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Browser-side require() for your node modules and npm packages

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Browserify

Browser-side require() for your node modules and npm packages

Just point a javascript file or two at browserify and it will walk the AST to read all your require()s recursively. The resulting bundle has everything you need, including pulling in libraries you might have installed using npm!

browserify!

  • Relative require()s work browser-side just as they do in node.

  • Coffee script gets automatically compiled and you can register custom compilers of your own!

  • Browser-versions of certain core node modules such as path, events, and vm are included as necessary automatically.

  • Command-line bundling tool or use from node.

examples

simple example

server.js

var connect = require('connect');
var server = connect.createServer();

server.use(connect.static(__dirname));
server.use(require('browserify')({
    require : __dirname + '/js/foo.js',
    filter : require('uglify-js'), // minifiers are super easy!
}));

server.listen(9797);
console.log('Listening on 9797...');

js/foo.js

var bar = require('./bar');
var baz = require('./baz');

module.exports = function (x) {
    return x * bar.coeff(x) + baz.wowsy(x);
};

js/bar.js

exports.coeff = function (x) {
    return Math.log(x) / Math.log(2) + 1;
};

js/baz.coffee

exports.wowsy = (beans) ->
    beans * 3 - 2

index.html

<html>
<head>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="/browserify.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        var foo = require('./foo');

        window.onload = function () {
            document.getElementById('result').innerHTML = foo(100);
        };
    </script>
</head>
<body>
    foo =
    <span style='font-family: monospace' id="result"></span>
</body>
</html>

npm example

server.js

var connect = require('connect');
var server = connect.createServer();

server.use(connect.static(__dirname));
server.use(require('browserify')({
    mount : '/browserify.js',
    require : 'traverse',
}));

server.listen(4040);
console.log('Listening on 4040...');

index.html

<html>
<head>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="/browserify.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        var Traverse = require('traverse');
        var obj = [ 5, 6, -3, [ 7, 8, -2, 1 ], { f : 10, g : -13 } ];
        Traverse(obj).forEach(function (x) {
            if (x < 0) this.update(x + 128);
        });

        window.onload = function () {
            document.getElementById('result').innerHTML
                = JSON.stringify(obj);
        };
    </script>
</head>
<body>
    foo =
    <span style='font-family: monospace' id="result"></span>
</body>
</html>

Note that you could also put the body from the second <script> tag into a javascript file of its own and pass that file to the entry field. Such an action would render the require : 'traverse' in server.js unnecessary since browserify hunts down require()s from the AST.

convert a node module into a browser require-able standalone file example

Using npm >= 1.0 from the commandz line: Install the traverse package locally (into the node_modules folder)

npm install traverse

Utilize browserify to... browserify the package

npm install -g browserify
browserify --require traverse -o bundle.js

Look at the files! There is a new one: bundle.js. Now go into HTML land:

<script src="bundle.js"></script>
<script> 
   var traverse = require('traverse');
</script>

methods

var browserify = require('browserify');

var b = browserify(opts={})

Return a middleware with attached methods that will host up a browserified script at opts.mount or "/browserify.js" if unspecified.

opts may also contain these fields:

  • require - calls b.require()
  • ignore - calls b.ignore()
  • entry - calls b.addEntry()
  • filter - registers a "post" extension using b.register()
  • watch - set watches on files, see below

If opts is a string, it is interpreted as a require value.

Any query string after opts.mount will be ignored.

watch :: Boolean or Object

Set watches on files and automatically rebundle when a file changes.

This option defaults to false. If opts.watch is set to true, default watch arguments are assumed or you can pass in an object to pass along as the second parameter to fs.watchFile().

b.bundle()

Return the bundled source as a string.

b.require(file)

Require a file or files for inclusion in the bundle.

If file is an array, require each element in it.

