I’m about to start a new project for a client which is a LOB app and Aurelia is high on the list of suitable frameworks based on features, stability, ease of learning. You all know the good stuff!
The biggest positive is in fact the stability. After the main build out, my client will only require the occasional features over the coming years that really amount to a few hours per week. In my experience, other frameworks like Angular have such feature and version churn that it would be out of date every time I do something
Conversely, Aurelia V1 was/is so awesome it is still competes well with other tools even though it is substantially the same as it was many years ago. This is a very strong indication to me that the engineering designs were very well considered based on principals like adherence to web standards and separation of concerns.
My concerns are not technical at all…
- appears that development of Aurelia 2/next has ground to a snails pace based on github stats. This is concerning. I know there is still active development, but this pace indicates not enough people-hours available.
- very little promotion. Again, indicates little time available to move this project forward. I hear people promoting other web front end tools on podcasts like .Net Rocks, but never Aurelia.
- not much activity here on Discourse either. Doesn’t appear to be many people using it.
- how viable is the financial structure behind Aurelia? Are people building this framework as a job or out of the goodness of their harts?
- will the development fall apart or cease if one person leaves the project?
So, I’m sitting on the fence. Afraid to commit and find out in a years time the project is archived on github.
I believe that every occasional visitor to the Aurelia neighborhood will recite your concerns to the letter.
One word about Angular: it is far from the way you describe. The current version has been steady and mostly backwards compatible for years. Their upgrading process is almost fully automatic, and the community is vibrant. It is more complex than Aurelia though.
Yes I figured I’m not alone there.
So are my concerns just my and other’s perceptions from the outside or is there now a lack of development and traction in this project? Where is there evidence it will persist into the future? I’m very happy to be wrong on this!
Is Aurelia just in an unfortunate spot of having got it right the first time so no need for rapid versioning, no need for talking about the cool new features in this months release?
Are there actually a lot more people using Aurelia than it appears, but they are just getting stuff done. Dark matter developers, delivering value but not talking about it. I would assume there are a lot more Aurelia projects in corporate land were it is well suited to large LOB, forms+data apps but those projects are hidden from us outside. Some substantial case studies would allay a lot of fears and provide credibility.
Looking from the outside I see blog posts trending to zero, github commits trending down, activity on discourse trending down. npm downloads are a fraction of some of the alternatives.
Perceptions matter, often more than the reality. If newcomers don’t perceive there is a strong future then why would they commit to using Aurelia?
Unfortunately I feel I’m in the same boat, hoping to be wrong about it. I would love to use AU2 for the long term. But 1 blog post in 15 months is not a good sign. I hope it’s b/c good programmers often are bad at / or don’t have for time for marketing. If that’s the case a non-programming marketeer should be added to the team to improve PR and communicate about the progress being made. I wish for the best!
If it helps at all, we’ve recently released a large scale AU1 project in the UK. I couldn’t be happier, nor speak more highly of Aurelia. We very much were in the privileged position of releasing when we were ready, and I get the feeling the AU2 team are working in the same way. Surely that’s a good thing? There’s no rush - better to make sure it’s all good. Everything is way to urgent these days.
When AU2 is ready, we’ll move over to it at some point. Until then, it’s all good. Out of all the frameworks/libraries etc that I’ve looked at, it’s always made the most sense.
I have built several large LOB applications with Aurelia 1 over the past three years (PWAs for desktop and mobile). For me, Aurelia is still my first choice. Aurelia is super stable and I can fully concentrate on the actual programming of my apps.
I can confirm your feelings - it does seem to be a slow moving project. That being said, we have several large scale projects in AU1 at our company, have plans to upgrade to AU2 when some priorities are completed and have built a few AU2 apps already with very few issues.
The simplicity, typescript support, and stability are all good reasons why I chose aurelia.
In Au2: the new docs are much improved and the whole framework feels a lot cleaner overall.
That being said, you have to choose the framework right for your project, this is by no means a sales pitch to use AU2, just my personal experiences with it.
We use Aurelia 1 as base for a web based SAAS solution, almost 6 years now. It’s the core product of the company. So stability is a major concern.
Close to a year ago we decided to recreate the Aurelia frontend. And one of the discussions we had was “to Aurelia or not to Aurelia”, and if we would stay with Aurelia, what version to use.
In the end we figured that Aurelia 2 was (is) not yet stable enough, and that we would continue using Aurelia 1.
But, even though Aurelia 1 still does the job, there are concerns for that version as well. Specifically the updates of the dependencies.
We’ve been using Aurelia 1 here at ProcurePro - it’s a pretty large SaaS app in B2B/B2E space. We’ve got approximately 50 pages in the app and over 1,000 components.
This year we’ve started migrating to Aurelia 2. Our overall product architecture is such that we serve up Aurelia “root components” (using Aurelia enhance) with Symfony (PHP). With this, we can port over individual root components one by one as the product continues to evolve.
