Siren Call of Angular Material

I started thinking about doing another web technology project because I thought it might be good to have the option of building my own custom Node-RED Dashboard widgets. But during my research of study prerequisites I started reading about Angular. The more I read, the more I think it’s worth a closer look. I was enticed by the following:

  • It is a web technology of the SPA (single page application) era, moving more processing to the web browser and reducing load on the web server. Google has obvious incentive to reduce their server load, but it also means SPAs can be compiled down to static content and hosted on any web server. For hobbyist projects, this drops the minimum hardware requirement from a Raspberry Pi (to run something like Ruby on Rails) down to an ESP32 (static web server).
  • Angular is built on TypeScript, which adds compile-time type checking capabilities to JavaScript. Potentially eliminating a lot of JavaScript runtime failures that have frustrated me in the past.
  • And last but definitely not least: Angular Material components

Angular Materials is now my primary motivation, displacing Node-RED Dashboard. I’ve been fascinated by Google’s Material Design ever since the concept was launched. This is not a surprise to anyone who’ve seen my web technology projects. The SGVHAK rover UI was built on an early version of Materialize CSS. It gave me a Material Design look but with usage semantics somewhat resembling Bootstrap. My LRWave project was written using completely different set of tools, but it also picked up a Material Design style by the use of Material Design Components (MDC) for Web.

So the siren song call of Material Design has pulled me in yet again, this time to Angular and the promise of being able to build UI for projects that can be hosted anywhere… from static servers like an ESP32 or GitHub Pages, to full fledged web server running on a Raspberry Pi, to desktop applications via ElectronJS.

It all sounds very attractive for a tool to add to my toolbox, so I’ll start investing some time into learning Angular.

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