[Javascript] Angular directive with default options


Use the =? flag for the property in the scope block of the directive.

  .directive('myDirective', function(){
    return {
      template: 'hello {{name}}',
      scope: {
        // use the =? to denote the property as optional
        name: '=?'
      controller: function($scope){
        // check if it was defined.  If not - set a default
        $scope.name = angular.isDefined($scope.name) ? $scope.name : 'default name';

I'm just starting with angularjs, and am working on converting a few old JQuery plugins to Angular directives. I'd like to define a set of default options for my (element) directive, which can be overridden by specifying the option value in an attribute.

I've had a look around for the way others have done this, and in the angular-ui library the ui.bootstrap.pagination seems to do something similar.

First all default options are defined in a constant object:

.constant('paginationConfig', {
  itemsPerPage: 10,
  boundaryLinks: false,

Then a getAttributeValue utility function is attached to the directive controller:

this.getAttributeValue = function(attribute, defaultValue, interpolate) {
    return (angular.isDefined(attribute) ?
            (interpolate ? $interpolate(attribute)($scope.$parent) :
                           $scope.$parent.$eval(attribute)) : defaultValue);

Finally, this is used in the linking function to read in attributes as

.directive('pagination', ['$parse', 'paginationConfig', function($parse, config) {
    controller: 'PaginationController',
    link: function(scope, element, attrs, paginationCtrl) {
        var boundaryLinks = paginationCtrl.getAttributeValue(attrs.boundaryLinks,  config.boundaryLinks);
        var firstText = paginationCtrl.getAttributeValue(attrs.firstText, config.firstText, true);

This seems like a rather complicated setup for something as standard as wanting to replace a set of default values. Are there any other ways to do this that are common? Or is it normal to always define a utility function such as getAttributeValue and parse options in this way? I'm interested to find out what different strategies people have for this common task.

Also, as a bonus, I'm not clear why the interpolate parameter is required.