A summary of the ng-conf presentations
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Misko Hevery & Brad Green

  • Started in 2009
  • 'Angular' because of angle brackets in HTML
  • First used in Google for Google Feedback
  • Rewrote a 6mo x 3dev project (17000LOC) in 3 weeks x 1dev (1500LOC)
  • "You are all liars" -Urs Hoelzle (Google SVP of engineering)
  • Google Web Toolkit was its early internal competitor
  • Doubleclick conversion from .NET was one of the first projects to prove it out vs. GWT
  • "Constructive disobedience"
  • By volume of search traffic, 2013 was a HUGE year for Angular
  • BreezeJS, salesforce adapters, KendoUI, AngularUI
  • Firebase becoming the defacto backend prototyping database?
  • Angular 2.0 is about the browsers of today
  • Angular 1.0 was about the browsers of yesterday
  • Team is working on 1.3 but focusing on 2.0
  • AngularDart will get to 1.0 before AngularJS gets to 2.0 as learning
  • Making Angular more modular, i.e. breaking out the DI functionality
  • Angular is going to become an umbrella project building all of these different libraries which make up the Angular of today
  • Looking into: benchmark framework, lazy-loading DI/ES6 modules, faster change detection via polyfilling Object.observe
  • MOBILE: Building-in offline support, active animations (drag and drop on mobile, sounds like), reduce initial load, improve speed, build flagship app (internal, community-built app)
  • API complexity reduction: simplify directives, DI, Type annotations ES6: Classes and modules, but no annotations
  • Adding annotations allows for data and typing (future technologies)
  • Angular 2.0 will allow you to write in ES6 syntax and compile to ES5, or just write new ES5 syntax
  • Polymer: taking advantage of Shadow DOM, Object.observe, and DOM mutation observer polyfills
  • Angular 2.0 will be built on top of Polymer
  • Debuggability: Zone.js allows for longer stack traces and ignores the $digest / $apply cycles
  • diary.js: console and server logging, the sorts of tooling that we'd like to implement

Angular in 20ish Minutes

Dan Wahlin @DanWahlin

  • Going to touch on the key pieces of an app
  • Laregely remedial

Building Massive AngularJS Apps

Google Doubleclick team

  • Doubleclick Campaign Manager is our example
  • One of the oldest (Nov. 2010) and largest Angular apps
  • 20+ JS engineers
  • 130 controllers, 137 directives, 59 services (interesting that there's more directives than controllers!)

Authorization and conditional features

  • return Active User profile for every active user. Return an empty object for non-authed users
  • Used to do everything on the client for auth
  • This worked when the app was small, but wasted a lot of time as it grew and bootstrapping time increased (you're bootstrapping an app for a user that's not authed, then kicking them out)
  • This meant that the app scope and its children were tightly coupled (bad for tests)
  • No good way to pass this profile to services
  • solved this by server-side rendering index.html only and putting the active user model into the index.html on the server (saves a round-trip)
  • make the active user model an injectable service

Conditional Features (Feature Flags)

  • conditional features are taken care of by the server, add a script tag for each conditional feature
  • Limiting access to controllers is handled by injecting the active user into a conditional controller and letting the controller decide if the user has access
  • remove conditional HTML by custom omit and keep using the response interceptor to strip the HTML out of any response from the server
  • This method won't work with $templateCache - need to ask this guy about that
  • Doubleclick uses $templateCache in the client instead of bundling everything into it on the server on the initial load

Code Organization Patterns

  • avoid overly-large controllers

  • prevent copypaste

  • single responsibility

  • easy to locate

  • inheritance: create a base controller that other controllers can inherit from, can become overly complex

  • can do inheritance via Angular by $injector.invoke()

  • mixins: angular.extend() use sparingly to add a specific behavior to a controller, very tightly coupled to their controllers, possible naming collisions

  • composition with JS object: use with simple objects and when performance is critical, but cannot use DI with this method

var sorter = function(){//methods}

function myCtrl($scope){
  $scope.sorter = new sorter()

preferred methods

  • services: common functionality that needs to be shared, fully DI and testable
  • composition with "helper controllers": like a regular object, but invoked with $controller: use when need to access other Angular-provided objects, allows for multiple instances
function dogWalker(){//methods}
function myCtrl($controller, $scope){
  $scope.sorter = $controller(dogWalker);
  • to share state between page and the helper controllers, you can create a child scope via $scope.new()
  • prefer composition over inheritance
  • minimize mixins
  • frameworks help, but don't forget OO principles

