Require.js optimizer

This article will help you understand the RequireJS optimizer. An introductory article about RequireJS dependency management can be found in part 1 of the series.

Table of contents #

  1. Introduction
  2. Require.js optimizer
  3. Require.js optimizer dump dependencies to single file

Introduction #

James Burke recommends using node.js for optimizing and building your code. Make sure you have node.js installed on your machine. You can download node.js from here.

Require.js optimizer #

Create your build script file on following location [webapp/build/build.js]

|-[wepapp]
|--- [build]
|----- r.js
|----- build.js
|----- build.single.js
|--- [js]
|------ [app]
|------ [lib]
|--------- jquery.js
|----- app.js
|----- app-built.js*
|-index.html
|-readme.md

Build your application with node.js and r.js executing the following command

node r.js -o build.js

The following are examples of how to build an application with RequireJS.

Example 1: Optimize modules

Main module app.js has many dependencies and we want to bundle all that dependencies into single file. Mark modules for optimization in modules array of configuration object inside build.js. First example will contain only one module for optimization [webapp/js/app.js].

Paste the following code to your build.js file.

{
baseUrl: "js/lib",
appDir: "..",
dir: "dist",

modules: [
{ name: "app" }
],

paths: {
app: '../app',
jquery: 'jquery'
}
}

appDir - Telling us where webapp root directory is located relative to build.js script.

dir - Output directory relative to build.js

Console output of build.js

Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/build/r.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/app/category/category.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/app/category/item.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/app/category/specialItem.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/app.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/lib/jquery.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/lib/require.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/lib/text.js

js/app.js
----------------
js/lib/jquery.js
js/app/category/category.js
js/app/category/item.js
js/app/category/specialItem.js
js/app.js

All [webapp/js/app.js] dependencies are now minified with Uglify.js and concatenated into single file. But what happened with individual modules? Module [webapp/js/app/category/specialItem.js] has a dependency [webapp/js/app/category/Item.js]. Open your optimized [webapp/js/app/category/specialItem.js] and pass it to beautifier. As you can see from the output [js/app/category/item.js] is not bundled with [js/app/category/specialItem.js] file.

Optimized module:

define(["./item"], function (Item) {
var SpecialItem = function (itemName) {
this.color = "Default color", this.weigth = "Default weigth", Item.call(this, itemName)
};
return SpecialItem.prototype = new Item, SpecialItem.prototype.constructor = SpecialItem, SpecialItem
})

Example 2: Optimize additional modules

In this example we will add [webapp/js/app/category/specialItem.js] to modules array of build.js configuration object.

Paste following code to your build.js file.

{
baseUrl: "js/lib",
appDir: "..",
dir: "dist",

modules: [
{ name: "app" },
{ name: "app/category/specialItem" }
],

paths: {
app: '../app',
jquery: 'jquery'
}
}

Console output of build.js

Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/build/r.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/app/category/category.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/app/category/item.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/app/category/specialItem.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/app.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/lib/jquery.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/lib/require.js
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/dist/js/lib/text.js

js/app.js
----------------
js/lib/jquery.js
js/app/category/category.js
js/app/category/item.js
js/app/category/specialItem.js
js/app.js

js/app/category/specialItem.js
----------------
js/app/category/item.js
js/app/category/specialItem.js

Now [js/app/category/item.js] is bundled with [js/app/category/specialItem.js] module.

Optimized module:

define("app/category/item", [], function () {
var Item = function (itemName) {
this.name = itemName
};
return Item.prototype.getItemName = function () {
return this.name
}, Item
}), define("app/category/specialItem", ["./item"], function (Item) {
var SpecialItem = function (itemName) {
this.color = "Default color", this.weigth = "Default weigth", Item.call(this, itemName)
};
return SpecialItem.prototype = new Item, SpecialItem.prototype.constructor = SpecialItem, SpecialItem
})

Require.js optimizer compile dependencies to single file #

Paste the following code to your build.single.js file.

{
baseUrl: "../js/lib",
name: "../app",
out: "app-built.js",

paths: {
app: '../app',
jquery: 'jquery',
}
}

name - Location of module to be exported as a single file with all dependencies.

out - File app-built.js is created.

Console output of build.single.js:

 Tracing dependencies for: ../app
Uglifying file: C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/app-built.js

C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/build/app-built.js
----------------
C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/js/lib/jquery.js
C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/js/app/category/category.js
C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/js/app/category/item.js
C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/js/app/category/specialItem.js
C:/vlada/practice/require/webapp/js/lib/../app.js

All of our modules are now glued together into single [webapp/build/app-built.js] file.

Source code listing #

build.js

{
baseUrl: "js/lib",
appDir: "..",
dir: "dist",

modules: [
{ name: "app" },
{ name: "app/category/specialItem" }
],

paths: {
app: '../app',
jquery: 'jquery'
}
}

build.single.js

{
baseUrl: "../js/lib",
name: "../app",
out: "app-built.js",

paths: {
app: '../app',
jquery: 'jquery'
}
}

In the RequireJS tutorial part 3 I will talk about RequireJS integration with Backbone, Handlebars and jQuery with Require.js. Stay tuned :)

References

  1. http://requirejs.org/docs/optimization.html
  2. https://github.com/jrburke/r.js/blob/master/build/example.build.js

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Date: 2013