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javascript module management. brings node's require statement and npm to the browser

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require brings require to the browser

Node implements a simple module management system with the require statement and the npm command line module manager. This library brings those functionalities to the browser, as well as advanced compilation functionality for production deployment.


From npm repo

sudo npm install require

or from source

git clone git://
sudo npm install ./require


In your HTML, import a javascript module and all its dependencies with a simple script include. In this case we'll import the example/client module.

<script src="//localhost:1234/example/client"></script>

Start the dev server. You can also pass in the directories in which your javascript modules live. Those directories will be added to the javascript module search path.

require --port 1234 --host localhost
# or
require --port 1234 --host localhost --paths ./path/to/my/js/ ./path/to/node_modules/

(make sure that the npm bin is in your path)

echo "PATH=`npm bin`:$PATH" >> ~/.bash_profile && source ~/.bash_profile

Use programmatically

You can also start the require server programmatically alongside another node server.

var devServer = require('require/server')
devServer.addPath(__dirname + '/modules')
devServer.listen(1234, 'localhost')


For production you want to bundle all your dependencies into a single file and compress them.

require compile ./example/client.js --level 2

Add to the search path by passing in paths.

require compile ./example/client.js --level 2 --paths path/to/node_modules

There are 4 different compilation levels - they correspond to google closure's compilation levels. Levels 2 and 3 are pretty aggressive and may break certain programming patterns, such as dynamic dispatch (var eventName = 'click', document.body['on' + eventName = function() { ... })

Compilation levels:
0 - none
1 - whitespace
2 - simple optimizations
3 - advanced optimizations

You can also use the compiler programmatically. Pass it a file path, or a snippet of code.

var compiler = require('require/compiler')

compiler.compile('./example/client.js', 2, function(err, compiledCode) {
    if (err) { throw err }

var basePath = __dirname
compiler.compileCode('console.log(require("./example/client"))', 1, basePath, function(err, compiledCode) {
    if (err) { throw err }

npm packages

require can import npm packages in the browser. Try installing e.g. raphael, the SVG library.

sudo npm install raphael

And then require it client-side

var raphael = require('raphael'),
    canvas = document.body.appendChild(document.createElement('div')),
    paper = raphael(canvas), 50, 40)

You can see the result if you have the source checked out:

git clone git://
cd require/example/
node server.js
# Open browser to http://localhost:8080/raphael_circle.html


For working examples, give this a try:

node require/examples/server.js
# open browser to localhost:8080

node require/examples/compile.js
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