Modernization

Deep look into Angular Versioning

Lucas Fievet1
|
April 12, 2022

Angular is currently one of the most popular Frontend-Web-Development frameworks on the market. With the growing community of users and the increasing popularity among developers, Angular is continuously released with newer versions. To check the version of Angular used in your app, go with one of the following approaches.

Angular CLI

Open up your favorite terminal, go to your project directory and type in one of the following commands:

Bear in mind, that for recent versions of Angular, it will display a list of several Angular packages in your project. The one, that indicates the Angular version is @angular-devkit/core. An example output can be seen below:

Package.json

The second approach is to go to your project directory and find the package.json file. Under the dependencies, you should be able to find your angular-oriented packages. As before, the one that indicates the Angular version is @angular/core.

Angular Release Philosophy

Angular version has a format of major.minor.patch. As an example Angular version 8.2.3, means major version 8, minor version 2, and patch version 3. The version is updated based on the level of change included in the release:

  • Major - significant changes introduced. For example the major version 9 included a new IVY compiler. When updating your app to new major version, you might be forced to run update scripts, run additional tests or refactor your existing codebase.
  • Minor - new, smaller features. Minor releases are meant to be fully-backward compatible. The developer might be expected to learn new APIs and features.
  • Patch - bug fixes. No assistance from the Developer is needed in these releases.

There is no specific time schedule regarding the releases of Angular version, but a general cycle is considered to be:

  • Major release every 6 months.
  • 1 to 3 minor releases for every major release.
  • A patch release every week.

Angular Deprecation Practices

Some of the major releases may contain changes that can crash your existing code. To make the transition process possibly smooth, there is a deprecation policy for Angular releases:

  • Announcement - the deprecated APIs and features are announced in a change log. For those who keep up with documentation, deprecated APIs are marked in the docs with strikethrough.
  • Deprecation period - an API or a feature that is about to be deprecated will still be available in the next two major releases. Importantly, the removal of deprecated feature only occurs in major releases, no matter when it was announced.
  • npm dependencies - npm dependency updates requiring changes in your apps occur only in major releases. For minor releases, peer dependencies are updated by expanding the supported versions. In other words, for minor Angular version upgrades, npm dependency version updates are optional.

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