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Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.

$route Must Be Injected In Order To Enable The $routeChangeSuccess Event In AngularJS

By Ben Nadel on

Earlier, when I was exploring the use of the $location service to provide state-transformation triggers in AngularJS, I noticed something interesting about the $route service; the $routeChangeSuccess event won't fire until at least one component in the application has required the $route service.

Run this demo in my JavaScript Demos project on GitHub.

To demonstrate this, I've created a Controller that logs both the $locationChangeSuccess and the $routeChangeSuccess events. This controller, however, doesn't inject the $route service. Instead, I have another, optional, sub-controller which does nothing but inject the $route service (which forces AngularJS to call the $routeProvider).

<!doctype html>
<html ng-app="Demo">
	<meta charset="utf-8" />

		$route Must Be Injected In Order To Enable The $routeChangeSuccess Event In AngularJS

	<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="./demo.css"></link>
<body ng-controller="AppController">

		$route Must Be Injected In Order To Enable The $routeChangeSuccess Event In AngularJS

		These link are here just to change the $location path, which should
		trigger a $routeChangeSuccess event.
		<a href="#/foo">Foo</a> &mdash;
		<a href="#/bar">Bar</a> &mdash;
		<a href="#/baz">Baz</a>

		<a ng-click="includeSubController()">Include the $route service</a>

			This conditionally-included controller does nothing but force
			AngularJS to instantiate and inject the $route service.
			$route is now included.

	<!-- Load scripts. -->
	<script type="text/javascript" src="../../vendor/angularjs/angular-1.3.8.min.js"></script>
	<script type="text/javascript" src="../../vendor/angularjs/angular-route-1.3.8.min.js"></script>
	<script type="text/javascript">

		// Create an application module for our demo.
		var app = angular.module( "Demo", [ "ngRoute" ] );

		// -------------------------------------------------- //
		// -------------------------------------------------- //

		// I configure the route provider.
			function( $routeProvider ) {

				$routeProvider.when( "/:thing", {} );


		// -------------------------------------------------- //
		// -------------------------------------------------- //

		// I control the root of the application.
			function( $scope, $routeParams, $location ) {

				// I determine if the sub-controller is visible.
				$scope.showingSubController = false;

				// I log out the changes to the location as the user navigates around
				// the AngularJS application.
					function handleLocationChangeEvent( event ) {

						console.log( "Location Change:", $location.path() );


				// I log out changes to the route as the user navigates around the
				// AngularJS application.
					function handleRouteChangeEvent( event ) {

						console.log( "Route Change:", $routeParams );


				// ---
				// ---

				// I toggle the sub-controller container which will cause the
				// sub-controller to be instantiated.
				$scope.includeSubController = function() {

					$scope.showingSubController = true;



		// -------------------------------------------------- //
		// -------------------------------------------------- //

		// This controller does nothing in the demo except for require $route which
		// forces AngularJS to call the $route provider and instantiate the routing
		// service which will, in turn, enable the $routeChangeSuccess event.
			function( $route ) {

				console.warn( "$route has been injected, like a boss!" );




If I navigate around the app, then include the sub-controller (thereby instantiating the $route service), and then navigate around a bit more, I get the following console output:

$route must be injected for the $routeChangeSuccess event to be enabled.

As you can see, before the $route is injected, only the $locationChangeSuccess event is triggered. It is only after the sub-controller is instantiated - and with it the $route service - that the $routeChangeSuccess event is triggered.

If you dig into the ngRoute module source code, this makes sense; it's the route service that starts watching for $location changes. As such, the $route service must be instantiated before any route events are triggered. Furthermore, you can see, from the source code, that the $route service and the $routeParams service are independently defined, which is why my demo can inject the $routeParams without causing the $route to be instantiated.

Reader Comments

Thank you soooo much for this!
I kept wondering about why did the routeChangeSuccess event not fire till I found this post. Thanks!