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Babel plugin that scans the AST for require calls and import statements
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babel-plugin-detective Build Status Coverage Status

Babel 5/6 plugin that scans the AST for require calls and import statements


$ npm install --save babel-plugin-detective babel-core


import babel from 'babel-core';

const detective = require('babel-plugin-detective');
const myModule = require('my' + 'module');

// See below for available options
const options = {};

// Babel 5
// `position` can be 'before' or 'after'
let result = babel.transformFileSync(path, {
	plugins: [{transformer: detective, position: position}],
	extra: {
			detective: options

// Babel 6
result = babel.transformFileAsync('/path/to/file', {
	plugins:[['detective', options]]

// metadata will be stored on `result.metadata.requires`
// a convenience method is provided to extract it.
const metadata = detective.metadata(result);

// {
//   strings: [
//     'babel-core',
//     'babel-plugin-detective'
//   ],
//   expressions: [
//     {start: 110, end: 125, loc: {...}} // loc of 'my' + 'module' expression
//   ]
// }



During traversal, the plugin stores each discovered require/import on the Babel metadata object. It can be extracted manually from parseResult.metadata.requires, or you can pass the parse result to this convenience method.

Returned Metadata

After a babel traversal with this plugin, metadata will be attached at parseResult.metadata.requires


Type: Array<string>

Array of every module imported with an ES2015 import statement, and every module required using a string literal (it does not include dynamic requires).


Type: Array<locationData>

Array of location data for expressions that are used as the first argument to require (i.e. dynamic requires). The source of the expression can be attached using the attachExpressionSource option. If you wish to disallow dynamic requires, you should throw if this has length greater than 0.



Type: boolean Default: false

If set to true, it will include require calls generated by previous plugins in the tool chain. This will lead to some duplicate entries if ES2015 import statements are present in the file. This plugin already scans for ES2015 import statements, so you only need to use this if there is some other type of generated require statement you want to know about.

Works on Babel 6 only

generated:true can be combined with import:false to get only the require statements of the post transform code.


Type: boolean
Default: true

Include ES2015 imports in the metadata. All ES2015 imports will be of type string.


Type: boolean
Default: true

Include ES2015 re-exports in the metadata. All ES2015 re-exports will be of type string.

export * from './foo';
export {bar as baz} from './quz';
export {hello} from './goodbye';


Type: boolean
Default: true

Include CommonJS style require(...) statements in the metadata. CommonJS require statements will be pushed on to requires.strings if the argument is a string literal. For dynamic expressions (i.e. require(foo + bar)), an object will be pushed on to requires.expressions. It will have start and end properties that can be used to extract the code directly from the original source, And a loc object that includes the line/column numbers (useful for creating error statements).


Type: string
Default: 'require'

The name of the require function. You most likely do not need to change this.


Type: boolean
Default: false

Attach the actual expression code to each member of requires.expressions.

expressions: [
	 {start: 110, end: 125, loc: {...} code: "'my' + 'module'"}


Type: boolean
Default: false

Return the actual nodes instead of extracting strings.

strings : [{type: 'StringLiteral', value: 'foo', ...}],
expressions: [
	 {type: 'BinaryExpression', ...}

Everything in strings will be a Literal (Babel 5), or StringLiteral (Babel 6). The path required will be on node.value.

The expressions array can contain any valid Expression node.

Manipulating Require Statements

Warning: Exploratory Support Only: The documentation here is intentionally sparse. While every attempt will be made to avoid breaking changes, it is a new feature so changes are a real possibility. You should look at the source of index.js and the test suite for a better idea on how to use this.

babel-detective/wrap-listener allows you to create your own plugin that can manipulate exports.

The following creates a plugin that upper-cases all require and import statements:

const wrapListener = require('babel-detective/wrap-listener');

module.exports = wrapListener(listener, 'uppercase');

function listener(path, file, opts) {
	if (path.isLiteral()) {
		path.node.value = path.node.value.toUpperCase();

wrapListener(listener, name, options)


Type: callback(nodePath, file, opts) Required

A listener that performs the actual manipulation. It is called with:

  • nodePath: The actual node in question can be accessed via nodePath.node. nodePath has other properties (parent, isLiteral(), etc.). A full description of that API is out of scope for this document.

  • file: The Babel file metadata object. This is what the main module uses to store metadata for required modules that it finds.

  • opts: The options that were passed to the plugin. This is done via the array syntax in Babel 6, or options.extra[name] in Babel 5.


Type: string

This is the key used to locate opts in Babel 5 options.extra[name].



Accepts the import, require, and generated options as described above.


  • node-detective Inspiration for this module. Used by browserify to analyze module dependencies.


MIT © James Talmage