What's new in Angular 5.2?

Angular 5.2.0 is here!

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Let’s see what 5.2 has in stock for us!


Angular 5.0 introduced the fullTemplateTypeCheck option in the compiler. When activated, the Angular compiler will be stricter when checking your templates and catch potential type errors (check our Angular 5.0 blog post to learn more). The feature is really powerful but sometimes you can run into expressions in your templates that you know will work at runtime, even if the compiler can’t type-check them.

Angular 5.2 introduces a new function you can use in your templates, called $any(). $any() can be used in binding expressions to disable type checking of this expression. This is really similar to as any in TypeScript, and allows expressions that work at runtime but do not type-check.

interface PonyModel {
  name: string;

  template: '<p>Hello {{ $any(ponyModel).age }}'
export class PonyComponent {
  ponyModel: PonyModel;
  // ponyModel has no field age, so the template should not compile

As for any in TypeScript, I’m not really a fan of using this: I usually prefer to have a correct type instead of “cheating” with any or $any(). So this is not really for the day to day use.

This is rather intended to help the applications using fullTemplateTypeCheck which can raise type errors hard to fix, usually from third party libraries. For example, we use ng-bootstrap and there were two errors in 1.0.0-beta.7. We fixed them, so if you use ng-bootstrap@1.0.0-beta.8 or a more recent one, you should be OK!

This was also introduced for internal use in the framework (see below).


Still regarding this feature, some work has been done to have more accurate errors in your template if you use the strictNullChecks option form the TypeScript compiler (see our blog post about Angular 4.1 to learn more about this) with fullTemplateTypeCheck.

For example, the compiler was not really good at determining a situation like this one:

  template: `<div *ngIf="ponyModel">{{ ponyModel.name }}</div>`
export class PonyComponent {
  // ponyModel can be a pony or null
  @Input() ponyModel: PonyModel | null;

Here, using strictNullChecks and fullTemplateTypeCheck, the compiled template would raise an error, as the TypeScript code generated could not see that, because of the *ngIf wrapping it, the evaluation of ponyModel.name was safe. The expression is only evaluated if ponyModel is not null, so there is no risk, but the compiler could not see it and was considering ponyModel to be PonyModel | null:

src/app/pony/pony.component.html(1,25): : Object is possibly 'null'.

Some work has been done by the Angular team to fix this: now the TypeScript code generated will take into account the *ngIf guard, and automatically consider ponyModel as a not null entity inside the *ngIf! So where we used to “cheat” and write:

{{ ponyModel!.name }}`

We can now simply write:

{{ ponyModel.name }}

and the compiler will understand the situation!

Note that this a generic feature: if you write your own structural directive, that works like an *ngIf, you can also leverage this type guard feature by adding a static field called ngIfUseIfTypeGuard to your directive.

Router parameters inheritance

Previously, the router would merge path and matrix params, as well as data/resolve, with special rules (only merging down when the route was an empty path, or was component-less).

Angular 5.2 adds an option called paramsInheritanceStrategy which can take different values:

  • when set to always, it makes child routes unconditionally inherit params from parent routes;
  • when set to emptyOnly, the default, it only inherits parent params for path-less or component-less routes (the former behavior).

Project Ivy: a faster and smaller renderer

This release doesn’t have many features because part of the team is currently rewriting one piece of the framework: the renderer.

We don’t know much about this project (codename Ivy) as the design doc is not public right now, except that it should make the renderer smaller and faster, with a simpler design, allowing a better incremental compilation (faster builds for us \o/), and will be fully backwards compatible (hopefully no breaking changes \o/). We’ll keep you up to date when this feature is ready (it’s still in early stages).

That’s all this release!

All our materials (ebook, online training (Pro Pack) and training) are up-to-date with these changes if you want to learn more!

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