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RequireJS

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RequireJS vs Webpack: What are the differences?

Developers describe RequireJS as "JavaScript file and module loader". RequireJS loads plain JavaScript files as well as more defined modules. It is optimized for in-browser use, including in a Web Worker, but it can be used in other JavaScript environments, like Rhino and Node. It implements the Asynchronous Module API. Using a modular script loader like RequireJS will improve the speed and quality of your code. On the other hand, Webpack is detailed as "A bundler for javascript and friends". A bundler for javascript and friends. Packs many modules into a few bundled assets. Code Splitting allows to load parts for the application on demand. Through "loaders" modules can be CommonJs, AMD, ES6 modules, CSS, Images, JSON, Coffeescript, LESS, ... and your custom stuff.

RequireJS can be classified as a tool in the "Front End Package Manager" category, while Webpack is grouped under "JS Build Tools / JS Task Runners".

"Open source", "Modular script loader " and "Asynchronous " are the key factors why developers consider RequireJS; whereas "Most powerful bundler", "Built-in dev server with livereload" and "Can handle all types of assets" are the primary reasons why Webpack is favored.

RequireJS and Webpack are both open source tools. Webpack with 49.8K GitHub stars and 6.27K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than RequireJS with 12.2K GitHub stars and 2.3K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Webpack has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2206 company stacks & 1338 developers stacks; compared to RequireJS, which is listed in 916 company stacks and 185 developer stacks.

Decisions about RequireJS and Webpack
Aleksandr Filatov
Contract Software Engineer - Microsoft · | 3 upvotes · 94.8K views
Why migrated?

I could define the next points why we have to migrate:

  • Decrease build time of our application. (It was the main cause).
  • Also jspm install takes much more time than npm install.
  • Many config files for SystemJS and JSPM. For Webpack you can use just one main config file, and you can use some separate config files for specific builds using inheritance and merge them.
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We mostly use rollup to publish package onto NPM. For most all other use cases, we use the Meteor build tool (probably 99% of the time) for publishing packages. If you're using Node on FHIR you probably won't need to know rollup, unless you are somehow working on helping us publish front end user interface components using FHIR. That being said, we have been migrating away from Atmosphere package manager towards NPM. As we continue to migrate away, we may publish other NPM packages using rollup.

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Pros of RequireJS
Pros of Webpack
  • 79
    Open source
  • 69
    Modular script loader
  • 66
    Asynchronous
  • 49
    Great for AMD
  • 30
    Fast
  • 14
    Free
  • 308
    Most powerful bundler
  • 182
    Built-in dev server with livereload
  • 142
    Can handle all types of assets
  • 87
    Easy configuration
  • 21
    Laravel-mix
  • 4
    Overengineered, Underdeveloped
  • 2
    Webpack-Encore
  • 2
    Makes it easy to bundle static assets
  • 1
    Redundant
  • 1
    Better support in Browser Dev-Tools

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Cons of RequireJS
Cons of Webpack
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 12
      Hard to configure
    • 3
      No clear direction
    • 2
      Spaghetti-Code out of the box
    • 2
      SystemJS integration is quite lackluster
    • 2
      Loader architecture is quite a mess (unreliable/buggy)
    • 2
      Fire and Forget mentality of Core-Developers

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is RequireJS?

    RequireJS loads plain JavaScript files as well as more defined modules. It is optimized for in-browser use, including in a Web Worker, but it can be used in other JavaScript environments, like Rhino and Node. It implements the Asynchronous Module API. Using a modular script loader like RequireJS will improve the speed and quality of your code.

    What is Webpack?

    A bundler for javascript and friends. Packs many modules into a few bundled assets. Code Splitting allows to load parts for the application on demand. Through "loaders" modules can be CommonJs, AMD, ES6 modules, CSS, Images, JSON, Coffeescript, LESS, ... and your custom stuff.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use RequireJS?
    What companies use Webpack?
    See which teams inside your own company are using RequireJS or Webpack.
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    What tools integrate with RequireJS?
    What tools integrate with Webpack?

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    What are some alternatives to RequireJS and Webpack?
    Browserify
    Browserify lets you require('modules') in the browser by bundling up all of your dependencies.
    npm
    npm is the command-line interface to the npm ecosystem. It is battle-tested, surprisingly flexible, and used by hundreds of thousands of JavaScript developers every day.
    Yarn
    Yarn caches every package it downloads so it never needs to again. It also parallelizes operations to maximize resource utilization so install times are faster than ever.
    Bower
    Bower is a package manager for the web. It offers a generic, unopinionated solution to the problem of front-end package management, while exposing the package dependency model via an API that can be consumed by a more opinionated build stack. There are no system wide dependencies, no dependencies are shared between different apps, and the dependency tree is flat.
    Bundler
    It provides a consistent environment for Ruby projects by tracking and installing the exact gems and versions that are needed. It is an exit from dependency hell, and ensures that the gems you need are present in development, staging, and production.
    See all alternatives