RequireJS vs Webpack

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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.

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.
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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.
    Component
    Component's philosophy is the UNIX philosophy of the web - to create a platform for small, reusable components that consist of JS, CSS, HTML, images, fonts, etc. With its well-defined specs, using Component means not worrying about most frontend problems such as package management, publishing components to a registry, or creating a custom build process for every single app.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about RequireJS and Webpack
    Webpack
    Webpack
    gulp
    gulp
    jQuery
    jQuery
    JavaScript
    JavaScript

    I use JavaScript these days and for few years I didn't have to use jQuery at all. I used to use it back in the days when IE8 and similar was a thing. But due to better browser support of native functions for DOM manipulation I could move to vanilla JavaScript. Most of the time, that's all I need to work with modals/accordions and similar. But I'm not saying that jQuery is bad. It was, and still is a great tool. Some of it's features are available in all browsers nowadays so it is not so important as it used to be. But jQuery has still advantage for example in it's selector engine, some DOM selections which are easy in jQuery are a bit more difficult in vanilla JS (you have to create some helper functions or use some 3rd party library to help you with that), but to be honest I needed this on very few occasions. So it really depends on your project (supported browses, plain JS or some bundling - gulp, Webpack, whether you plan to use modules etc.). Hope this helps.

    See more
    Gustavo Muñoz
    Gustavo Muñoz
    Web UI Developer at Globant · | 4 upvotes · 16K views
    Parcel
    Parcel
    gulp
    gulp
    Grunt
    Grunt
    Webpack
    Webpack
    #WebPackDevServer
    #Merge

    Using Webpack is one of the best decision ever. I have used to Grunt and gulp previously, but the experience is not the same, and despite I know there are other bundlers like Parcel, Webpack gives me the perfect balance between automatization and configuration. The ecosystem of tools and loaders is amazing, and with WebPack #merge, you can modularize your build and define standard pieces to assemble different build configurations. I don't like processes where you cannot see their guts, and you have to trust in magic a little bit too much for my taste. But also I don't want to reinvent the wheel and lose too much time configuring my build processes. And of course, I love #WebPackDevServer and hot reloading.

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of RequireJS and Webpack
    No reviews found
    How developers use RequireJS and Webpack
    Avatar of Volkan Özçelik
    Volkan Özçelik uses WebpackWebpack

    Webpack is the best bundler. Period.

    Yes, it has a(n arguably) messy documentation, and a steep learning curve; but once you get the hang of it, there is nothing you cannot do with it.

    Use it and you don’t have to use any other bundler at all.

    It has a vivid ecosystem, and great plugin support.

    Avatar of Alec Cunningham
    Alec Cunningham uses WebpackWebpack

    My preferred build tool; allows me to bundle my JSX, JS, CSS files for easy access and I can pass the bundle through my node server for server side rendering.

    Avatar of Kent Steiner
    Kent Steiner uses WebpackWebpack

    Flexible building and compiling of source for browser consumption, mainly for JS, but experimenting a little with CSS (although I prefer StylusJS for CSS).

    Avatar of Andrew Gatenby
    Andrew Gatenby uses WebpackWebpack

    We use this to optimise the delivery of the client-side for our revised Admin System, so it's able to be delivered to browsers as efficiently as possible.

    Avatar of Cameron Drake
    Cameron Drake uses WebpackWebpack

    Webpack compiles files to bundles with source maps. Using Webpack you can use the latest features (ES6) and have it compiled to compliant js.

    Avatar of Kent Steiner
    Kent Steiner uses RequireJSRequireJS

    No real definitive reason, I find it to be the most natural way to import libraries and code in nodejs (prior to ES6 / import).

    Avatar of Tarun Singh
    Tarun Singh uses RequireJSRequireJS

    Used Require.js to make the application modular. It provides better dependency management with asynchronous loading of scripts.

    Avatar of Promethean TV
    Promethean TV uses RequireJSRequireJS

    The RequireJS package manager is used by various web applications and services to manage dependencies on 3rd party libraries.

    Avatar of Tim De Lange
    Tim De Lange uses RequireJSRequireJS

    Very nice way to structure a project, as long as you know it will not be a hybrid app.

    Avatar of Hevelop
    Hevelop uses RequireJSRequireJS

    RequireJS is the main component until Magento 2.2.x for frontend development.

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    How much does Webpack cost?
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