Going beyond Built-in Services

  • use a provider in your config block to do REST-api-specific setup for your app
  • we can work with logical entities instead of raw server data
  • we can use promises to automatically wrap response data in instantiated objects
  • we can use $injector.instantiate so that the models are able to be injected Very useful if the response data is in a stupid format and the server is outside of your control
  • we can add useful methods on our model objects (like afterLoad or beforeSave) that can be automatically invoked
  • lets you marshal and massage your data outside of your controllers so you can keep your controllers skinny
  • can simplify our tests as URLs get longer and uglier by wrapping httpBackend
  • this method helps by being more readable and less boiler-platey, as well as being able to granularly assert expectations about AJAX
  • Angular provides you the basics to build your own tools, identify where you need new tooling and don't forget about test tooling

Going Postal with Promises

Christian Lilley

  • Promises are about uncertainty caused by async
  • Helps us to avoid callback Hell / pyramid of doom
  • Allows for error handling and simpler chaining of async operations
  • Promises are a design patter that comes to us from functinoal programming
  • allows us to reason about async programs more efficiently
  • Allows us to go from imperative asyc to declarative async

OR, more awesomely:

var a = step1
var b = a.then(step2)
var c = b.then(step3)


$Q.all([a, b, c])
  • at its root, a promise is a mailbox - a standard way to stash the output from an operation
  • If a promise is a mailbox, then deferred is the postman
  • the deferred is the only one that is allowed to assign new mailboxes, put packages in the mailbox, or alert you to the mail's arrival
  • promises aren't just for async requests
  • using promises we can use interfaces that are API driven

How to start:

  • consume promises returned by built-in services like $http et al
  • use $resource which now returns a resource object that has a promise
  • Automatic unwrapping in views is gone in 1.2, but was sort of cool (use resolve or manual unwrapping)
  • start creating your own promises with $Q
  • third-party libraries use promises, check them out
  • wrap a promise in an Angular service to create lazy promises
  • http interceptors are awesome and let you grab every HTTP as it goes out or comes into the browser, can be used to intercept and create promises

Deep Dive Into Directives

  • use a custom prefix to avoid clobbering
  • where to use directives: to make custom components (to be replaced by custom elements in the browsers)
  • this guy suggests wrapping up jQuery widgets in elements - but I hate that idea
  • directives are the only place you should manipulate the DOM, if you feel like testing
  • if your directives are in custom modules, it's better for testing
  • link is where we'll do all of our mouse / touch / user interaction behavior definitions, it is called once for each instance of the directive on the page
  • directives can be behavioral, or widgets
  • isolated scopes allow for reuse, clean interfaces, and avoids guilty knowledge about the directives environmnet, plus makes it testable
  • @ allows the parent scope to use double curlies when it's handing a string in. Those curlies will be interpolated before the string is handed off
  • the attrs object of the directive definition object allows us to pass attrs, interpolated in the parent environment which can be interpolated by the directive using $eval
  • compile and link are very rarely used, but could be used for some sort of lazy-load for perf improvement
  • lazy-loading directive saved a lot of pain from page load time - adds DOM and then destroys itself

Typescript and Angular

  • typescript allows you to have static typing in Javascript
  • install the typescript compiler via NPM
  • like a compiled language, the compiler gives you some error-checking support so you don't have to debug at runtime
  • Going to work with ES6 as the standards land
  • ALlows us to think about data models more clearly
  • build a data type or interface
  • Means that we can write more functionally and reason clearly aobut inputs and outputs
  • Need to include a "definition file" to work with Angular github.com/definitelyTyped

Firebase and Angular

  • Proposal: that Angular is the pinnacle of web dev (kind of silly)
  • And that firebase is the pinnacle of PAAS
  • "Realtime Application Platform"
  • An API to store and sync data to subscribed clients in real time
  • simple login service to auth users (generally through Facebook or Twitter, but also through email/pass)
  • flexible security system for data (declarative security rules)
  • I wonder if this works via sockets or long-polling
  • announces Firebase hosting beta: firebaseapp.com
  • Available for free right now
  • A lot like Heroku, wrapper around git
  • uses firebase CLI

Directives that Scale

  • Lessons learned from building Kendo UI
  • Declarative initialization
  • If you have to write one directive for every widget in a massive app you'll have a hrd time
  • I actually find this talk somewhat less than useful (not as advertised)

What if Our Directives Could Build Themselves?

