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Framework for standardized modularization of JavaScript code

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README.md

namespace.js is a proposal for a standardized mechanism for creating JavaScript modules in the browser. Its inspiration comes from the design of Python Modules and the CommonJS Modules definition.

Namespace API (version 3.0)

The idea is to have a single global variable, namespace, inside of which all modules are child JavaScript object. With a simple wrapper, you implement your module in a JavaScript Closure function. You can then use the exports and require symbols, just as any CommonJS module would.

Any properties you add to the 'exports' object will be exported properties for your module.

namespace.module('com.mydomain.mymodule', function (exports, require) {
  var external = require('com.domain.external-module');

  exports.extend({
    'myFunction': myFunction,
     ...
  });

  function myFunction() {
    ...
  }
});

Documentation

namespace

The single global variable, namespace, is the top level Module. All other modules are descendant properties of this object.

namespace.module(pathname, function (exports, require) { ... })

Use the module method to define your module:

namespace.module('com.mydomain.my-module', function (exports, require) {
  ...
});

Your closure function will be called with two arguments, the module object itself (exports), and the require function which can be used to retreive a reference to any other module.

Any properties to you want to add to the exports object will be available as external symbols. Of course, any local functions or variables defined in your closure function will only be available within your module, unless explicitly exported by you.

It is up to the module author to provide a unique name, but it is recommended that you use reverse-domain notation. If you own the domain, 'mydomain.com', you can ensure uniqueness by naming your modules with a prefix 'com.mydomain.'.

require(pathname)

Return a module object given it's unique path name.

If a module does not yet exist, an empty module will be created. Each call to require with a given path, will always return the identical object (enabling forward references to modules that have not yet been defined).

If you are sure that a module has already been defined, you can also reference the module object with the javascript expression, even outside of a module definition.

namespace.com.mydomain.my_module

Note that '-' characters in the path name, are converted to '_' characters when used in JavaScript property names.

exports.extend(obj)

You can use the extend function as a convenient way to add public properties to your module:

namespace.module('com.mydomain.my-module', function (exports, require) {
    exports.extend({
      'publicFunction': publicFunction,
      'PublicClass': PublicClass
    });

    function publicFunction {
    }

    function PublicClass {
    }
});

is equivalent to:

namespace.module('com.mydomain.my-module', function (exports, require) {
    exports.publicFunction = function () {
    };

    exports.PublicClass = function () {
    }
});

Which style you use is a matter of personal preference (but see [FAQ] about safe use with Google Closure).

Unit Tests

Run the latest Unit Tests online.

Revision History

  • 3.0.0 April 12, 2011 - Further simplify - remove lookup and define methods. Now just have module, exports and require. (541 bytes, 348 bytes gzipped)
  • 2.2.0 April 5, 2011 - Better VERSION handling and CommonJS Module compatible (exports/require). (515 bytes minified, 325 bytes gzipped)
  • 2.1.4 March 18, 2011 - First published version (383 bytes minified, 250 bytes gzipped)

Advantages of Using namespace.js

  • Module isolation - each module need not add ANY top-level global symbols, and you can create functions and variables that are only locally accessible.
  • Explicit exports - limit which functions are publicly accessible.
  • Load-order independence of modules - your module can refer to external modules, even if they have not yet been loaded.
  • Multiple JavaScript environments - namespace.js has been tested to work in web browsers, Rhino, V8, node.js, and WebWorkers.
  • Compatible with CommonJS Modules specification.
  • Does one thing well - namespace.js is a tiny library (325 gzipped bytes) specifically designed to be used by any JavaScript module to make it easier for independently written modules to be used together.
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