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Angular and React Teams Collaborate

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The teams behind JavaScript frameworks Angular and React got together to talk about how they can work together, though an eventual merging of the frameworks is unlikely.

Last week, Christopher Chedeau and the React team made the short drive down the 101 to Google's Mountain View campus, eager to meet up with the Angular team. The idea was to get together to chat about what they've been doing and how they might help each other, given that they're both working on similar problems.

"[Christopher] suggested the idea that we get together to talk about places where we should collaborate," said Brad Green, manager of the Angular team, in an interview with InfoQ. It wasn't the first time they'd met, however. In late January, members of the Angular made the reverse trip to the React.js Conf at Facebook's headquarters.

In meeting notes taken by Green, it's clear that both teams have worked their own way through common challenges such as command line tooling, immutable data structures, and internationalization. Both teams took time to demonstrate some of the work they've done and compare notes on what worked and what didn't.

"We want to push the web faster, it is in both our interest to team up and go to teams that implement js engines and the community with a unified plan," said Chedeau in an interview. Green echoed a similar sentiment, saying they want to "collaborate on shared libraries that show the way forward for the web platform. With (imagined) success of our work, we'd work with standards bodies (TC39, W3C) to make this part of the browsers."

Last year, the Angular team met with the TypeScript team from Microsoft. The end result of that meeting was the adoption of TypeScript as the basis for Angular 2. While the odds that a similar merge could ever happen with React is slim, it's likely that both projects will start to exhibit similarities around the margins. For example, one of the meeting action items is for Victor Savkin on the Angular team to "add specific support for immutable-js to Angular 2 change detection."

In a discussion on Hacker News, developer Colin Ramsay said he's glad the teams are talking. In reference to the decision to standardize on NPM, he said, "I love that they're talking with the Ember guys too, as their approach to a CLI seems to be one of reusing other people's work and just wrapping it. There have been too many cases of wheel reinvention, and I'm particularly glad to see that no-one's talking about yet another package manager."

Members of both teams described the meeting as friendly and productive. "To be honest, it's really a shame that we didn't get the time to meet each other earlier. I'm convinced that we could have both made progress a lot faster," said Chedeau.

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