AngularJS, code.explode, Coding

What Led Me to AngularJS

I am sure many of you reading this come from an ASP.NET background or are familiar with how ASP.NET web apps work with the constant post back to the server to update data, process it and redirect the user to the next step of the process. It has worked for the past 10 years and it has worked well. But, there are better ways to interact with the server and update the user.

The growth of JavaScript, jQuery and frameworks such as Backbone, Knockout, and Ember have done an enormous amount for improving client side interaction and asynchronous communications with the business logic back-end.

That is where the app I’m maintaining is, we use ASP.NET REST based services with jQuery to manage user interaction and communicate with the back end. It works and its performance is OK, but it’s not great and it really doesn’t take advantage of today’s browser capabilities.

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AngularJS, code.explode, Coding

Localizing Your AngularJS App

Overview

If you plan on being in the Web App development business for any amount of time, sooner or later you are going to be faced with building an app that supports multiple languages. When this time comes you’ll be faced with the localization challenge that so many developers before you have faced.

To solve this challenge some developers have built entire localization frameworks and libraries, while others have resorted to re-creating their entire site in the desired language and redirecting users based on their browser culture.

In this article, I’ll show you an easy way to use an AngularJS Service and Filter to pull localized strings from a resource file and populate the page content based on the user’s browser culture.

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AngularJS, code.explode, Coding

Creating a Simple AngularJS Directive

One of the core features of AngularJS is the ability to extend the HTML Syntax with directives. Directives allow you to componentize segments of HTML into a single tag that can be re-used throughout your AngularJS app. So instead of repeating the following HTML all over your code:

    <div class="row-fluid" ng-repeat="adjunct in adjuncts | filter:search | orderBy:'name'">
        <div class="span1">{{adjunct.Name}}</div>
        <div class="span1">{{adjunct.Type}}</div>
        <div class="span1">{{adjunct.Use}}</div>
        <div class="span1">{{adjunct.Time}}</div>
        <div class="span1">{{adjunct.Amount}}</div>
        <div class="span1">{{adjunct.UseFor}}</div>
        <div class="span1">{{adjunct.Notes}}</div>
        <div><a href="#/editadjunct/{{adjunct._id.$oid}}"><i class="icon-pencil"></i></a></div>
    </div>

With a directive you can use the following HTML:

    <div data-display-adjunct class="row-fluid" ng-repeat="adjunct in adjuncts | filter:search | orderBy:'name'">

Now anywhere where you would use the above HTML, you can use the directive instead and be consistent across you entire site. This also saves you time when changes are required. If the amount of data that needs to be displayed changes you only need to update the directive and your done. You don’t have to hunt around your HTML files looking for every occurrence to change.

Directives allow you to not only specify what data from your app to bind to, but they can also handle the work of transforming the data into different formats, removing that responsibility from your controller, helping you to keep to the single responsibility principle.

If you apply this simple principle on bigger scales, directives can be used to build rich components that bind to your app’s data and reduce the amount of HTML you need to create across your entire site.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to write a simple directive that generates an image tag with a user’s avatar from the Gravatar site, http://en.gravatar.com/

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