What is going on?

Let me say up front, I love Ionic. I’ve been using the framework for five projects so far, and even though it’s been a journey working with the alpha versions, with many inconsistencies between versions, sometimes heavily retooling projects due to major changes between versions, regressions between versions, features that have slowly matured over multiple versions, working with every platforms multitude of quirks and weird behaviors, mostly the experience has been fine.

So it is with absolute gratitude to the team and the community here for their efforts that I ask this: what is going on with the project?

Currently there are 205 open issues on GitHub. They keep piling up. Some are not fully addressed, or are closed without fully digging into what is going wrong. Am I the only one who thinks this is worrying?

Meanwhile, we get the Ionic show, which, while very interesting, asks for resources of the team that, in my opinion could be better used in fixing things that don’t work as they should or adding features that make the framework better.

I have been volunteering in the past in helping out in the forums as I get the feeling the team is currently stretched enough as it is, even though I’m the first to admit I’m not the most knowledgable. But I do try. But it’s sort of frustrating to see things like to the Ionic show being produced when that time might be better spent elsewhere. Especially as some feature requests (sticky list headers come to mind, custom animations in navigating is another) have been asked for for more than 8 months, with no concrete progress. Sometimes somebody in the team makes vague statements that “we’re close to implementing”, but then nothing happens.

What would help is knowing what the general direction of the framework is.

  • Is there a roadmap for features?
  • When is 1.0 really final? (I do hope we’ll won’t be having another 9 betas?)
  • What are the priorities of the team?
  • Is the current hold up due to personnel issues?
  • Or is it due to the implementation of a testing infrastructure?
  • What can the community do to help you?

I know some of these questions might be unanswerable, but a dialogue here would be very much appreciated.

Much love from a slightly concerned Ionic user.

@mhartington, @andy, @max, anyone care to respond?


Hey @coen_warmer. Thanks for the post, as it gives me a chance to be a bit transparent with what is going on over here :smile:

First of all, the entire team was on a retreat last week, so things slipped a bit :slight_smile: We have all been working really hard so it’s good to take a step back and figure out what the next months/years will have in store for us, as well as for the remote folks to meet the rest of the team.

For issues, we are always going to have them. Look at the Angular project, there are over 1100 open issues! What happens in a successful project is that enough people are pounding on the project, finding little things or having trouble with something that it’s always easier to create a github issue than it is to review and close one. That means they tend to slowly increase over time, and I think that’s okay. It’s also why we’ve invested time into our Issue Submission form which we really want more people to use: http://ionicframework.com/submit-issue/

As for why we close some and not others…we have to make a judgement call as to whether something is a bug in their code which we can’t possibly promise to fix, or if it’s a duplicate, invalid, or just something we won’t do as it doesn’t fit the vision of the project. We do get a ton of issues that are bugs in code that is not related to ionic, or are with old versions. Those things do take time for us to process but we also expect them and try to keep an eye out for them.

The flipside is that many regressions come from fixing fringe issues. We’ve had to work to expand our testing setup to stop this from happening, as we’d find a fix for iOS would break Android 4 or Android 2. So our solution here is to soon drop Android 2 support and keep focusing on newer browsers, as well as use the crazy testing stuff we’ve invested in over the last few months.

Also, while depending on where you look it might seem like Ionic isn’t making as much progress as you’d like, I actually think we’ve made a ton of progress in the last few months. We now have much better tap and navigation systems. We have plugins that make the keyboard feel a lot more native. Optimizations for lists mean you can now render huge lists. We’ve been working on a much revamped animation system with support for physics animations and that is starting to come together. We launched ngCordova which has been a big hit and makes using plugins easier. We’ve also started working on the Ionic Creator to make it easy to build Ionic UIs. Also, we started working on making the Android look and feel a 1st class citizen in Ionic with our contribution to the Angular Material project. On top of that all, we’ve added a ton of documentation and have started building out our Learn site.

On the community side, this is something we’ve also spent time on. And yes, that includes the Ionic Show. Without a strong community, Ionic is nothing. And so we spend time on marketing, on outreach, going to conferences (going to be doing a lot more of that soon), and doing things on the blog, etc.

On that topic, I’d like to add that the community has grown 400% in the last few months. There are now hundreds of thousands of people using Ionic. The site gets 1.3M page views a month and that is growing like crazy. Having us spend time growing the community is good for all developers using it, as it means more resources, more help, and more validation Ionic is a good investment.

