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Angular vs Aurelia: Who Wins?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

The debate of Angular vs Aurelia is one that has raged since 2015. Like the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees, the two JavaScript client frameworks are fierce competitors. They were built with similar philosophies, however their stark differences set them apart from each other. While both assist developers in building modern applications for mobile, desktop, and web applications, after a side by side comparison, the reality soon becomes clear. There is one top contender and overall winner in the Angular vs Aurelia battle.

 

The First Contender: Angular

Angular was first released in 2010. Since its release, its maintenance has fallen on Google, whose support has inevitably increased its popularity. In fact, as of 2019, there are 1,600 contributing developers. The introduction of Angular 2, has created the foundation for a popularity boost that has created the largest community of developers for a JavaScript framework.

Highlights of Angular include:

  • Its code is based on modularity.
  • It also has a component-based model.
  • It provides greater speed and performance
  • It supports development across platforms.
  • Its large community increases its credibility and reliability.

The Second Contender: Aurelia

Aurelia is a newer network. In an ironic twist, it was developed by Rob Eisenberg who used to be an Angular developer. It is important to note that Aurelia is an open source solution. In fact, it is truly open in the sense that developers can use it to create whatever they want without worrying about the legalities of accidentally infringing on some shadow company’s rights that were included in a terms and conditions contract.

When compared to Angular, there are a few notable highlights, including:

  • It is unobtrusive.
  • It is easy to learn.
  • It embraces a convention over configuration philosophy.
  • It has easy to remember syntax.
  • It can be built in Typescript and JavaScript.

Pros And Cons

A comparison between Angular vs Aurelia wouldn’t be complete without a look at a few of the pros and cons.

Angular Pros: 

  • Popular with a steady stream of current and new users, which leads to strong community support.
  • High configurability.
  • Supports web components and Typescript.

Angular Cons: 

  • Steep (by steep we mean Mt. Everest proportions) learning curve.
  • Rigid rules based on strong opinions.
  • Developers must follow the rigid rules
  • Monolithic framework.

Aurelia Pros: 

  • Super simple syntax and structure.
  • Gentle learning curve (when compared to Angular, the Aurelia learning curve is like walking on flat ground).
  • Leverages adaptive data binding.
  • Modular framework.
  • Adopts ES6 standards.
  • Supports native mobile development.
  • Has the Aurelia Framework7.

Aurelia Cons: 

  • It’s still less popular than Angular.

Before you come to the conclusion that we are ignoring potential Aurelia cons, we encourage you to keep reading. The reality of the matter is that Aurelia’s only real fault is that it isn’t as popular as Angular. However, its lack of popularity doesn’t seem to matter to some of the top websites that are using it, such as careers.microsoft.com, which sees millions of unique monthly visitors. In fact, the top 10 sites using Aurelia all see millions of visitors every month.

Speaking of monthly visitors, the sites aren’t limited to one geographic location. Instead, Aurelia can be found across the globe from the United States to France, India, and Poland. It is also used in a wide variety of industries, including: finance, jobs and careers, travel and tourism, computers and electronics, and numerous other business sectors. The moral of the story is simple, while Aurelia might be less popular than Angular, its lack of popularity is made up by its features and usability characteristics.

The Features And Usability Match Up Between Angular vs Aurelia

It’s no secret that Angular and Aurelia are two of the top choices for JavaScript frameworks. However, what separates the two choices are key differences in the way that they approach certain features and usability components. As discussed below, these differences are one of the reasons that there is a clear winner in the Angular vs Aurelia battle.

Coding Style: 

  • The Angular framework is tedious. It requires a more extensive configuration setup. Additionally, the code must be developed using loose coupling, which makes adding complexities a time-consuming task.
  • Aurelia took the “coding for Dummys” approach to its coding style. In other words, it has an easier and clearer coding style that is easy for everyone from beginners to experts to understand. It is also significantly simpler to set up its configuration.

