Reasons To Use Aurelia in 2020

It is almost the year 2020, and you are still not using Aurelia, say it isn’t so. No more excuses, it’s time to charge up your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse batteries, make yourself a coffee and start using Aurelia.

Version 2 is coming and it’s going to be FAST

While Aurelia 1 is plenty fast, Aurelia 2 is a complete rewrite of Aurelia from the ground up. It not only focuses on JIT (Just In Time) runtime performance but also sees the introduction of AOT (Ahead of Time) compiling support which will yield upwards 100x speed improvements in your applications.

Aurelia 2 will take the learnings of Aurelia 1, along the way the features that many developers love and supercharge them, as well as add in new features that modern web applications require.

Low Learning Curve, Highly Extendable

The low-learning curve of Aurelia is unrivalled by any other framework. Show me a fully-featured client-side framework that can build ambitious large-scale web applications that require minimal documentation diving to use.

I have helped upskill developers from all facets in Aurelia and it truly speaks for itself. Just recently two backend developers at my work started moving into the front-end and within the space of just a week were writing and shipping Aurelia code.

Besides the ease-of-use, the extensibility is once again unrivalled. From the dependency injection through to templating, routing and compiling, every part of Aurelia can be overridden and replaced.

Dependency Injection

There are too many benefits of Dependency Injection to list, but there is no denying that DI is immensely useful and powerful. Aurelia has a great DI layer allowing you to pass around dependencies in your applications and specify the type of injection mode they should use.

One of the great benefits of Dependency Injection is unit testing. Because dependencies are passed through the constructor in your components and view-models, it allows you to easily mock them or my favourite approach of overriding the value in the container with a mocked version.

While it is possible to shoe-horn some semblance of DI into other libraries and frameworks, Aurelia provides a true Dependency Injection layer which can be used in your applications and keeping in line with the mantra of “easy to override” you can configure whatever way you want too.

First-class TypeScript Support

I have been working with Aurelia since 2015, I have been using it with TypeScript since 2016 and Aurelia has always supported TypeScript without the need for anything additional to be installed. The framework ships with strong typing support and in Aurelia 2, TypeScript is even more supported. The codebase of Aurelia 2 is completely written in TypeScript.

Long-term Support // Minimal Breaking Changes

Some of us Aurelia veterans have been running production applications since 2015 when it was an alpha release. As time went on and Aurelia reached beta, then release candidate stages before stable 1.0, while the framework was improved and changed, the core design stayed the same.

In its almost five years of existence, there has not really been one single breaking change. The core architecture and vision of Rob has remained untouched. There are not many frameworks and libraries that can boast continual improvement without some form of breaking change or convention.

Flexible Binding Approaches

Despite what some developers believe, there is no denying that two-way binding is amazing if used correctly. The ability to bind values to a view-model from a form input is immensely powerful. Unlike something like React which forces you to litter your code with change function callbacks to update values.

  • One way
  • Two way
  • From view
  • To view
  • One time

Batteries Included

Why waste your time deciding what Router library to use, what state management solution you should use, whether you want to write in some XML like HTML syntax or how you will deal with validating some form inputs?

Aurelia is a glue-less framework that provides you with all of the modules you’ll need to build web applications. Let’s not get it twisted, it is quite rare that you just need the view component, most web applications we build generally require routing, validation, state management and templating.

Do you really want to wake up to the sound of tears on Christmas day because you forgot to buy the batteries and all of the shops are closed?

Some Small Blog Changes Preempting Aurelia 2

As Aurelia 2 draws near, I have made some changes to my blog. Acknowledging that many of you rely on my blog as a source of information and help with Aurelia 1, I have created an Aurelia 2 category and renamed the existing category to Aurelia 1.

This will hopefully alleviate any confusion that you might have when Aurelia 2 is released. While many of my Aurelia 1 articles will still be relevant, they might not always apply to the new version of Aurelia.

Until Aurelia 2 is released, these changes do not currently mean much. But, after release, they will.

Another change you might have noticed is a new theme. The existing theme served me well for years, but now, it is time to try something newer and still easy to read. I am using the Less theme.