Honestly - Aurelia 2 is “in beta” but man is it great. Docs are better, the DX is MUCH better (lots of awesome templating features). It’s kinda frustrating that it’s still labelled in beta but such is life.
There’s genuine reservations around hiring people as there are oodles of people with React/Vue experience and no one with Aurelia experience. My counter to that is the code we write in Aurelia has become pretty vanilla, and the templating engine is pretty easy to understand IMO.
The longevity of Aurelia 1 bodes well for the future too, even if there are no updates, it still does what it says on the tin. The hard part is when tooling like Webpack/Jest/Storybook etc. starts changing dramatically, but your framework doesn’t.
Thanks everyone for your feedback. It is encouraging to see Aurelia is being used for some substantial projects and I assume there are many more out there.
I really do value the design and stability of the framework. The alignment to standards and browser native tech means it plays well with other tech in the ecosystem now and into the future (most likely).
I think @tomtomau point about webpack etc is the real pain point in my experience anyway. Things seem to break unexpectedly due to a whole pile of dependencies and releases in the build and test chain, not the framework itself. Then, not being an expert in the config of these tools takes days sometimes to sort out.
V1 still serves me just fine.
No need to try and justify it to myself at all. You should start with v1 and if v2 becomes stable enough switch to it, but you will be more than happy with v1 as it is. I’ve been using it since 2018 and haven’t moved from it yet.
I really wish Aurelia 2 gained more momentum.
For past several months I am again supporting and developing one of the systems I designed and developed around 5 years back from now (haven’t been on the project since 4+ years). There are some technology choices I made back then I am thankful to my past self for, one of the major ones being Aurelia 1.
It has really proven to be super stable, easy to use and powerful.
Right now I am doing a PoC of refactoring of one of the areas in this system, and for this PoC I had to set up a standalone Au1 project - and it really reminded me how smooth the experience is.
As for the future of the project I am working on again now, I really wish I could justify the choice of Au2 to me, other devs and the bosses . I also believe the transition would be pretty easy, however I don’t want to choose the path that could eventually turn out to be a dead end.
Hoping to hear some voices from the Au Dev Team as well
Tbh, I think this is very disturbing as well. The lack of communication in a thread like this, where their supporters (i.e. we!) express their concerns, is concerning itself to say the least.
Thanks @mroeling and others for the support (and the reminder about replying here).
First of all, the core team is and will continue to be committed to maintaining v1 and developing v2. Aurelia will continue to be a good choice for devs that reliably want to get things done. With that said, please understand that the amount of activity from the core team members might fluctuate. Sometimes due to personal reasons, sometimes due to the fact that the core team members have to make a living (many of them with Aurelia projects). It’s been visibly slower for a while, but we will soon bring life back to the blog to communicate framework changes and progress. For now, regarding v2, we are getting closer to a releasable RC. We likely will have a few more runtimes changes only before that happens.
Thank you @bigopon
I think it eases the mind of a lot of people, including mine, to hear from the core team.
I have been using aurelia since launch, and I find it far more intuitive, logical and easy to understand than any other framework thus far. Aurelia is my preferred choice for web based projects and I’m happy to know it still will be in the future.
Life and work have conspired to keep me from core team activities lately, but if everything goes as planned that will soon change. I’m not being kept away from Aurelia, though; for the past six years or so the projects I’ve been consulting on have almost exclusively used Aurelia 1 or 2.
Please take us with you on the AU2-RC journey! Whether it’s a small message or a lengthy blog post, you’ll notice that we all “sponge” the information. Proper communication will help support AU2 a lot.
Well, let’s hope The Sheer has it at the right end all along “It only gets better”
Thanks for the update! Very welcome!
I’ve been using Aurelia since 2015?6 and have never felt as at home with a framework.
I use it with Adonis JS for a backend (which is a NodeJS clone of Laravel, and very strong in its own right)
I had to do some React work and ended up using RedwoodJS - a great framework to build the admin side of an app, and then I used Aurelia for the user facing app calling the RedwoodJS graphQL backend.
Recently I resurrected an old Aurelia app into an Electron app. Works great, looks great.
I’ve also been using Aurelia since v1 beta and have never used a more intuitive and comfortable SPA framework.
I’ve been working on NetPad, a cross-platform LINQPad alternative, for a little while now. The interface is all written in Aurelia 2 and I couldn’t be happier with how the code has held during the process of building and mutating this project. I love Aurelia’s minimalist/“out of your way” mantra that doesn’t flood your codebase with framework-specific jargon, it really helps you focus on the app instead of the framework.
I wish there was more awareness about Aurelia. Kudos to the developers as well for holding up all these years and continuing to push updates and trying to get newer versions out constantly. Nothing speaks more about how dedicated the Aurelia team is to creating a fantastic product, even if the spotlight isn’t particularly shiny right now.