Asynchronous CommonJS Modules for the Browser (and Introducing Transporter)

By on July 16, 2010 12:15 am

Modules are an integral architectural piece of robust application development since they allow individual components to be developed with proper dependency management. Modules can specify dependencies and these can be automatically resolved and loaded to bring various pieces together automatically. In application development this is vastly more scalable and easier than having to track all the different dependencies and manually load modules or insert script tags.

The CommonJS module format is increasingly ubiquitous as the de facto module format for JavaScript. However, if CommonJS modules, by themselves, are directly executed, they require synchronous loading of modules. Synchronous loading is known to be very problematic in the browser since it locks the browser user interface, requires eval-based compilation of scripts which confuses debuggers, and is less efficient than using standard script tags.