Mediator pattern machine featuring wildcard matching, globstar matching, and regular expression pattern matching
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The Mediator pattern maximizes code reuse by allowing our classes to follow the Single Responsibility Principle tightly, and removing (ideally all) dependencies.

Instead of modules or classes communicating with one another directly, or maintaining a list of subscribers as in the Observer pattern, in the Mediator pattern modules broadcast events (via $scope#$broadcast and $scope#emit), and only the Mediator listens.

The Mediator encapsulates application-specific logic. It knows how to respond to events within a given application by calling the APIs of the other modules. It sequesters away dependencies within itself, so that modules and classes have as few dependencies as possible.


Let's build an app with an Order class, representing an online order; an Invoice class that creates invoices; an Email class that sends emails; and a Notification class that provides users with many types of interesting updates in a Growl-like fashion.

An Order could be responsible for instantiating a new invoice, sending off an email and notifying the user of success or failure, or the Email class could have a very specific Email.sendShippingLabelAndNotify() function. But both of these approaches require our classes to know too much about the functionality of other classes. They tightly couple dependencies, and render us unable to drop our classes into new projects with few or no changes.

The Mediator approach instead encapsulates our application-specific logic within the single mediator class, which itself has only one responsibility (knowing how to make our application function). The mediator listens for events from the other modules, and knows how to get each module to do its job at the right time, so that our user receives their email:

angular.module('application', [])
     .factory('ApplicationLogic', [
         'Mediator', 'Order', 'Invoice', 'Email', 'Notification',
             function(Mediator, Order, Invoice, Email, Notification) {
                 Mediator.listen('order:instantiation:success').act(function(event, order) {
                     new Invoice(order);

                 Mediator.listen('invoice:instantiation:success').act(function(event, invoice) {
                     var email = new Email(invoice);

                 Mediator.listen('email:send:success').act(function(event, email) {
                     var address = email.address;
                     new Notification("Your invoice has been sent to " + address);

                 Mediator.listen('email:send:failure').act(function(event, error) {
                     new Notification("There was an error sending your email, " + error);

With the Mediator approach, we're now free to drop our Email or Notification class into another application right away and start emailing and notifying. In this way we've isolated our dependencies in a separate module, the mediator, to maximize reuse of our code.

In the example above, our classes would only be responsible for one thing, knowing that they need to send updates. Thanks to Angular, they need not know to where:

function Order(itemId, userId) {
    this.itemId = itemId;
    this.userId = userId;

Since modules should not interface directly, and the $broadcast hierarchy can be disturbed by isolate scopes, we recommend placing the mediator on the $rootScope, and broadcasting events from $rootScope, so that all events will be heard by the mediator.

@see for more info about modular patterns in large scale javascript apps.


The mediator provides a few simple methods for registering events & actions.

Listen / Act

Mediator.listen(eventName).act(function(event, payload) {});

Regular Expression Matching

Mediator.listen(/success$/).act(notifier.notify(event, payload));
Mediator.listen(/^user/).act(currentUser.update(event, payload));

Wildcard & Globstar Matching

Listen also accepts string names featuring a wildcard matcher (*) and globstar matcher (**).

The wildcard matcher matches any string not split by a separator. The list of separators is colon (:), backslash (/), period (.), question mark (?), underscore (_), ampersand (&), and semi-colon (;)

Mediator.listen('*:success').act(notifier.notify(event, payload));

Would match: login:success but not user:login:success

The globstar matcher matches recursively through any chain of separators:


Would match login:success and user:login:success


Unlisten could be called by a callback function (e.g. an event should only happen once, and then stop being listened for)