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the bower components loader for browsers

Easly Import your components or libraries installed via bower to your project.

why shall i use it ?

  • If you have difficulty to include bower components that require dependencies in your project, this is for you.
  • if you have difficulty to show how to include your module pushed to bower registry, considering it dependencies, this is for you.
  • if you care about how many time a component will be included to your project considering work's subdivision and module's inclusion here and there, this is for you.

Indeed, bower is the package manager, but without a good loader's utility, package's dependency and module philosophy are under-exploited with usage of a simple script or link tag. A best example to explain what i'm talking about is the comparison with node modules usage. Although conditions are a little differents, here is a place to better manage components we use through bower in our project.

how to install ?

Considering it's for bower package manager, just do :

$ bower install --save bowerder

don't forget the associated small and useful command line tool : (note: global installation need sudo mode for some GNU/Linux distributions)

$ npm install -g bowerder

how to use it ?

Very easy !

<!-- only ~11kb minified or ~3kb gzipped :) -->
<script src="path-to-bower-components-dir/bowerder/dist/loader.min.js" data-bowerreg></script>

have fun ! (components are loaded with their dependencies)

bower.import('ijs') ;
bower.import('vue') ;
// with callback
bower.import('Materialize', function (err) {

   if (err.occured) {
      // you can know if occured error is from bowerder or browser loading process ;)
      console.error('Oops it seems like `Materialize` wasn\'t fully loaded by:'+ err.from) ;
      return null; // interruption 

   // everything is ok!
   // materialize depends of jquery, so jquery will be automatically loaded ;)

   Materialize.toast('`Materialize` is loaded!', 5000);

// global execution when all packages are fully imported
bower.ready( function (err) {

   if (err.occured) {
      // you can know which package have occured an error and if it is from bowerder or browser loading process ;)
      if (err.fromBrowser.length !== 0) console.error('Oops it seems like: '+ err.fromBrowser.join(', ') +' occured a loading error from: browser');
      if (err.fromBowerder.length !== 0) console.error('Oops it seems like: '+ err.fromBowerder.join(', ') +' occured a loading error from: bowerder');
      return null; // interruption 

   Materialize.toast('everything is ok!', 5000);
   iJS.animate($('#winner-modal')[0], 'shake', 15);

It's possible to load your bower packages via online CDN service. This is useful for projects which don't provide local hosted dependencies (codepen, jsfiddle, online demo, ...). For that purpose, just enable the bower.cdn.usage property. The actual CDN use by the loader is That will cause online package's loading method to have priority to local loading. One of advantages of this functionality is the possibility to switch from local hosted dependencies to online hosting and vis versa, without change concerned code in a associated project. Bowerder will load by default the latest version of a package, but developer can target a version to load ; however it will be only considered by the loader for online loading mode through CDN. Indeed, for local loading, the loader will considered that, dependencies and appropriates versions will be managed by bower through command tools (install, update, ...).

bower.cdn.usage = true ;

bower.import("vue#1.0.26") ;
bower.import("d3") ;
bower.import("aos") ;

bower.ready( function (err) {

   alert("after all previous importation. [error: "+ err.occured +"]") ;
}) ;

Developer can decide to include or exclude some package's associated files. That said, for exclusion, developer can use global selector * (ex: *.scss, theme-*.css) which isn't supported in inclusion case. (Just take a look at the code below).

bower.import("bootstrap#3.3.7" , {
   include: ["dist/css/bootstrap.min.css"],
   ignore: ["less/bootstrap.less"],
   callback: function (err) {alert("bootstrap [error: "+ err.occured +"]");}
}) ;

bower.import("font-awesome" , {
   include: ["css/font-awesome.min.css"],
   ignore: ["*.less", "*.scss"],
   callback: function (err) {if (!err.occured) alert("awesome font have been well loaded");}
}) ;

You have a custom external scripts or stylesheets for your project which use or overwrite some packages's features ? Don't worry, just simply include them and bowerder will import packages's main files before their loading; so that it will be like you have done it by yourself. (except it's without stress or question like "which package's main file i have forgot and where to include ?")

