TL;DR Auth0's Sam Julien and Kim Maida spoke at ng-conf 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can find all of the videos on YouTube and check out my central repository for the speakers' slides.

The Angular community is special. I know all tech communities think that, but it's true with Angular. The Angular community prides itself on being welcoming, collaborative, and inclusive. The biggest symbol of the Angular community is ng-conf, the largest Angular conference in the world. It happens every spring in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Grand America Hotel. This conference is organized by community leaders, not by Google, and each year strives to be better, more educational, more diverse and inclusive, and, yes, more fun! It is also the time when big news is announced by both Google and community project leaders.

".@ng-conf is the world's largest @angular conference."

This year's ng-conf took place from May 1-3, 2019. It was my third ng-conf and my first time speaking. I gave a talk on the first day called Convince Your Boss to Upgrade in 5 Minutes. It was an incredible experience! Auth0's Community and Technical Content Manager Kim Maida also spoke for the first time this year (her fifth time attending!). She gave a talk on strategies for state management with RxJS (more on that in a bit!).

Because ng-conf essentially serves as the "State of the Union" for Angular, I'm going to arrange this article differently than usual. Instead of going chronologically day by day, I'm going to organize all of the talks by topic. That way you can catch up on all the news for one subject at a time. There's a ton of information to dig into!

The Big Stuff: Angular 8, Bazel, and Ivy

Let's look at the big news first since I know you're dying to hear about it.

Angular 8

Angular 8 is in the release candidate (RC) phase as of this writing and should be finalized by the end of May 2019. Version 9 should be coming in Q4 of this year.

So what's new in Angular 8? Quite a bit! One of the features I'm most excited about is differential loading. Differential loading sends a lightweight bundle with minimal polyfills to modern browsers and a bundle packed with polyfills to older browsers. This reduces download time dramatically for most users. In most cases, differential loading saves 7-20% in bundle size!

How differential loading works (Source)

There are also many other new features coming to Angular 8:

New features in Angular 8 (Source)

Here are a few highlights:

  • Builders allow you to extend and customize the CLI.
  • You'll be able to deploy to Firebase and other providers from the CLI (this is a work in progress).
  • Support for Web Workers has improved.
  • Rather than using the "magic string" syntax specific to Angular to do lazy loading, you'll be able to use the standard import() syntax. You can even perform this automatically for your app with the angular-lazy-routes-fix tool.
  • Angular will now have support for the same functionality as AngularJS's $location service. This will be a game-changer for upgrading, since teams will be able to switch to the Angular router earlier in the process.
  • The Angular team has created a simplified Getting Started Guide.

To try out Angular 8 for yourself, you can update your Angular CLI to the latest version:

npm install -g @angular/cli@next

That's all the stuff that's done in Angular 8 right now. I know what you're thinking, though: "Sam, what about Bazel and Ivy!?!" Let's take these one at a time.

Bazel

If you're not familiar with Bazel, it's the open source version of Google's internal build tool called Blaze. Bazel offers all kinds of awesome functionality like support for full-stack builds, incremental builds, remote caching, and much more. It's architected with a Linux philosophy in mind: the composition of many small tools to make it scalable and customizable.

The Angular team has been working for a few years now on a projet called ABC, or Angular Build Convergence. This is a project to make the Angular build tools the same as those used internally at Google.

So, what's the status of this project in version 8? The addition of Bazel is an Angular Labs project that is currently in an "opt-in preview." This means that users can add Bazel to a new or existing Angular 8 project and test out whether it works for their application. Bazel integration is mostly done, but the team wants to make sure it is fully compatible before making it the default (planned for version 9).

"Bazel is now an opt-in preview as part of @angular 8!"

To do this, you can run:

npm install -g @angular/bazel
ng new --collection=@angular/bazel

To add Bazel to an existing Angular 8 application, run:

ng add @angular/bazel

Bazel support in Angular also now has a new subdomain on Angular.io so you can dig into how to get started and use Bazel.

Ivy

Okay, so what about the much anticipated Ivy? Ivy is the new renderer, a total rewrite that will include support for tree-shaking, template debugging, and much smaller bundle sizes.

As of version 8, Ivy is very close to being done. In fact, Ivy has 97% of its unit, integration, and screenshot tests passing at Google. All of the debugging features, bug fixes, memory improvements, and faster testing are also done.

Current status of Ivy (Source)

So what's left? Mostly backwards compatibility testing. The Angular team's goal is to make the transition to Ivy seamless for users. Right now, they need help testing Angular applications with lots of dependencies to make sure Ivy doesn't break anything.

The goal for version 9 is for Ivy to be smaller, faster, and have better type-checking.

To test drive Ivy, first update your Angular CLI as mentioned above. Then, run the following:

ng new my-app --enable-ivy

Those are the big updates from Angular -- lots of exciting stuff happening!

Talks on Angular news, Bazel, and Ivy:

RxJS, NgRx, and State Management

At ng-conf 2018, there was a broad theme of NgRx being the latest and greatest way to manage state in your Angular application. There was an entire track of the conference dedicated to NgRx and hype abounded.

Unfortunately, many developers took this to mean that NgRx was the only way to manage state in their applications, despite none of the team members claiming this. The Redux pattern is a tool for specific use cases, albeit an amazing tool!

The hype of last year combined with the general inscrutability of RxJS (which can be a huge stumbling block for folks new to Angular) meant that this year had a large focus on RxJS and state management without NgRx (though there were a few great talks on NgRx!).

I've broken down the talks for you by subject (no pun intended).

RxJS talks:

State management talks:

NgRx talks:

Angular Elements

Another big theme this was year was Angular Elements. Angular Elements are custom elements based on the web components APIs and are largely ready for real-world use. There are a few things that will be improved with Ivy, but many people are using them in a variety of contexts such as inside of React apps or during migration from AngularJS.

Talks on Angular Elements:

Forms, Components, and Other Angular Bits

There were also lots of talks about other topics in Angular. Don't misinterpret that this section as being any less important than the others -- it's just a bit harder to categorize!

Talks on broad Angular stuff:

Talks on forms:

Talks on components and decorators:

Talks on change detection:

Talks on design:

Talks on schematics:

Talks on other platforms or uses:

More Fun Stuff

Finally, there were some talks not specifically about Angular that were still awesome. I like having a mental break from Angular and hearing from other perspectives.

Non-Angular talks:

Conclusion

I hope you've enjoyed the topical guide to ng-conf 2019. If you're like me, you've probably got a million new things to research and implement in projects. Remember, you can find all of the videos on YouTube and check out my central repository for the speakers' slides. Enjoy!

About Auth0

Auth0, the identity platform for application builders, provides thousands of customers in every market sector with the only identity solution they need for their web, mobile, IoT, and internal applications. Its extensible platform seamlessly authenticates and secures more than 2.5 billion logins per month, making it loved by developers and trusted by global enterprises. The company's U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, WA, and additional offices in Buenos Aires, London, Tokyo, and Sydney, support its global customers that are located in 70+ countries.

For more information, visit https://auth0.com or follow @auth0 on Twitter.