As for the company…yes, we have way more things we want to do than people to do them. But that’s partially because we’ve grown the team from just 6 people in January to 13 today, and we are adding more. I expect to be at 20 people by the end of the year, and we are NOT stopping there. We’ve had some overhead as we’ve had to get better as a company in all the “soft” things like HR and paying people, but now we are running a lot stronger.

So, just to reiterate…as the co-creator of Ionic and the co-founder of the company supporting it, Ionic has blown me away both in what we’ve been able to accomplish in under one year (Ionic isn’t even 1 year old yet!), and the adoption it has seen from developers.

I’m super excited to launch the stuff we’ve got in the pipeline, like this:

  • Awesome and powerful animation system
  • Stronger Android UI styles
  • New popover component
  • A 1.0 coming by the end of Q3 at the latest
  • New build services like our package system and View app
  • Dynamic app update service
  • The Ionic Creator to make building UIs fast and easy, and to expand the developers we reach
  • Chrome for Android 4.x on Cordova
  • A strong focus on fixing issues and managing GitHub contributions
  • Tons more learning, documentation, and demo materials
  • A stronger company that is going to make Ionic the #1 mobile dev stack in the world

So stay tuned :smile:

And yes, we are hiring developers to help. Always feel free to email me at max AT ionicframework DOT com if you are interested. We took a little breather from hiring but are going back at it for the rest of the year!


That is a satisfying answer!

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Also, to add onto this, at any point in time we are doing any number of things wrong, so please let us know if we are messing something up! I think we’ve gotten a bit bogged down in issues lately which has slowed our new feature development, so that is something we are working on fixing (not just ignoring).

The plus side is the business and the project are both showing incredibly strong signals that we are all a part of something big, so we are able to invest a lot more into the project (and even more in the next few months) :slight_smile:

It’s really a healthy discussion & thanks to @coen_warmer for raising this elaborately & to the point.
As a developer prospective I won’t digest ionic lagging behind in all the aspect raised by the post, simply becoz I have taken the painful route of using jQuery Mobile, jquery mobile angular adapter then angular-jqm which has created by ionic very own @andy (personally, I am a big fan of him & seeing him joining this project was enough for me to jump into it).

With my previous experiences, I can say how difficult it is to make a truly Hybrid Mobile App & ionic is BANG on that. It’s not only providing the basic blocks ( navigation, scrolling , touch etc) also a very very handy set of UI components to rapidly target the App. From a Ionic fan, I can say that it’s just WOW & please keep up the great effort.


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Hey @max, thank you so much for your post and taking the time out to respond to it so thoroughly. I was caught up with a project which is why I couldn’t reply sooner.

I agree with you Ionic has made tremendous progress in the past few months. And those bullet points sound really really promising. What wasn’t as clear the past few months was where the priorities of the team were- and the slight slowdown of fixing issues and build up had me worried a bit. Glad to hear the team is still energized and optimistic about the future of development. And definitely very happy to hear more efforts are going to fixing issues.

If I’ll ever get to the point where I feel I could apply for a position, I’d definitely do it :wink: Need some more practice hours with Angular first :wink:

Can’t wait for the next release!

I suppose the only thing I could think of that I would really like is knowing which features are on the roadmap, or a way of knowing which features or issues have the focus of the team at a particular moment.

This might be too much to ask, but for instance if I know the slidebox refactor has a very low priority for the team, I might figure out a different way to achieve a certain feature instead of relying on that feature. This sort of information makes planning and executing a project a bit easier.

Also, maybe a community wishlist? That way there’s a mechanism for the community to give feedback on which features should receive more attention?

Great ideas. We talked yesterday about improving our public roadmap. Just trying to figure out the best place to do it and direct people’s attention to it. Thinking GitHub Wiki or Google Doc right now.

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Awesome! Looking forward to it!

Maybe setting up a JIRA (+ confluence?) would help prioritizing issues, creating a roadmap with versions and planned new features, etc


Thanks @coen_warmer for raising this topic and thanks @max for your answer. As I’m working with Ionic, I’m wondering what’s (and when) going to happen in the future.

I’m working for a big entreprise which care recently about mobile’ stuff (it’s not the core of our business but it’s a strategic area). We wanted a crossplatfom, free, opensource, scalable and efficient solution, which Ionic + Angular + Cordova provide perflectly.

However, Ionic is at a “beta” stage, which is, believe me, realy frightening for my bosses… But, well, I don’t have the choice, I believe in Ionic and I’m convinced that it’s the best early solution on the market.

We need to know where we’re going on because our app’ stack depends on Ionic. We don’t need a yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm release commitment, but just an idea (beta cycle, RC, stable…) to be able to plan things on our side.

I hope you’ll get my point, and thank you again for your awesome work.