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A RequireJS+jQuery sample project
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RequireJS + jQuery

This project shows how jQuery can be used with RequireJS. It includes a sample project that you can use as a template to get started.

See the Use with jQuery page on the RequireJS site for more background on the sample project. The RequireJS site also has a link to download this sample project.

The sample project uses a require-jquery.js file which is just a simple combination of RequireJS and jQuery.

This project will be kept relatively up to date with the latest jQuery and RequireJS files as they are released.

Alternate Integrations

With RequireJS, scripts can load in a different order than the order they are specified. This can cause problems for jQuery plugins that assume jQuery is already loaded. Using the combined RequireJS + jQUery file makes sure jQuery is in the page before any jQuery plugins load.

However, there are many use cases where it would be ideal to load jQuery with RequireJS, particularly if jQuery is being loaded from a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Here are some alternate ways to use RequireJS and jQuery together in a way that recognizes jQuery plugin constraints.

Wrap all scripts with define()

Ideally, all the scripts you use would wrap themselves in a define() call so that RequireJS can understand what dependencies need to be loaded before defining the script's functionality.

For scripts that just need jQuery, you can wrap the code in a wrapper like this:

    define(['jquery'], function ($) {
        //Script contents go here.

For more information on using define() to declare the codes as Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD) modules, see the RequireJS API page.

If you do not control the code in question, you can ask the code's author if they could optionally call define() in their code. As of jQuery 1.7, jQuery itself optionally calls define() if it is available. The umdjs project has some resources and examples to help code authors update their code to this pattern.

Use order plugin

The order plugin can be used to load scripts in the order they are specified:

    require(['order!jquery', 'order!pluginOne.jquery'], function () {

While this works, it does not give the same modular, encapsulated benefits when using define()-wrapped code.

Use priority config

You can use the priority config option to load jQuery before any other script is loaded. However, there are some implications when using the RequireJS optimizer. See Optimization Considerations below.

First, an explanation on what to change in the sample project:


  • Change the script tag to load just require.js (download it from the RequireJS site) instead of require-jquery.js
  • Remove the data-main attribute
  • Load the main.js file with a require() call in the HTML file.
  • Specify a priority configuration option. This tells RequireJS to download jQuery before tracing any other script dependencies:
    <title>jQuery+RequireJS Sample Page</title>
    <script src="scripts/require.js"></script>
        baseUrl: 'scripts',
        priority: ['jquery']
    }, ['main']);

The above example assumes that you downloaded jQuery and placed it in the project as webapp/scripts/jquery.js. If you wanted to load jQuery from a CDN, like Google's you could do this:

    <title>jQuery+RequireJS Sample Page</title>
    <script src="scripts/require.js"></script>
        baseUrl: 'scripts',
        paths: {
            jquery: ''
        priority: ['jquery']
    }, ['main']);

However, you will want to download a local copy of jQuery and place it in the project at webapp/scripts/jquery.js so it can be used with the optimizer.

Optimization Considerations

With jQuery loaded externally, before main.js is loaded, jQuery now needs to be excluded from the built file the optimizer generates.

First, make sure you have a jquery.js file in the the webapp/scripts directory. It can be a blank file, but should exist. The optimizer cannot fetch files from the network, so it needs a local file to satisfy the "jquery" dependency.

Then change the file to the following:

        appDir: "../",
        baseUrl: "scripts",
        dir: "../../webapp-build",
        //Comment out the optimize line if you want
        //the code minified by UglifyJS
        optimize: "none",

        modules: [
                name: "main",
                exclude: ["jquery"]

This will bundle all the scripts into the built main.js file, except for jQuery.

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