What is my opinion about Knockout vs. Angular ?

My Angular.JS video is getting way more traction than I thought, with over 2K views and a lot of comments on Youtube and Facebook. One of the comments on Facebook came today was:

What is your opinion about Knockout VS Angular what is the best !! and thanks for the Good tutorial Mr Mohamed

An interesting question. There is an easy answer that is both technically and politically correct, that goes like: There is no “best”, each has pros and cons. For which one to use, “it depends”.

But I bet this is not good enough for anyone interested in the question, so, I’ll expand a bit here…

A Personal Opinion

“A personal opinion you ask, a personal opinion you get, so, treat it like one, no more”

Mohamed Meligy

Angular.JS does more than binding DOM to JS objects, like routing and enforcing code organization, and connecting to REST server APIs, etc., so, the more accurate comparison is against Durandal.JS, which uses Knockout for DOM binding, Sammy.JS for routing, Breeze.JS for REST data interaction (can be used with Angular), etc.

Knockout is old, and very mature. It was designed to be very easy to plug it into any jQuery plugin or jQuery UI widget. It was also designed to work with all browsers down to IE6. With Durandal.JS you also get the other parts that Knockout itself does not cover. If you are writing an app that depends on very complex “existing” jQuery components that you didn’t write yourself, it may be a better option.

Angular.JS is relatively new. It doesn’t feel like new when you see so many tutorials around and very enthusiast community around it, but it does feel so when you look at things like how the official UI components are in complete refactor/reorganization mode for quite a while. Mind you, they still work nicely though.

Angular.JS does not care as much about legacy browsers. The lowest they support is IE8 and only with DOM/EcmaScript5/JSON shims, and when things don’t work in IE, the whole thing fails with no particular error line to start with.

Having said that, “for me” Angular is the future. I’m not saying that KnockoutJS will die or whatever, it’ll be stupid of me to think so. Angular.JS is very functional as it is now and I used it to save us time in a current project (yes, even with IE support), and along with time and very passionate community (just like Knockout started), it’s expected to get better.

Does this answer the question?

Maybe, and maybe not. I have done quite a bit with KnockoutJS, but not much Durandal.JS, hence this should be taken with a grain of salt. There are several comparisons on the web that go into more detail. I just wanted to write my personal take here so that I can refer to it later when people ask.

Of course, like many opinions, my opinion itself may change as I learn more or as both libraries evolve more.

So, yeah, I highly encourage you. Go ahead and make your own conclusion. Needless to mention, those two libraries are not the only two in their category too ;)

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  • Mohammed Alaa

    ok we are seeing a lot of JS libraries going out every couple of days Angular, Emberjs, bla bla bla.

    What people dont get is the use of each library when i should use Angular and when i shouldn’t.

    I would use AngularJS for a small project where you can be in control with your MVW (Model-View-Whatever) OR as they would like to name it MVVM (Model-View View-Model) which doesn’t make any sense at all.

    If you notice all the new js library is really very helpful forgetting about jquery and returning back to the pure javascript.

    Mohamed Alaa

  • Kad

    Hmmm Angular is like a grandfather in age when comparing to Breeze and Durandal so not sure why it ‘seems new’ unless it is new to you…