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Angular Notes

These are notes to references regarding advanced Angular.js concepts. Working knowledge of Angular is assumed.


HTML: <html ng-app="myApp">

JS: var myAppModule = angular.module('myApp', []);


  • consist of multiple configuration and run blocks
  • can only be loaded once per injector (apps usually only have one)
  • can list other modules as their dependencies (array)
  • will configure and run each dependency first
  • will always run contsant() methods first
  • will run all other configuration blocks in the order they are registered
  • can be unit tested:

Configuration blocks:

  • are executed during the provider registration and configuration phase
  • only allow injection of providers and constants (as to prevent accidental instantiation of services before they have been fully configured)
  • takes a single function to execute on module load as its only parameter

Run blocks:

  • are the closest thing to a main method
  • are executed after all services have been configured and after the injector has ben created
  • only allow injection instances and constants (as to prevent further system configuration during application run time)
  • should be declared in isolated modules because they are difficult to unit test
  • takes a single function to execute after injector creation as its only parameter

Convenience methods on module can be used to configure providers.

angular.module('myModule', []).
  value('a', 123).
  factory('a', function() { return 123; }).
  directive('directiveName', ...).
  filter('filterName', ...);

// is same as

angular.module('myModule', []).
  config(function($provide, $compileProvider, $filterProvider) {
    $provide.value('a', 123);
    $provide.factory('a', function() { return 123; });
    $compileProvider.directive('directiveName', ...);
    $filterProvider.register('filterName', ...);

Further Reading:



  • are registered with the injector
  • define how objects are instantiated by injector service
  • belong to a module
  • are one of two types: services and special purpose


  • are objects whose API is defined by its developer
  • are singleton objects (they are instantiated only once per injector)
  • are fundamentally based on $provide
  • include:
    • provider(providerObject) (base)
    • constant(object)
    • value(object)
    • factory(function)
    • service(classObject) (the poorly named "service" service)
  • provide a way to retain data and communicate across controllers
  • are used by Angular itself to provide functionality across framework
  • are prefixed by a $ when they are provided by Angular

Special Purpose:

  • are objects that conform to a specific Angular framework API
  • include:
    • controller
    • directive
    • filter
    • animation

TODO: See "Service v. Factory" notes

Further Reading:

Provider Services

Provider Services:

  • provide(object)
  • receive a provider object, which:
    • can be an object with a defined $get method, which can contain injectables
    • can be a function that returns such an object
    • can be an array of injectable dependecies whose final entry is such a function
  • are responsible for registering the service in the $providerCache
  • can be externally configured when used directly
  • can be injected into config() function
myModule.provider('someProvider', {
	$get: function () {
		return {
			message: 'hello!'

Factory Services

Factory Service:

  • are registered using factory(name, function)
  • function is only invoked once
  • is really a provider() where the $get function is passed in
myModule.factory('someFactory', function() {
	return {
		message: 'hello!'

Serivce Services


  • are registered using service(name, constructorFunction)
  • are poorly named!
  • will invoke the function using the new keyword
myModule.service('someService', function() {

	var myMessage = 'hello';

	this.getMessage = function() {
		return {
			message: myMessage

Constant Services


  • are registered using constant(name, value)
  • are injectable
  • are not intercepatble by decorators
  • can not be objects or functions
  • are good for configuration data

Value Services


  • are registered using value(name, value)
  • are not injectable
  • can register objects or functions

TODO: Decorators



  • are connections between Angular views and controllers
  • are automatically accessble to the view
  • are normal javascript objects
  • are used as the data model in Angular
  • can be nested to provide isolated properties
  • can provide execution environment in which view expressions are evaluated
  • can provide observers to watch for model changes
  • can propogate model changes by using apply()
  • have a root ancestor called $rootScope
  • can be provided to controllers and directives


  • if a callback executes inside Angular context then $scope will be aware of model mutation
  • if a callback executes outside Angular context then $apply() must be used to notify $scope of mutation


  • on the creation of a controller or directive, Angular creates a new scope with the $injector
  • at runtime the new scope is passed into the controller or directive
  • on linking the scope to the view, all directives that create scopes register their watches with the parent scope
  • on the $rootScope's digest all child scopes will perform dirty checking
  • when a scope is no longer needed the scrope's creator will need to call scope.$destroy to clean up scope
  • on scope destruction the $destroy event is broadcasted

Further Reading:



  • are custom HTML elements and attributes
  • are built into Angular to provide various types of functionality
  • are implemented as a special type of factory service
  • are $compiled when they are parsed at bootstrap
  • are fundamental in providing basic Angular features including:
    • ng-app
    • ng-include
    • ng-model
    • ng-view
    • ng-controller
  • use dash-case in HTML
  • use camelcase in JavaScript

Further Reading:

TODO: routing TODO: testing

Angular Concepts

Digest Loop

Dependency Injection

Angular Conventions

Generators & Boilerplate


Who should you follow you ask?

Angular Team:


Angular Resources:


References and Further Reading

Some Browserify + Angular Links: