Lightweight-ish require.js replacement

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import browserRequirifier from '';



Yet another attempt to put commonjs modules in the browser


I made this (and didn't use require.js) for the following reasons:

  • I wanted to be able to require directories in the browser (See requirifier-requiredir)
  • I wanted sane error reports, none of that bundled single-file-javascript BS
  • I wanted a way to easily load modules only for pages that needed them. None of that "Load EVERYTHING even if you're only on the home page" crap
  • I wanted __filename and __dirname to work (mostly because of requirifier-requiredir)
  • Most "established" libraries are big, bloated, and scary to me
  • I suffer from NIH syndrome

So how do I use it?

  1. Prepare
    • Create a file called browser-requirifier-config.json in your project directory with contents following this example:
    "moduleList": {
        // This is required!
        "main": {
            // If a directory is specified, recursion will happen
            "includedFiles": [
            // This is optional
            "copyVerbatim": [
            // You don't need to specify a module's dependencies, that'll happen automatically. But you have to specify YOUR dependencies
            "dependencies": [
            "startPoint": "browser.js"
        // This is optional, name of list can be arbitrary;
        // As long as they're url-safe and filename-safe
        "$otherList": {
            "includedFiles": [
            "dependencies": [
            "startPoint": "some_subpage.js"
        // More lists can be added
    // List of files/folders to ignore
    "excludedFiles": [
    "outputDir": "www_files/js",
    "baseURL": "/js/"
  1. Execute browser-requirifier (assuming this is globally installed) in your working directory.
  2. Observe the files placed in your outputDir
    • requirifier-init.js - Needed for everything.
    • global-this-shim.js - Needed for edge because it's special.
    • All your files specified in your list - edited so that they can be loaded by requirifier-init.js
    • requirifier-module-list-main.js - Contains the list of modules specified in moduleList.main.includedFiles. moduleList.main.startPoint will be executed once DOMContentLoaded happens.
    • requirifier-module-list-$otherList.js - Contains the list of modules specified in moduleList.$otherList.includedFiles. moduleList.$otherList.startPoint will be executed syncronously after moduleList.main.startPoint
    • Note: If you're importing multiple optional lists at once, order of execution is undefined
  3. Upload to your server following what you specified in baseURL
  4. Include in your HTML as needed!


This require() implementation is different from NodeJS's in the following ways:

  • There really aren't any "Module Objects" per-say, what's exposed to you are standard objects.
  • require.main doesn't work
  • module.children doesn't work
  • module.paths doesn't work
  • module.require doesn't work
  • Deleting whatevers in require.cache won't reload the file, it'll just re-execute the file.

Everything else is (more or less) functionally identical.

I don't want to re-define what files I upload for each project that shares dependencies

Good thing this thing can read package.json files! You can add a browserRequirifier field with the following properties:

  • verbatim - Files/folders to copy, Compiled WASM or other binary files come to mind. Empty by default
  • include - Files/folders to include. Whatever's in main or browser will always get included automatically. If nothing else is required, set this to an empty array, because it includes all *.js and *.json files by default.
  • exclude - Files/folders to ignore. Your test folder should be in here. Empty by default
  • excludedDependencies - Dependencies to ignore. Server-only stuff should be here.

Other notes

  • This package isn't intended to provide or bundle the code neccisary to use standard node libraries in the browser. You can check out what browserify uses for that. Now, you might be wondering, why don't I just use browserify? ... Shut up.