What's next for the Aurelia JavaScript framework

This should be a busy year for Aurelia, a JavaScript client framework that emphasizes use of focused modules. It is being groomed for improvements ranging from server-side rendering to state management.

Developers of the project also have ambitions to improve the platform’s user experience framework, Aurelia UX. A full conversion of Aurelia to TypeScript is being considered as well, although that could happen after 2018.

Sponsored by Blue Spire, Aurelia features a collection of open source modules and is intended for developing mobile, desktop, and browser apps. The framework has been forked roughly 600 times in GitHub and has more than 10,000 stars in that venue.

Where to download Aurelia

You can download the basic Aurelia project setup file from the Aurelia project website.

Aurelia’s framework feature roadmap

Improvements to the framework expected in 2018 include:

  • Server-side rendering. Expected shortly, this capability could improve performance and help a web app get indexed in search engines. A sample project and initial libraries will be offered. 
  • A plugin for transforming Aurela components into standards-compliant Web Components, which serve as reusable interface components.
  • Single-file component development, supporting smaller teams and individual developers.
  • A plugin for state management, providing a predictable state container for large applications. The plugin will be suitable for both JavaScript and TypeScript developers.
  • Command-line platform support for the GitHub Electron desktop development framework and PhoneGap/Cordova mobile application development. Later, builders of Aurelia want to enable developers to write code once and target the web, Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Aurelia’s user experience feature roadmap

Planned capabilities for the Aurelia UX user experience library, which is part of the Aurelia platform, include:

  • A responsive grid system for application layout, which is due soon.
  • Toolbars, to provide a common place for actions and titles.
  • A sidebar/drawer component, useful for menus and providing a place for content that does not need to be constantly displayed.
  • A cards component to help with mobile application layout.
  • CSS reset, for more-consistent component styling.
  • An API for handling fonts, letting developers use their own fonts.
  • Theme groups, for grouping related, shareable component themes.
  • Possible addition of components such as Select/Picker and Tabs/Pivots.

On the horizon: A bigger role for TypeScript

Following its 2018 ambitions, Aurelia could be fully converted to TypeScript in the next major version of the framework. There already have been some plugins authored in it and a couple of repos converted to TypeScript, Microsoft’s typed superset of JavaScript. Builders have been satisfied with how TypeScript has helped them clean up code, find more bugs, and tighten up APIs. A full conversion to TypeScript could result in a smaller bundle size and improved performance.

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