All, I barely have a week of angular behind me and I am still struggling with some of the concepts. Below is a piece of code I came up with. The idea is to let the user add/delete entries in a model (in practice, the model is read from a json and is more complex than what is presented). While this code seems to work, I'm wondering whether it's "proper" angular:

  • Is it OK to leave the add_item function in the controller ? I understand that any DOM manipulation should be put in a directive, but it's only manipulating the model, right?
  • Shouldn't the del_item be in the controller too, then?
  • Using the index to control which item to delete look a bit dangerous, what would be a better alternative?

Thanks for any input.

<html ng-app="main">

  <head >
    <script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/angularjs/1.0.7/angular.min.js"></script>


 <div ng-controller="BaseController">
     <button type="button" ng-click="add_item()">
       New item
     <li ng-repeat="i in items">
       <display-item idx={{$index}}></display-item>

  angular.module("main", [])
      $scope.items = [{key:1, a:'A'},{key:2, a:'B'},{key:3, a:'C'}];
      $scope.last = $scope.items.length;
      $scope.add_item = function() {
        var item={key: $scope.last + 1, a:'?'};
        $scope.last += 1;
    function() {
    return {
      restrict: 'E',
      transclude: true,
      scope: {idx: '@'},
      template: '<strong>{{idx}}:</strong>'+
                '<button ng-click="del_item(idx)">X</button>',
      link: function(scope, element, attrs) {

  • Right, you're only manipulating the model, updating the model about a change (thus) updating it in the controller is perfectly fine, and it's what the controller does.

  • del_item should be in the controller too, you are correct. That's where it belongs.

  • Using the index to deleting the item is dangerous, what I'd do is pass this as a function and then use an indexOf to locate the element you're deleting and delete that.

If I may ask, why are your display items in a directive in the first place and not in the DOM? You could use an ng-repeat in the DOM to repeat the items instead and drop the directive altogether.

Directives are useful for code reuse, are you reusing this spefici component in a lot of other places through out your code? Behaviors affecting your models and not just your presentation logic should probably not be in the directive to begin with (like del_item in your example), a directive should encompass presentational behavior and not business logic.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks a lot for the feedback. As I had mentioned, I'm still very new to Angular, but the concepts are slowly sinking in... \$\endgroup\$
    – Pierre GM
    Jun 27 '13 at 14:36

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