  • Widgets share a common API (value and change)
  • Don't build directives (just build one directive that builds other directives)
  • iterate through the namespace and build the directives that are present on the kendo namespace
  • iterate through each widget in the namespace and create a k-attribute
  • Use Angular responsibly

Angular and Dart

  • scalable web app engineering
  • Google is using Dart
  • Dart is a language and ecosystem trying to solve the problem of large webapps



  • zones are like domains in node
  • Dart has zones
  • zone.js is a port of Dart's zones to JS
  • Like open-heart surgery on the web browser
  • A zone is an extension context

Consider this:

setTimeout(b, 0)
setTimeout(c, 0)
  • zones are like a meta-monkey patch
  • helps us to compose behaviors
  • zones can be useful for debugging, testing and mocking, profiling...
  • a stack trace is only so useful, natively, since it goes back to the place that the async call originated, from the queue, not what it was caused by
  • zone.js lets us to log this sort of stack trace to the server
  • seems like a useful tool
  • only seems to work on IE10 and Chrome32

AngularJS and Browserify

  • Browserify allows node-style requires
  • commonJS is synchronous, but browserify fixes that for us
  • We can give Browserify an entry file and walk the require tree, it then bundles it into a single file
  • supports source maps

why browserify?

  • the syntax is simple
  • allows you to use npm modules in the browser
  • include Node's eventEmitter if you want
  • quick build step so you minimize env differences


  • deAMDify, debowerify, coffeeify
  • hbsfy: precompiles handlebars templates for you
  • es6ify: transpiles es6 modules to ES5 for you

Angular Implications

  • Efficient way to write client-side code, regardless of framework
  • Gives you access to a package.json that lets you install from git via npm
  • You could write a module that is pure javascript (say a directive definition) and then just pass that in as a require
  • still strikes me as a little awkward
  • I might like requreJS better

Angular and RequireJS

  • AngularJS injects instances
  • RequireJS injects classes or references
  • some ways to manage JS dependencies: Build one HUGE JS file, or manages deps via script tags (which is hard because of load order)
  • RequireJS is a package dependency manager

Fast-dive into RequireJS


  • load deps
  • construction deps
  • runtime deps
  • AngularJS module deps (special to Angular)


  • lazy-loader!


  • define() - allows us to define callbacks that will be fired after our definitions are ready, a way to build dependency trees to be acted upon later
  • require() - nothing triggers until require is called, the require cascades through the dependencies and then callsback to start running our app
  • config()

How do we do thie with Angular?

  • use define() around your modules
  • use define() around your code
  • setup your config()
  • then use require()
  • let angular inject instances of the contructors
  • use require to inject references to classes or modules

AngularJS and Phonegap

Daniel Zen @zendigital

  • Phonegap as the glue between web, iOS, and Android
  • cons: ANgular wants to own the DOM, small user base, still maturing
  • phonegap enables access to native device features
  • embeds HTML5 code inside a WebView
  • Phonegap lets you use whatever web frameworks you want to use it
  • requires: npm, Android SDK, xcode
  • Makes it possible to debug in multiple environments on one device (your computer)

Phonegap gotchas:

  • web apps are slower than natives, use CSS animations

  • work around 30ms delay on click (touch) waiting to see if double-tap

  • pre-load / cache content when possibls

  • ngTouch module provides touch events (not ready for prime time) use fastclick in the meantime

  • angular-mobile-nav gives you $navigate

  • angular-gestures based on hammer.js

  • angular-scrolly

  • angular-jqm

  • angular-phonegap-accelerometer

  • angular-phonegap-ready

  • angular-carousel

  • angular-snap

  • ionic framework: "bootstrap" for phonegap - has Angular baked in

Tips & Tricks

  • debug in Safari and Chrome as much as possible
  • Prevent page zooming


  • prevent HTML calls
  • preload ng-templates
  • bindonce to avoid unnecessary 2-way bindings
  • Employ $scope.$on('$destroy') to kuill unnecessary callbacks
  • handle CSS transitions that are GPU assisted

Angular on the Arduino

Ari Lerner

  • tinyhttpserver lets us build a web server on the Arduino, easier than writing one in C
  • Connecting to the net from an Arduino via ethernet shield or wifi shield

serving the HTML

  • You can embed HTML in the Arduino
  • read / send from SD card
  • load from remote server ( script tag - mostly a scout file)

using Angular

  • The Arduino is not something that we want to serve a lot of stuff from, so it sends over a scout file that writes a bunch of script files for all of our dependencies at run time

  • expose the local IP to the browser to the page

  • wrap that URL in a service

  • then we can get the pin's status

  • replace JSON with a DSL to make it easier to communicate with the Arduino (which is typed and bad at JSON)

  • Just need to iterate over every character in a string, where each index in the string is a different argument

  • using D3 for the interface

  • author of ng-book, D3 on AngularJS (co-author), Riding Rails with AngularJS

e2e Testing with Protractor

  • e2e framework for Angular
  • replaces Angular Scenario Runner
  • e2e testing is about gaining confidence that your code does what you think it does
  • unit tests can't do this on its own
  • WebDriver (selenium) is working on becoming a web standard
  • A testProcess (node service) talks to a WebDriver (letting you use native events, which talks to your app
  • Being specific to angular it makes the "black box" a little bit more "grey"
  • But e2e tests are hard, right?