Setup: 

  • Angular takes time … some would even say a copious amount of time. Every new component, or functionality, it must be painstakingly set up with a specific configuration.  The configuration challenge can cause additional time-consuming obstacles when it comes to binding events. Finally. Angular makes it challenging to setup both one-way and two-way binding.
  • Aurelia is focused on the business logic component, rather than the configuration setup. In this vein, Aurelia uses less configuration (i.e. coding) in binding events. The framework also supports one-way binding and two-way binding more easily than Angular.

Support: 

  • Angular might be backed by Google, but that doesn’t mean that users will receive individual support directly from Google. Instead, users must rely on the large community base. The good news is that the large community of users has created the foundation for strong user-based support.
  • Aurelia leverages the power of its maintenance provider. Blue Spire Inc., to provide support to its users. The reliability of its support is one of the reasons that its user base is beginning to grow. It is also why so many new developers prefer to use Aurelia. As a final notch in its support belt, Aurelia allows developers to interact directly with the team that is building it, which means that even beginners have a chance to learn from some of the best in the business. In our opinion, large is not always better; the small, yet mighty, Aurelia community is paving the way for developers throughout the globe.

Languages:

  • Angular is based on TypeScript.
  • Aurelia supports different languages, including: ECMA Script, TypeScript and all of its versions. By supporting different languages, Aurelia offers the flexibility that developers crave.

HTML And Other Tags:

  • Angular is not capable of using the HTML parsers in the browser. In fact, it is downright near impossible to achieve the HTML tags, as it requires botha template and element name.
  • Aurelia is case-insensitive regarding HTML tags. Unlike Angular, all of the templates can be wrapped into a single tag on Aurelia.

Customization:

  • Angular makes it challenge to define and use both custom elements or components.
  • Aurelia simplifies the customization process. It makes it easier for developer to add custom elements; in fact, customization might just be encouraged on the platform.

Convention Over Configuration:

  • Angular is modular, it does not believe in convention over configuration, which is one of the reasons that it is so cumbersome. In fact, it just might embrace the philosophy of configuration over convention.
  • Aurelia is based on the idea of convention over configuration. The result is an unobtrusive platform that allows developers to focus on application logic. Instead of worrying about the configuration of the component, a developer can simply begin to create and follow the established conventions. Aurelia will take care of the rest of the process.

Routing And Navigation:

  • Angular defines routes of a module based on a central and single configuration. The latter configuration defines the paths and routable components. The challenge is that this configuration style leads to complex and huge routes with sub routes (and more sub routes beyond in a Russian Doll scenario that seems never ending).
  • Aurelia defines parent routes. Developers can then add sub configurations that use a “child component.” In layman’s terms, the latter configuration hides the inner complexity and ensures that the components are fully encapsulated.

Standard Compliance: 

  • Angular is lacking to say the least on its approach to standard compliance. A prime example is that HTML has adopted certain syntax that relies on case sensitivity, which unfortunately is not handled natively by browsers.
  • Aurelia is ahead of the game when it comes to standard compliance. It is not only duly compliant with existing standards, but it also meets emerging web standards.

In many ways, Angular paved the way for Aurelia to step in and show developers what a less obtrusive, more agile, and flexible solution could look like. The result has been a more stable solution that is slowly becoming more popular as experienced developers “see the light” when it comes to leveraging the advantages that Aurelia’s features offer.

 

The Pros and Cons of Both Angular and Aurelia Chart

Checkout Aurelia’s Current Market Share

 

The Bottom Line: Aurelia Is The More Stable Solution

Angular vs Aurelia might share their status as front end frameworks for web, desktop, and mobile applications; however, the latter is the key winner when it comes to usability, features, and growth opportunities. Both frameworks support third-party tools and application integration. The key difference is stability. Aurelia has a more stable framework that can readily be used to create high-end, quality applications. It also an enhanced structure for application security. The challenge of Aurelia is that it has a smaller user community. However, as with any new entry into the technology realm, it is only a matter of time before Aurelia’s popularity grows and with it a reduction in the naysayers who are only interested in the more popular choice. In conclusion, Aurelia is a powerful, unobtrusive, and more standard compliant framework that embraces a convention over configuration policy to streamline development of mobile, web, and desktop applications.