AngularJS itself thinks that JavaScript is doing what HTML was supposed to (“this is what HTML should have been”). That’s where I was hooked on this framework (no pun intended). The framework has been subject to more debate than perhaps any other JS tool in the web application development history. That’s fairly understandable too.

The developers who brought AngularJS to us like to call it a super-powered JavaScript framework. Before you snort with derisive laughter (you probably just did if you are on the ‘con’ side of Angular debate), know that its capabilities actually do let developers work faster and more efficiently. But this article isn’t to wax poetic about Angular’s supposed super-powers. It’s about what makes it both amazing and awful.

The AngularJS Debate: Pros and Cons of Google's JavaScript Framework

If you are undecided on the framework, it should help you pick a side, although I personally think nothing beats actually trying it for yourself and making your own decision.

So keep an open mind. Before you hop on the steadily widening bandwagon with us, know that Angular has its:

Pros:

The framework does the following elegantly and efficiently:

1. DOM Manipulation and Data binding

It has two way data binding and automated DOM manipulation, so the updation from model to view and back again is leaner and faster and more importantly: no longer your headache.

2. Testing and Maintenance

If you are like me and almost neurotic about debugging, Angular is your best friend. The thorough refactoring and debugging properties make management and maintenance a cake walk. The framework encourages unit and end-to-end testing on every major change you make with tools like Karma and Protractor and the dependency injections make life so much easier than the unpardonable mess of main().

3. Separation of Concerns and cleaner development

Focus at one problem at a time with the beautifully logical MVVW model you’ll be developing in. With clear division of data (model), design (viewmodel), and logic (controller) that binds the two, I’ve found it makes collaboration so much easier and development faster and cleaner.

4. Deep Linking module for bookmarking in SPA

A conversation about JavaScript is incomplete without AJAX, especially if you need to develop SPA (Single Page Application). Angular understands that and more.
The ngRoute module that requires angular-route.js to work makes deep linking and bookmarking in a single-page app simple. You can declare inline validation rules without actually writing JavaScript.

5. The Filters

It’s easy to combine Angular with other awesome tools for truly great results.

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For example, we like working with the WordPress API. Once you get JSON files of your data, that is, the posts, users, tags, etc. from a WordPress website, you can put them through Angular to give the website front-end a super-speedy and stunning revamp by rewriting the client-side JavaScript through AngularJS. Takes a bit of know-how, but you’ll love the results.

The know-how is a bit of sore-spot. And that’s where the fun ends and fumbling begins. Angular JS also has its…

Cons:

1.    Learning Curve

Every single article about AngularJS pros and cons has this one mentioned, and it’s true. But I’ll be honest; this hype about difficulty learning AngularJS is simply hype: the framework looks more intimidating that it is. The framework has a very weird learning curve, as summed up in a post and accompanying graph by Ben Nadel.

It’s not just Nadel. Any Angular aficionado will tell you that this is almost exactly what they felt when taking up the framework. The learning curve is actually weirder than straight-up difficult, and has more ups and downs than the lead character’s life in a melodrama.

2. Documentation

Some developers think Angular has insufficient documentation that doesn’t do a good enough job of covering all aspects of this framework. That may be true, but since the community is still experimenting and there is nothing like an official set of ‘rules’, those who rigidly follow the system find it difficult to work with.
It should also be noted that documentation has improved with the contribution of Angular community.

3. Scopes

Debugging scopes can be a huge problem in an otherwise amazing framework like Angular. The scopes (evaluating expression like JS does with window) are nested in structure and placed hierarchically, and visualizing them for debugging can be somewhat difficult.

Tl; DR

So eventually, this is what the two sides of AngularJS debate has to say:

PROS:

  • Automatic DOM Manipulation and Data Binding
  • Better Testing and Maintenance with Dependency injections and debugging tools
  • Separation of concerns for better collaboration and development
  • Bookmarking Single Page Applications pays due attention inline form validation and bookmarking with AJAX
  • RESTful APIs let you hook-in easily with other systems through filters.

CONS:

  • Learning curve
  • Documentation
  • Scope debugging

Bottom Line

Angular is weird and cocky, but it’s also interesting and efficient. Once you manage to learn it, you’ll be wondering how you ever managed to work without this framework.
I speak from experience: my own, with AngularJS.

Author Bio: This article is written by Tracey Jones, a professional WordPress Developer associated with HireWpGeeks Ltd., a renowned online portal where you can hire professional WordPress expert from the team of 150+ experienced developers. She also has been involved in writing excellent tutorials about technical stuffs.