Protractor makes e2e testing suck less

  • Protractor borrows ideas from karma to make things very similar (config file, test scaffolding with jasmine for async)
  • global variables like browser for interacting with the page URL ( a wrapper around WebDriver) and element for interacting with elements on the stage by things like binding
  • keeping tests up to date is made simpler by using the Page Object pattern (look for libraries surrounding this)
  • page objects separate out the code that has to do with finding things on your page from the test logic (just require the object in your tests)
  • slowness and flakiness is dealt with by saying browser.waitForAngular()
  • since Angular knows about HTTP requests and rendering and timeouts, Protractor can plug into that and be smarter about when it can check assertions
  • Protractor also offers better debugging via stack traces and error messages as well as the element explorer (area of focus going forward)
  • The element explorer provides a CLI for interacting with a live WebDriver
  • we can turn off animations to speed up tests
  • Protractor doesn't yet handle logging in and cleaning up yet. This is still being figured out by the community

Up Next

  • formalize the contract between Angular and Protractor
  • Migration away from Scenario Runner
  • Improve the elementExplorer to better make e2e testing pleasurable

Using ngModelController to Build Sexy UI Components

Why ngModel

  • core to great UI componenets
  • it's the thing that's responsible for 2-way binding
  • utilized for porting jQuery components
  • allows you to create declarative components

Accessing ngModelController

  • require it in the directive definition objet, it'll come in as the fourth arg to the link function

What's it do?

view -> model

  • interacts with ngForm for dirty, pristine, et al
  • transforms input to model representation
  • alerts listeners

What doesn't it do?

  • listen for user input
  • update the view
  • interact with the DOM

properties of ngModelControler

  • pareser
  • formatters
  • viewChangeListeners
  • $dirty
  • $pristine

For more, check out Dean Sofer, who curates Angular-UI


Silvano Luciani

  • was working on Google+ sign-in with many requirements
  • Needed an application to showcase what they were building (internally)
  • An app to demonstrate to external users how to use the features
  • chose Angular to involve all Googlers in testing the platform
  • needed speed of execution
  • had 3 clients, web, android, and iOS
  • had a backend implemented in Java and AppEngine
  • Built PhotoHunt to demonstrate this
  • Poor guy has his laptop crash during his presentation and has to go off script
  • found that Angular sped up the development of his app
  • Practicing TDD in JS forces you to write testable (read: smaller, more modular) code

Optimizing a Large AngularJS Application


  • Anything that could affect a normal JS app
  • inefficient directives

What does slow mean

  • $digest cycle > 25ms
  • Click handler > 100ms
  • Page load > 1s

Optimizing Directives

  • Try to use compile to optimize your directive, it's called once, whereas a link is called N times
  • try to do as much as possible in the compile, or the factory
  • transclusion allows directives to $digest on their own
  • $digest and $apply, you can use $digest to just check one thing instead of kicking off a $digest on a $scope and a bunch of other nonsense


  • $watch expressions get called a lot of times, make sure they're fast
  • avoid deep comparisons because they're pretty slow


  • new in 1.2
  • pseudo-deep comparison

$eval, $parse, $interpolate

  • better to call $parse and save the function it returns, rather than $eval or $interpolate
  • $interpolate is particularly slow


  • use a compile step to save the result of a $parse
  • and switch from a deep watch to $watchCollection

$watch only what's needed

  • strip out unneeded data, perhaps via a map that pulls out only what you want to pay attention to
  • also, contrary to our last point, $watch before transforming, not after
  • so watch the input, not what the input's tranformations output

ng-repeat Track by Index

<div ng-repeat="foo in foos" track by $index>

  • by default creates a DOM node for each item and destroys that node when the item is removed.
  • tracking by $index reuses the DOM nodes

ng-if vs ng-show

  • ng-if doesn't use CSS and will in the end create fewer bindings and nodes and elements on link

Not a best practice: $$postDigest

  • private to Angular
  • fires a callback at the end of the current $digest
  • Great for updating the DOM after dirty-checking

Avoid dirty checking if you have to

  • in 1.3 we'll have bindOnce, use that
  • but you can also use a fast-bind-on-notify (basically publish an event that the binding listens for, rather than changing on every change)

Diagnosing Performance

  • Batarang
  • performance.now()
  • angular.copy vs. angular.equals: diagnosing these involves diving into angular itself

Thanks for reading!