In the video AngularJS MTV Meetup: Best Practices (2012/12/11), Miško explains "..if you use ng-model there has to be a dot somewhere. If you don't have a dot, you're doing it wrong.."
However, the very first example (The Basics) in the Angular.JS website seems to contradict it. What gives? Has Angular.JS changed since the MTV meetup that it's now more forgiving with ng-model?
That little dot is very important when dealing with the complexities of scope inheritance.
The egghead.io video "The Dot" has a really good overview, as does this very popular stack overflow question: What are the nuances of scope prototypal / prototypical inheritance in AngularJS?
I'll try to summarize it here:
Angular.js uses scope inheriting to allow a child scope (such as a child controller) to see the properties of the parent scope. So, let's say you had a setup like:
<div ng-controller="ParentCtrl"> <input type="text" ng-model="foo"/> <div ng-controller="ChildCtrl"> <input type="text" ng-model="foo"/> </div> </div>
At first, if you started the app, and typed into the parent input, the child would update to reflect it.
However, if you edit the child scope, the connection to the parent is now broken, and the two no longer sync up. On the other hand, if you use
ng-model="baz.bar", then the link will remain.
The reason this happens is because the child scope uses prototypical inheritance to look up the value, so as long as it never gets set on the child, then it will defer to the parent scope. But, once it's set, it no longer looks up the parent.
When you use an object (
baz) instead, nothing ever gets set on the child scope, and the inheritance remains.
For more in-depth details, check out the StackOverflow answer