An Express addin to export node modules to the client and a supporting CommonJS browser require
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An Express addin to export node modules to the client and a supporting CommonJS browser require.

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npm install node-require

Basic Use

In your Node Express app include the following code:

var noderequire = require('node-require');

// replace <package name>, ... with all package names you would like to export to the client
// <options> is an object, currently the only supported property is min:true
// if options.min===true, then a minified version of the package will be loaded if available
noderequire.export(app,__dirname,["<package name>",...][,<options>);

Add this line to the top of an HTML file into which you wish to load node modules on the client:

<script src="node-require"></script>

You can then require any of the modules you have exported using normal require syntax along with other JavaScript code, e.g.

var pkgexport = require('<package name>'); // loads a package, the internals assume anything without a .js extension

for(var key in pkgexport) {

For modules designed to create new global objects/constructors, i.e. those packaged with browserify, you can also load any exported modules using the script src attribute, e.g.

<script src='MyClass'></script>

for(var key in MyClass) {

Advanced Use

If you add the key client to a modules package.json file, node-modules will use that path to find the file to deliver to the browser. In the case of isomorphic code, this could simply be a bundle created using browserify. In the case of non-isomorphic code, this could be the client code required to interact with the services provided by the module on the server. node-modules itself is the second type of code base.


By convention modules do not have .js extensions. node-require uses this convention for handling requests. Anything without a .js extension is assumed to be a node module and the exports array provided in the app.js file is examined. If there is no match, the next Express route is called. If there is a match the module package file is used to resolve to a file name, specified by either package.main or package.client. If node-require is configured to load a minified file, the file name is adjusted to be <file name>.min.js and an attempt to send the file if made. If this fails, an attempt is made with an un-modified file name. If this fails, the next route is called with the error causing the failure.


node-require was developed as an easy way to ensure that you are running the same version of JavaScript code on the client and the server without having to implement a build process or manual steps to copy files.

node-require could be extended to kick-off on demand build or file generation processes. For example to fool bots trying to analyze a site a seeded minify/uglify library could be used to regenerate the client side code differently for each request.

Updates (reverse chronological order)

2016-01-20 v0.0.10 Corrected reference to client code in package.json.

2016-01-20 v0.0.9 Updated README documentation. Swapped in Smoothie require.js in place of modified require1k.js due to conflicts with browserified bundles. Smoothie require.js is also far easier to trace through if ever needed. Made modifications to more cleanly load module files from /<script/> tags and better handle missing files. Added the options object for server side configuration.

2016-01-18 v0.0.8 Updated README documentation. Eliminated conflict with browserify by changing key in package.json to be client: instead of browser:.

2015-12-19 v0.0.7 Add client side console logging for errors

2015-12-19 v0.0.6 Now sends 404 Not Found if package is not exported

2015-12-13 v0.0.5 Codacy driven improvements

2015-11-29 v0.0.4 Initial public commit


Client Side Code - GNU

Copyright (C) 2013-2015 Flowy Apps GmbH

enhancements to support node-require Copyright (c) 2016, Simon Y Blackwell, AnyWhichWay All rights reserved.

Server Code - MIT