<link rel="stylesheet" href="mycustom.css"/>
<script src="mycustom.js"></script>

in your custom script :

bower.ready( function (err) {

   // your hack here !

Take a look at this codepen for tangible demo !

how it work ?

The recommended way to use boweder to import packages, is by providing a local registry for packages installed via bower. This can be done by simply run the boweder command line tool on your target project's directory. abrakadabra !!!

$ bowerder

it's done, all your installed packages's configurations will be available on the browser through bowerder and will be use for importation process.

How about the size of that registry ? Not much, average is ~[15-20]kb or ~[3-8]kb gzipped for 100 packages.

To avoid to run that command each time you make a bower operation (install, update, ...), just run the following command for automation:

$ bowerder auto

In the browser, packages's configurations can be access via the bower.components property; and imported packages's tree dependencies via the bower.packagesTree property. What about to give more informations about libraries that powered a project ?

bower.ready( function (err) {

   if (err.occured) {
      if (err.fromBrowser.length !== 0) console.error('Oops it seems that: '+ err.fromBrowser.join(', ') +' occured a loading error from: browser');
      if (err.fromBowerder.length !== 0) console.error('Oops it seems that: '+ err.fromBowerder.join(', ') +' occured a loading error from: bowerder');
      return null; // interruption 

   var aboutV = new Vue({
      el: '#about',
      data: {
       poweredBy: bower.packagesTree
<div id="about">
   <h4>love and thank to these modules:</h4>
   <div class='card-panel' v-for="pkg in poweredBy">
      <h5 class='card-title'>{{}}</h5>
      <div class='card-content'>
         <b>author(s): </b><span>{{pkg.authors.join(', ')}}</span><br/>
         <b>description: </b><span>{{pkg.description}}</span><br/>
         <b>homepage: </b><span>{{pkg.homepage}}</span><br/>

When the local registry isn't available or updated, bowerder will try to load packages through Ajax API; which can play on expected performances. The data-bowerreg attribute in the bowerder's script tag also contribute to the magic; without it, developer will have to manually include the local registry and set the bower components directory of the project.

bower.dir = 'path-to-bower-components-dir';

Enable the development mode is recommended if you want all print's trace of the loading process's warnings/errors.

bower.devMode = true;

Bowerder way is simple. Except the usage of feature like import provided by es6-next, for those who think that, concatanation of their modules's main files in big one is the only way to really optimize loading on browsers, have to note that it is disputable; specially in development purpose. Ask yourself why best download manager use to download file in mutiple sub-parts even if that implies more requests to send. Likewise, server can be configured to send compressed files to client so that transactions become faster. Even if one time download can be a solution, it can have a little negative influence on pages rendering process.

how to contirute ?

clone the repository an make a pull-request when your ready

$ git clone

install node modules dependencies

$ npm install

automate testing prerequisites

$ npm test

automate building task with your modifications: (look at gulpfile.js to see available task)

$ gulp watch

Minification is a way for developer to have for some files a better loading optimization. However, bower.json spec do not allow to use minified files as main files for a component. Developers use to set associated main property with sources or developments files. Considering how web projects are now build, that pratice isn't advantageous for browsers. Indeed, set an index.scss, or an unminified index.js files (depending of size) for production as main files isn't actually good for browsers to digest. That why bowerder now recommended to also set a browser: [] (or browser: {main: []}) property for main files that browsers can easly digest. Minified files with sourcemaps are specialy welcome in that case.

If you like this module, you can give it a star and try to pull request to some libraries's repository like bootstrap which don't yet respect that behavior.

bowerder will use browser: [] property to load component's main files; if it isn't set, it will use the main property as default.

showcase: font-awesome's bower.json

"main": [
"browser": ["css/font-awesome.min.css"]

Some libraries don't have that problem since their main files are distributions files.

  • aos's bower.json

    "main": [
  • reveal.js's bower.json

    "main": [

For others specifications and features, documentation isn't yet ready.

license MIT

Copyright (c) since june-2016 Tindo N. Arsel

See LICENSE for more details.


the bower components loader for browsers







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