breq

A client-side CommonJS `require` implementation that does NOT require a precompilation build step nor server-side middleware. It instead utilizes synchronous `XMLHttpRequest`s and `eval` instead, which does impose a series of limitations unless you're willing to generate a whole mess of `404`s. Terrible for performance, nice for dynamic ease of use.

npm install breq
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breq

"breq" (browser-require) is a client-side CommonJS require implementation that does NOT require a precompilation build step nor server-side middleware. It instead utilizes synchronous XMLHttpRequests and eval instead, which does impose a series of limitations unless you're willing to generate a whole mess of 404s.

Terrible for performance, nice for dynamic ease of use.

Getting Started

Download the production version or the development version.

In your web page:

<script src="dist/breq.min.js"></script>
<script>
  var mod = require("./someCjsModule.js");
</script>

Limitations

Given the browser-based nature of "breq", there are some important limitations to keep in mind that differ from Node's require.resolve lookup algorithms:

  1. It only works over HTTP and HTTPS due to browser security settings for XMLHttpRequest.
  2. It does NOT do any actual "lookups", it only resolves the exact relative path provided.
  3. It currently only supports paths that start with one of the following patterns:
    1. /
    2. ./
    3. ../
  4. It does not support the "any depth" node_modules dynamic lookup for named modules as this would usually result in a series of 404s before it is located.
  5. It does not attempt to append the ".js" extension, etc. to the path provided. As this is made for the web, URI paths are critical and some users will need to consume scripts that do not end with the ".js" extension.
  6. It does not support loading CoffeeScript modules.
  7. It does not currently support loading JSON "modules".

Roadmap Brainstorming

Some ideas for future exploration in "breq":

  1. Add support for JSON "modules".
  2. Add a configuration object.
  3. Allow consumers to configure a "module root" [with either a method like setModuleRoot or a config property like require.paths] where we can seek out named modules, e.g.

    require.setModuleRoot("/node_modules/");
    var mod = require("myCjsModule");     // path will [first] resolve to "/node_modules/myCjsModule/index.js"
    
  4. Allow consumers to set a configuration option that does enable the actual Node-style lookup algorithm, keeping in mind that this setup will likely produce an exceptionally large quantity of 404s. This would also include auto-appending the ".js" extension during some of the lookup attempts if it is not already present, e.g.

    var mod = require("./myCjsModule");  // path will resolve to "./myCjsModule.js"
    
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