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  • Integrating Angular modules into the AMD pattern is not impossible, but it’s a bit…
  • No – Don’t use require.js OR browserify with Angular.JS there is simply no need to do that – AngularJS has a module system and using another module system above it will make your life unnecessarily hard.
  • You can see that we are depending on “firstModule” file to be injected before the content of the RequireJS callback can be executed which needs “first” AngularJS module to be loaded to create “second” AngularJS module.
  • Using RequireJS with AngularJS makes sense but only if you understand how each of them works regarding dependency injection , as although both of them injects dependencies, they inject very different things.
  • Angulars module system has no opinion on this.

I’m a newbie to Angular.js and trying to understand how it’s different from Backbone.js… We used to manage our packages dependencies with Require.js while using Backbone. Does it make sense to do the same with Angular.js?

@JavascriptQnA: Does it make sense to use Require.js with Angular.js? #javascript #requirejs #angularjs

To restate what I think the OP’s question really is:

Or, put another way:

And I believe the basic answer to that is: “not unless you’ve got something else going on, and/or you’re unable to use newer, more modern tools.”

Let’s be clear at the outset: RequireJS is a great tool that solved some very important problems, and started us down the road that we’re on, toward more scalable, more professional Javascript applications. Importantly, it was the first time many people encountered the concept of modularization and of getting things out of global scope. So, if you’re going to build a Javascript application that needs to scale, then Require and the AMD pattern are not bad tools for doing that.

But, is there anything particular about Angular that makes Require/AMD a particularly good fit? No. In fact, Angular provides you with its own modularization and encapsulation pattern, which in many ways renders redundant the basic modularization features of AMD. And, integrating Angular modules into the AMD pattern is not impossible, but it’s a bit… finicky. You’ll definitely be spending time getting the two patterns to integrate nicely.

For some perspective from the Angular team itself, there’s this, from Brian Ford, author of the Angular Batarang and now a member of the Angular core team:

So, on the very specific question of AngularJS: Angular and Require/AMD are orthogonal, and in places overlapping. You can use them together, but there’s no reason specifically related to the nature/patterns of Angular itself.

But what about basic management of internal and external dependencies for scalable Javascript applications? Doesn’t Require do something really critical for me there?

I recommend checking out Bower and NPM, and particularly NPM. I’m not trying to start a holy war about the comparative benefits of these tools. I merely want to say: there are other ways to skin that cat, and those ways may be even better than AMD/Require. (They certainly have much more popular momentum in late-2015, particularly NPM, combined with ES6 or CommonJS modules. See related SO question.)

Note that lazy-loading and lazy-downloading are different. Angular’s lazy-loading doesn’t mean you’re pulling them direct from the server. In a Yeoman-style application with javascript automation, you’re concatenating and minifying the whole shebang together into a single file. They’re present, but not executed/instantiated until needed. The speed and bandwidth improvements you get from doing this vastly, vastly outweigh any alleged improvements from lazy-downloading a particular 20-line controller. In fact, the wasted network latency and transmission overhead for that controller is going to be an order of magnitude greater than the size of the controller itself.

But let’s say you really do need lazy-downloading, perhaps for infrequently-used pieces of your application, such as an admin interface. That’s a very legitimate case. Require can indeed do that for you. But there are also many other, potentially more flexible options that accomplish the same thing. And Angular 2.0 will apparently take care of this for us, built-in to the router. (Details.)

But what about during development on my local dev boxen?

How can I get all my dozens/hundreds of script files loaded without needing to attach them all to index.html manually?

Have a look at the sub-generators in Yeoman’s generator-angular, or at the automation patterns embodied in generator-gulp-angular, or at the standard Webpack automation for React. These provide you a clean, scalable way to either: automatically attach the files at the time that components are scaffolded, or to simply grab them all automatically if they are present in certain folders/match certain glob-patterns. You never again need to think about your own script-loading once you’ve got the latter options.

Require is a great tool, for certain things. But go with the grain whenever possible, and separate your concerns whenever possible. Let Angular worry about Angular’s own modularization pattern, and consider using ES6 modules or CommonJS as a general modularization pattern. Let modern automation tools worry about script-loading and dependency-management. And take care of async lazy-loading in a granular way, rather than by tangling it up with the other two concerns.

That said, if you’re developing Angular apps but can’t install Node on your machine to use Javascript automation tools for some reason, then Require may be a good alternate solution. And I’ve seen really elaborate setups where people want to dynamically load Angular components that each declare their own dependencies or something. And while I’d probably try to solve that problem another way, I can see the merits of the idea, for that very particular situation.

But otherwise… when starting from scratch with a new Angular application and flexibility to create a modern automation environment… you’ve got a lot of other, more flexible, more modern options.

Using RequireJS with AngularJS makes sense but only if you understand how each of them works regarding dependency injection, as although both of them injects dependencies, they inject very different things.

AngularJS has its own dependency system that let you inject AngularJS modules to a newly created module in order to reuse implementations. Let’s say you created a “first” module that implements an AngularJS filter “greet”:

And now let’s say you want to use the “greet” filter in another module called “second” that implements a “goodbye” filter. You may do that injecting the “first” module to the “second” module:

In that sense, here is where RequireJS can help you as RequireJS provides a clean way to inject scripts to the page helping you organize script dependencies between each other.

Going back to the “first” and “second” AngularJS modules, here is how you can do it using RequireJS separating the modules on different files to leverage script dependencies loading:

You can see that we are depending on “firstModule” file to be injected before the content of the RequireJS callback can be executed which needs “first” AngularJS module to be loaded to create “second” AngularJS module.

Side note: Injecting “angular” on the “firstModule” and “secondModule” files as dependency is required in order to use AngularJS inside the RequireJS callback function and it have to be configured on RequireJS config to map “angular” to the library code. You may have AngularJS loaded to the page in a traditional manner too (script tag) although defeats RequireJS benefits.

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