Wednesday, May 21, 2014 beginner tutorial beginner tutorial

[source code on github]

There has been much excitement of late concerning the new Javascript framework for developing graphically rich web-apps, based on a physics rendering engine.
Famous is opening up possibilities especially for graphically complex UIs … and allows you to create interfaces very quickly that previously were only possible in native apps.

However, Famous really only solves the problem of managing your view and there are some rather good Javascript frameworks out there already providing a nice thick client MVC.

Enter Famous-Angular … developed by the guys at Thomas Street, it’s a very elegant and useable combination of the two frameworks, providing the ease and scalability of Angular with the feature-rich views of Famous. So here is a very simple tutorial to get you going.

Some of this will be replicated from the github page.

Before you start, tools you will need

  • Download and install git
  • Download and install nodeJS
  • Install bower npm install bower

What shall we make?

A simple color-scheme tester. We want to be able to create a set of boxes on the page and set each of their background and text colors as well as edit the text, all in real-time. Clicking on a box should perform a wiggle animation on that box.

Create your app:

Install bower libraries:-

bower install famous-angular
bower install angular-ui-router
bower install underscore
bower install jquery

this should download the dependencies into bower_components.

Create an index.html which looks like this

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "">
<html ng-app="integrationApp">
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="bower_components/famous-angular/dist/famous-angular.css"/>

        <script src="bower_components/underscore/underscore.js"></script>
        <script src="bower_components/jquery/dist/jquery.js"></script>
        <script src="bower_components/angular/angular.js"></script>
        <script src="bower_components/angular-ui-router/release/angular-ui-router.js"></script>
        <script src="bower_components/requirejs/require.js"></script>
        <script src="bower_components/famous-angular/dist/famous-angular.js"></script>
            //set requirejs's base to where the famous lib folder lives
            require.config({baseUrl: 'bower_components'});

        <script src="scripts/app.js"></script>
        <script src="scripts/controllers/main.js"></script>

Create the Angular module:

We will now create a scripts/app.js file to create the Angular app and inject famous.angular. Let’s add a simple router (using ui.router) so that we can put our view in a seperate file. The router renders the view in the <ui-view> tag in index.html.

angular.module('integrationApp',['famous.angular', 'ui.router'])
.config(function($stateProvider, $urlRouterProvider){

    .state("main", {
        url: "/",
        templateUrl: "views/main.html",
        controller: "MainCtrl"

Create the Template

we will create the template file views/main.html to contain all the magic. Note how Famous-Angular implements the API as directives in the template.

    <tr><td>Text:</td><td><input ng-model="text"/></td></tr>
    <tr><td>No. boxes:</td><td><input type="number" ng-model="number"/></td></tr>
    <tr><td>X-Offset:</td><td><input ng-model="offset"/></td></tr>
             ng-repeat="box in boxes"
             fa-size="[250, 50]">
        <fa-modifier fa-translate="[offset, 55*$index, 0]">
            <fa-modifier id="{{'box-' + $index}}">
                            fa-size="[250, 50]">
                                <input style="width: 50px" ng-model="box.bg_color"/><br>
                                <input style="width: 50px" ng-model="box.color"/>
                            <td align="center" fa-click="click($index)">

        <fa-animation id="{{'shake-animation-' + $index}}" duration="750">
            <animate  targetModSelector="{{'#box-' + $index}}"
            <animate  targetModSelector="{{'#box-' + $index}}"
            <animate  targetModSelector="{{'#box-' + $index}}"


Here we are iterating over an array called boxes on our Angular model and creating some surfaces with modifiers and animations. As in normal Angular we can use $scope variables in the template using the brackets {{variable}} notation.

We now need our controller to set up our variables and handle the click event that we have already declared in the template

<td align="center" fa-click="click($index)">

Create the Angular Controller:

We now create a file scripts/controllers.main.js where we will declare our Main controller and handle the two-way binding for the template

.controller('MainCtrl',function ($scope, $famous) {
    $scope.number = 6;
    $scope.offset = 200;
    $scope.text = "TEXT";
    $scope.boxes = [];

    $scope.$watch('number', function (num) {
        var arr = [];
        for (var i = 0; i < $scope.number; i++) {
            arr.push({bg_color: '#333', color: '#ccc'});
        $scope.boxes = arr;

    $ = function (index) {
        $famous.find('#shake-animation-' + index)[0].replay();

This responds to changes of $scope.number and initialises a new set of boxes ready for editing. We also initialise some of the other properties for our view as well as triggering the animation for a surface.

That’s it! We’re done … just run the index.html file in your browser


Jay Wolters said...

I tried your example as I am eager to learn Famous/Angular.

First Problem I ran into was with bower and git not resolving the addresses for cloning. I suspect this is because of a local firewall problem. Stack Overflow was able to help by suggesting modifying my git config in the command prompt:

git config --global url."https://".insteadOf git://

This allowed me to use bower. woot!

Second Problem I ran into was a simple typo where you instruct us to create the "scripts/controllers.main.js" -- this should read "scripts/controllers/main.js" to reflect the path outlined in index.html

I've set up my local IIS to run this demo so as to avoid errors with cross-site scripting and now I can only get this to run properly in IE. Firefox, and Chrome render the small table-form at the top but none of the grey dynamic boxes inside of the div.famous-angular-container. The div.famous-surface boxes all have absolute positioning which is having a hard time rendering (for some reason) in anything but IE.

I would like to play around with this more. I will need to have these CSS issues resolved before I can proceed.

Thanks for the posting.

Jay Wolters said...

After some research in github I see you and Zach (from thomas street) already discussed the problem I having in Chrome. the solution seems to be to add a height style to the fa-app element.

This does work - while now I do have some concerns about the F/A project maturity. I will be paying *close* attention to this project.

Thanks again for posting this example and pioneering the effort.

deepak gehlot said...

nice tutorial ......can you post about how to integrate facebook and twitter in app.....