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Dec 20 2016

Angular Developers Unveil New Release Strategy

Three months after the delayed release of their second JavaScript framework, the developer team have now outlined their plans for future releases as well as a new naming convention.

First promoted at NG-BE, Belgium's first-ever Angular conference, the provisional schedule sticks with fixed release cycles (as opposed to a rolling release scheme) that build on three different categories of upgrades: patches (bug- and security fixes) will be issued on a weekly basis, minor releases that introduce new features without changing APIs or programming patterns will occur at least three times per month, and major releases that expand Angular functionalities and may include so-called "breaking changes" are scheduled to appear every six months. As a result of this policy, the next major release (Angular 4) is due out in the first week of March, and Version 5 will follow in September/October this year.

Given that the current release bears the name Angular 2, one might wonder what prompted the developers to skip the next logical version number. The answer is relatively simple, if twofold. First off, the term "Angular 3" has already been attached to the framework's routing library, which is available in version 3.4.0 from Second, the presentation at NG-BE also established fresh versioning and naming guidelines. As of version 2.0.0, released in September, Angular officially dropped the heavily used "JS" prefix and adopted a so-called semantic versioning scheme (SEMVER) consisting of three digits, where each digit carries a different meaning. For example, at the time of writing the stable release is Angular 2.4.0 – here, the "2" indicates the major release, the "4" tells us it's the fourth minor release in the Angular 2 branch, and the "0" means that no patches have been released for this version as yet. However, with the next patch day ahead tomorrow (December 21), the final release for 2016 will be Angular 2.4.1. Version 2.4.2 will follow on the first Friday in January.

For more information, please see the Angular Blog and follow the changelog at GitHub.


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