Unfortunately Rob made what I felt was a fundamental mistake when he started Aurelia. He decided to make it completely unopinionated as far as the loaders were concerned, so we had a framework where the first thing a user was confronted with was a choice of six loaders, and most non-core modules (and some core ones) had a nightmare scenario where they supported some loaders but not others.
Angular took a simpler approach, choosing WebPack and standardising on TypeScript, meaning new adopters had a single documented process, so even a complete novice was able to get up and running quickly.
We also had a complete lack of centralised community support. We used Gitter, which was fantastic for “I need help right now!” situations, but had a useless search system and no way of pinning extremely useful and relevant answers to common problems, so while I was banging on about either setting up a forum of some sort to let us assign moderators to flag and collect the hidden gems and FAQs, Angular 2+ shot ahead, as it was years before this discourse forum was created.
As a result of this we missed the peak adoption period, despite having a significantly better framework, fantastic community, and significantly better core modules for real-world tasks such as validation and I8N.
I still like Aurelia most. I’m not doing a lot of web development currently, but every time I have to look at a customer’s Angular or React solution I shudder, and I still see Aurelia as a single shining example of what can be done if you focus on structured convention based solutions instead of Angular’s death-by-attributes or React’s fluffy code-in-html approach.
I do struggle when I talk to clients about options to develop an app. If I push for Aurelia will they look it up and laugh at its lack of presence? If we do adopt it, will we be able to find developers who can switch from Angular to Aurelia quickly enough for our timeline?
So Aurelia isn’t dead, but the product’s focus on geekiness and not on real-world definitely hurt it. Let’s be honest, React.JS is an example of how you can take an awful system and get mass adoption by making the onboarding process simple. I believe that if Aurelia had been targetted at beginners in the same way, it would have had a huge take-up and be far bettter known
On the plus side, every single popular web framework goes stale within 12-24 months. Angular is losing popularity, so I would say that if you feel you can trust that Aurelia will still be supported, it is as good a choice as most of the others. While the loaders were broken daily in the early days, Aurelia 1’s core and binding concepts remained pretty damn stable, and the main changes have been to add features that make it easier and more convention based, unlike almost all other frameworks where they seem to rewrite their whole model every couple of years.
What you say to someone who says Aurelia is dead and we need to move on to a new framework?
Which framework? Do we randomly choose a ‘flavor of the month’ product and see if it still exists in a recognisable form next year?
- Aurelia 2 has been very slow in coming
Yep, I suspect because it keeps chasing changing trends and expectations
- Aurelia 1 is not keeping up with industry standards
Yep, I suspect because it doesn’t bother chasing changing trends and expectations
- Hiring and onboarding is difficult because of the lack of community and learning resources
The community in here is good, with questions answered very quickly and completely, but this is a small site, and nothing like your typical Angular community.
Learning resources are the real killer. Aurelia has always been plagued with situations where a simple “Hello World” example breaks because Node is the wrong sub-version or a loader needs some weird nuance, meaning potential new users simply delete it and move to React.
@dwaynecharrington wrote an Aurelia book which had lots of real-world examples of how to develop applications for the real world, and we need more ‘Cookbook’ solutions out there to guide people.
Show me a site with a set of up-to-date examples I could give to my son so he could start coding simple applications today. I can find hundreds of React or Angular ones, but I’d love to see some quality Aurelia ones.