This article is Part 1 in a 5-Part series.

Welcome to part one of my multi part series on component development with Angular 2 & Patternlab Node. With web components becoming all the rage and component based frontend frameworks taking up the reigns of frontend development. I thought I’d take a look at mixing some great open source tools that will enable you to build better components more collaboratively than ever.

If you just want see/run the code for this series, you can clone it from my Github Repo


Patternlab is a tool for building component libraries ( or styleguides ) for the frontend, it encourages a high degree of heirarchal separation between design elements aka atomic design. It's available in both PHP and node versions.

AngularJS 2

The long awaited Angular 2 now has release candidates in the wild, woop! We'll be using the rc.4 version for the rest of this series.

CAUTION! Angular 2 is still beta software so caution is advised, it’s implementation could change at any moment! Please stay locked to rc.4 for this series.


  • Nodejs
  • Git
  • Unix command line
  • You’ll need the Nodejs edition of Patternlab, which you can download here.

1. Set up Typescript.

NOTE: The results of this section ( Part 1 ) are in this commit

From a terminal cd into the edition-node-gulp folder you just downloaded.

Now edit the .gitignore file and add a line with typings/, if you plan on commiting this to git this is advisable.

Angular2 leverages Typescript for a multitude of reasons ( which I’m not going to go into in this post ), to get it set up issue the following command lines:

npm install -g --save-dev typescript

tsc --init

npm install --save-dev gulp-typescript typings

npm install

typings init

typings install --source dt --global core-js --save

typings install es6-promise --save

mkdir source/ts

Now edit the packages.json file and add the following just before the last parenthesis:

"scripts": {
  "postinstall": "typings install"

In the patternlab-config.json file at the root of the project add "ts" : "./source/ts" after the "js" key, under the "source" key. the file should now look like (excluding ellipses):

    "source" : {
      "js" : "./source/js",
      "ts" : "./source/ts",

Now, edit the gulpfile.js at the root of the project: We need to require some files:

ts = require('gulp-typescript'),
tsProject = ts.createProject("tsconfig.json"),

And ( in the same file ) add a gulp task for transpiling typescript …

 * TRANSPILE TYPESCRIPT - stream assets from source to destination
gulp.task('pl-typescript', function(){
  return tsProject.src('**/*.ts', path.resolve(paths().source.ts))

This sets up typescript as we need it.

Now we want to test transpiling some typescript.

echo "export class Circle {}" > source/ts/circle.ts
gulp pl-typescript

And you should now have a transpiled file js at: source/js/circle.js, the contents of which should look a bit like:

"use strict";
var Circle = (function () {
    function Circle() {
    return Circle;
exports.Circle = Circle;

Congratulations! You can haz Typescript and Patternlab! Tune in for part two to follow shortly!