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Assign value from successful promise resolve to external variable

I have a pretty silly problem. Consider the following:

vm.feed = getFeed().then(function(data) {return data;});

getFeed() returns a $q deferred promise (I am on angular) that resolves successfully.

My goal is to set vm.feed equal to the data value returned by the successful callback. As it is right now, the code simply assigns vm.feed equal to the $promise object returned by getFeed().

I know I could simply do: vm.feed = data inside the resolved function but I want to understand why this code does not work as it is.

PD: the promise resolves correctly and even after it has been resolved vm.feed keeps being equal to the Promise, and not data. I copy the console.log of vm.feed after +10 seconds have elapsed:

Promise {$$state: Object} $$state: Objectstatus:1 value: Object

That value property inside the Promise object contains the actual solution of the promise that I want to assign to vm.feed (e.i. data).

thank you!


You are going to get whatever then() returns. But since you are reading this, the following may help you:

Your statement does nothing more than ask the interpreter to assign the value returned from then() to the vm.feed variable. then() returns you a Promise (as you can see here: You could picture this by seeing that the Promise (a simple object) is being pulled out of the function and getting assigned to vm.feed. This happens as soon as the interpreter executes that line.

Since your successful callback does not run when you call then() but only when your promise gets resolved (at a later time, asynchronously) it would be impossible for then() to return its value for the caller. This is the default way Javascript works. This was the exact reason Promises were introduced, so you could ask the interpreter to push the value to you, in the form of a callback.

Though on a future version that is being worked on for JavaScript (ES2016) a couple keywords will be introduced to work pretty much as you are expecting right now. The good news is you can start writing code like this today through transpilation from ES2016 to the current widely supported version (ES5).

A nice introduction to the topic is available at:

To use it right now you can transpile your code through Babel: (by running with --stage 1).

You can also see some examples here: