Monday, February 14, 2011

RequireJS 0.23.0 Released

RequireJS 0.23.0 is available for download.

  • The baseUrl defaults have changed. This will likely be the biggest impact, and may require a change in your code.
  • Node is now the default JS engine used for the optimizer. It is blazing fast. However, not everyone can switch to the new hotness, so it is still possible to run the optimizer in Java/Rhino. But Node is the default, so if you use and want to use Java, update to
  • UglifyJS is the default minifier for the optimizer, since it runs in both Node and Rhino.
  • The Node adapter is updated and should match Node's native behavior for any npm-installed module, but see the release notes for more detail.
See the release notes for more information.

The env plugin

One of my favorite things in this release is how the optimizer can run on either Node or Rhino. The optimizer is structured as a set of RequireJS modules and a new plugin: the env loader plugin. That plugin tells RequireJS to load a particular module based on the environment that is running RequireJS.

To indicate a module dependency that varies based on the environment, modules use dependencies that look like "env!env/file", and the env loader plugin will load "node/file" if in Node or "rhino/file" if in Rhino.

While the env plugin in its current form is not ready for outside use (in particular it needs more work to be useful in an optimizer build), I believe it shows the way forward for doing environment-based branching of module loading. In particular, it can be seen as a great alternative to the concept of "overlays" that have come up in some approaches to CommonJS packages.

jQuery integration

The integrated jQuery+RequireJS file has not been updated to jQuery 1.5.0 yet. I want to wait for jQuery 1.5.1 since it may contain a fix related to jQuery.readyWait which is used by RequireJS.

Next up

With the conversion to using Node as the default optimizer engine, the code is one step closer to a 1.0 release.

I want to do another release that breaks out the text, i18n and order plugins into a separate repo or repos. Right now they have a magic status that will cause problems in the long run.

I also want to deliver the optimizer just as one script file, instead of a small collection of modules as it is now. This is possible since the optimizer is written as RequireJS modules/loader plugins, and not something that would be easy to do if they were CommonJS modules. I may punt on this though in the interest of getting to 1.0 sooner.

It may also make sense to break out the optimizer into its own repo, but again I may punt on that to reach 1.0 faster.

So hopefully just one or two more releases before going to 1.0. Depending on the timing of jQuery 1.5.1, there may be one additional release in that set.