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What is AngularJS?

19 Jun 2017

Carmel De Rosario

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AngularJS is a JavaScript framework. It can be added to an HTML page with a <script> tag.

AngularJS extends HTML attributes with Directives, and binds data to HTML with Expressions.

What does that mean??? Let me explain. 

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In AngularJS, a child scope normally prototypically inherits from its parent scope. One exception to this rule is a directive that uses scope: { ... } -- this creates an "isolate" scope that does not prototypically inherit.(and directive with transclusion) This construct is often used when creating a "reusable component" directive. In directives, the parent scope is used directly by default, which means that whatever you change in your directive that comes from the parent scope will also change in the parent scope. If you set scope:true (instead of scope: { ... }), then prototypical inheritance will be used for that directive.

Scope inheritance is normally straightforward, and you often don't even need to know it is happening... until you try 2-way data binding (i.e., form elements, ng-model) to a primitive (e.g., number, string, boolean) defined on the parent scope from inside the child scope. It doesn't work the way most people expect it should work. What happens is that the child scope gets its own property that hides/shadows the parent property of the same name. This is not something AngularJS is doing – this is how JavaScript prototypal inheritance works. New AngularJS developers often do not realize that ng-repeat, ng-switch, ng-view, ng-include and ng-if all create new child scopes, so the problem often shows up when these directives are involved. (See this example for a quick illustration of the problem.)

This issue with primitives can be easily avoided by following the "best practice" of always have a '.' in your ng-models – watch 3 minutes worth. Misko demonstrates the primitive binding issue with ng-switch.




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