pug. It is therefore a good practice to separate your code into smaller manageable chunks/files.
However, manually getting these separate files together during production can be a problem, as it could slow down your application, hence the need for bundlers. A bundler is a tool used to solve this latency issue by combining and merging your code into a single file.
Webpack works by processing your application and internally building a dependency graph which maps every module your project needs and generates one or more bundles, often just a single bundle.js file that can be plugged into the browser easily and used for the application.
It is important for pulling your resources together and providing code splitting. It is also helpful in converting embedded images into data (URL) and may perform tree shaking.
While we would like to go on and talk more about Webpack, our primary focus is to introduce you to the various alternatives to Webpack. However, you can look up the documentation for more details on the bundler. Several module bundlers provide the same functionality as Webpack. Here are the top five(5) bundlers you can use instead of Webpack:
Features of Browserify:
Here are some notable features of browserify
- Lets you use a node-style require() to organize your browser code.
- Comes with an in-built automatic build system that makes building modules fast and straightforward.
- Provides straightforward npm integrations that allow you to reuse your node code without needing a native CLI.
- Integrates with tools like Babel, jsdom, imageboss, etc.
To get started, install Browserify using the command below:
npm install browserify
First, create a
browserify js/main.js -o js/findem.js
This command reads your
main.js file and outputs it into the
findem.js file defined by the `-o’ option.
Look up the documentation for more details on the bundle.
Here are some of the notable features of ESBuild:
- Extremely fast and doesn’t require a cache
- Supports ES6 and CommonJS modules
- Can perform tree shaking of ES6 modules
- Supports TypeScript and JSX syntax
To get started, download and install ESBuild locally using the command below:
npm install esbuild
For your first bundle, create a file called
app.ts, then input this code in it:
let info: string = "Hello, esbuild!"; console.log(info);
You can bundle the TypeScript code via CLI:
esbuild app.ts --outfile=output.js --bundle
This command accepts the
app.ts file as the entry point and outputs it to the
You can look up the documentation to get more details on the bundle.
Parcel is an open-source bundler written in Rust, with support for many popular languages like Typescript and SASS, and file types like images, font, and videos. It is considered a beginner-friendly bundler as it requires zero configurations, and it builds your code in parallel using worker threads, utilizing all of the cores on your machine.
Notable features of Parcel include:
- Requires zero configuration
- Integrates with React Fast Refresh and the Vue Hot Reloading API to automatically preserve your application state between updates
- Includes an out-of-the-box development server
- Provides hot reloading, i.e., it automatically updates your code in the browser
- Comes with in-built diagnostics to notify you of errors in the terminal or browser.
To get started, install Parcel with the following command:
npm install --save-dev parcel
npx parcel src/index.html
This starts the server and tells it what file to use as the entry point. Open http://localhost:1234/ in your browser to view what you’ve built so far. You can look up the documentation for more information on the bundle.
Session Replay for Developers
Uncover frustrations, understand bugs and fix slowdowns like never before with OpenReplay — an open-source session replay suite for developers. It can be self-hosted in minutes, giving you complete control over your customer dataHappy debugging! Try using OpenReplay today.
Notable features of Rollup include:
- Optimizes ES modules for faster native loading in modern browsers
- Compiles your code to other formats such as CommonJS modules, AMD modules
- Can import existing CommonJS modules through a plugin
- Can perform three shaking
To get started, install Rollup with the following command:
npm install --global rollup
For a basic browser bundle:
# compile to a <script> containing a self-executing function ('iife') rollup main.js --file bundle.js --format iife
This command takes the
main.js as the entry point of your application and compiles all imports into a single file named
Look up the documentation for more details on the bundle
Here are some of the notable features of Vite:
- Support for CSS Preprocessors, PostCSS, and CSS modules
- Support for .tsx and .jsx files using ESBuild for transpilation
- Supports popular front-end libraries like React, Vue, and Vanilla JS through templates
- Vite provides a Hot module replacement (HMR) API over native ESM
- It includes built-in Typescript, JSX, and Sass support
To get started, create a Vite application using the following command:
npm create @vitejs/app my-vite-app
NB “my-vite-app” is the name of your Vite application.
Next, run the following commands to finish the installation:
cd vite_application npm install
Then enter this command to start the development server:
npm run dev
Look up the documentation for more information on this bundle.
Module bundlers are integral to web development as they provide reliable solutions for transforming and bundling application code to create static assets. Knowledge of various bundlers and their different features provides you with options on what bundler best fits your project.