ng-app are valid in AngularJS.
AngularJS two-way data binding is its most notable feature, largely relieving the server backend of templating responsibilities. Instead, templates are rendered in plain HTML according to data contained in a scope defined in the model. The
$scope service in Angular detects changes to the model section and modifies HTML expressions in the view via a controller. Likewise, any alterations to the view are reflected in the model. This circumvents the need to actively manipulate the DOM and encourages bootstrapping and rapid prototyping of web applications.
AngularJS detects changes in models by comparing the current values with values stored earlier in a process of dirty-checking, unlike Ember.js and Backbone.js that trigger listeners when the model values are changed.
AngularJS was originally developed in 2009 by Miško Hevery at Brat Tech LLC as the software behind an online JSON storage service, that would have been priced by the megabyte, for easy-to-make applications for the enterprise. This venture was located at the web domain "GetAngular.com", and had a few subscribers, before the two decided to abandon the business idea and release Angular as an open-source library.
The 1.6 release added many of the concepts of Angular to AngularJS, including the concept of a component-based application architecture. This release among others removed the Sandbox, which many developers believed provided additional security, despite numerous vulnerabilities that had been discovered that bypassed the sandbox. The current as of June 2018 stable release of AngularJS is 1.7.0
In January 2018, a schedule was announced for phasing-out AngularJS: after releasing 1.7.0, the active development on AngularJS will continue till June 30, 2018. Afterwards, 1.7 will be supported till June 30, 2021 as long-term support.
Versions 1.3 and later of AngularJS do not support Internet Explorer 8 or earlier. While AngularJS 1.2 supports IE8, its team does not.
Subsequent versions of AngularJS are simply called Angular. Angular is an incompatible TypeScript-based rewrite of AngularJS. Angular 4 was announced on 13 December 2016, skipping 3 to avoid a confusion due to the misalignment of the router package's version which was already distributed as v3.3.0.
A normal Angular application executes in the browser, while Angular Universal generates static application pages on the server through server-side rendering SSR.
Angular Material is a UI component library that implements Material Design in AngularJS.
In July 2012, the Angular team built an extension for the Google Chrome browser called Batarang, that improves the debugging experience for web applications built with Angular. The extension aims to allow for easy detection of performance bottlenecks and offers a GUI for debugging applications. For a time during late 2014 and early 2015, the extension was not compatible with recent releases after v1.2.x of Angular. The last update made to this extension was on April 4, 2017.
AngularJS sets out the paradigm of a digest cycle. This cycle can be considered a loop, during which AngularJS checks if there is any change to all the variables watched by all the
$scope.myVar is defined in a controller and this variable was marked for watching, Angular will monitor the changes on myVar in each loop iteration.
This approach potentially leads to slow rendering when AngularJS checks on too many variables in the
$scope every cycle. Miško Hevery suggests keeping fewer than 2000 watchers on any page.