If file is a non-array object, map an alias to a package name. For instance to be able to map require('jquery') to the jquery-browserify package, you can do:

b.require({ jquery : 'jquery-browserify' })

and the same thing in middleware-form:

browserify({ require : { jquery : 'jquery-browserify' } })

To mix alias objects with regular requires you could do:

browserify({ require : [ 'seq', { jquery : 'jquery-browserify' }, 'traverse' ])

In practice you won't need to b.require() very many files since all the require()s are read from each file that you require and automatically included.

b.ignore(file)

Omit a file or files from being included by the AST walk to hunt down require() statements.

b.addEntry(file)

Append a file to the end of the bundle and execute it without having to require() it.

Specifying an entry point will let you require() other modules without having to load the entry point in a <script> tag yourself.

If entry is an Array, concatenate these files together and append to the end of the bundle.

b.filter(fn)

Transform the source using the filter function fn(src). The return value of fn should be the new source.

b.register(ext, fn)

Register a handler to wrap extensions.

Wrap every file matching the extension ext with the function fn.

For every file included into the bundle fn gets called for matching file types as fn.call(b, body, file) for the bundle instance b and the file content string body. fn should return the new wrapped contents.

If ext is unspecified, execute the wrapper for every file.

If ext is 'post', execute the wrapper on the entire bundle.

If ext is 'pre', call the wrapper function with the bundle object before the source is generated.

If ext is an object, pull the extension from ext.extension and the wrapper function fn from ext.wrapper. This makes it easy to write plugins like fileify.

Coffee script support is just implemented internally as a .register() extension:

b.register('.coffee', function (body) {
    return coffee.compile(body);
});

b.use(fn)

Use a middleware plugin, fn. fn is called with the instance object b.

b.prepend(content)

Prepend unwrapped content to the beginning of the bundle.

b.append(content)

Append unwrapped content to the end of the bundle.

b.alias(to, from)

Alias a package name from another package name.

b.modified

Contains a Date object with the time the bundle was last modified. This field is useful in conjunction with the watch field described in the browserify() to generate unique <script> src values to force script reloading.

command-line usage

Usage: node ./bin/cli.js [entry files] {OPTIONS}

Options:
  --outfile, -o  Write the browserify bundle to this file.
                 If unspecified, browserify prints to stdout.                   
  --require, -r  A module name or file to bundle.require()
                 Optionally use a colon separator to set the target.            
  --entry, -e    An entry point of your app                                     
  --alias, -a    Register an alias with a colon separator: "to:from"
                 Example: --alias 'jquery:jquery-browserify'                    
  --plugin, -p   Use a plugin. Use a colon separator to specify additional
                 plugin arguments as a JSON string.
                 Example: --plugin 'fileify:["files","."]'                      
  --help, -h     Show this message                                              

Specify a parameter.

package.json

In order to resolve main files for projects, the package.json "main" field is read.

If a package.json has a "browserify" field, you can override the standard "main" behavior with something special just for browsers.

The "browserify" field can be a string that points to the browser-specific "main" file or it can be an object with a "main" field in it.

compatability

process

Browserify exports a faux process object with these attributes:

  • nextTick(fn) - does setTimeout(fn, 0)
  • title - set to 'browser' for browser code, 'node' in regular node code

require('events')

You can require('events').EventEmitter just like in node.js code.

require('vm')

All the goodness of node's require('vm') has been emulated with iframe trickery and eval() hacks.

require('path')

The posix functions from the path module have been included except for exists() and existsSync(). Just require('path')!

__dirname

The faux directory name, scrubbed of true directory information so as not to expose your filesystem organization.

__filename

The faux file path, scrubbed of true path information so as not to expose your filesystem organization.

protips

  • npm install jquery-browserify to have npm and browserify handle your jquery deployment!

read more

browserify: browser-side require() for your node.js

install

Using npm just do:

npm install browserify

to install into your project's node_modules directory, or if you want to use the command-line tool, install globally with:

npm install -g browserify
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