Angular.js Annotation Surprise

By Endy Tjahjono. Last update 27 Aug 2014.

Pop quiz: what do you think the page below will look like when run?

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <script src="//"></script>
    <div ng-app="MyModule" ng-controller="MyCtrl">
        <p>Hello {{who}}</p>
        "use strict";

        angular.module("MyModule", [])
        .controller("MyCtrl", ["$scope", "$q", function ($q, $scope) {
            $scope.who = "World";

Do you think the page will show “Hello World”?

It won’t. It will just print “Hello”.

Can you spot the problem?

It has something to do with the syntax that is used in angular.js to keep the script working after minification (called annotation). Without annotation angular.js injects objects into the controller based on the name of the parameters. With annotation angular.js doesn’t care about parameter names, it will inject objects based on the list of strings, in the exact order.

So if we change the script to:

.controller("MyCtrl", ["$scope", "$q", function ($q, $scope) {
    $q.who = "World";

It will print “Hello World” :)

Or we do it the right way, by always making sure the parameters are in the same order as the list of strings:

.controller("MyCtrl", ["$scope", "$q", function ($scope, $q) {
    $scope.who = "World";

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