Converting CommonJS modules into AMD format


Amdee is a command-line tool for converting Node style packages into client-side scripts that cooperates with (requireJS)[].

The difference between Amdee and other systems like Browserify is that Amdee does not compile everything into a single script; it compiles only the files within the current node module into a single script, and expects requireJS to serve the external modules.

Amdee also provides many (but not all) core modules from Node for the client-side as well.

Amdee will convert a script, along with its relative dependencies within a package, into a single javascript file. All of the relative dependencies will be resolved to pure javascript variable, i.e.,

// main
var Foo = require('./foo');

will be compiled into something equivalent to the following

// foo_module

var foo_module = (function () { /* foo module definition */ })();

// main_module
var main_module = (function() {
  var Foo = foo_module; // require is parsed out from above

External modules will be left along and loaded as separate scripts via AMD mechanism. For exmaple:

// require jQuery
var $ = require('jquery'); // this is an external module.

Will be compiled as following

define(['jquery'], function(require, exports, module) {

    var $ = require('jquery');

And then you can setup the shim for requireJS as following:

    "path": {
        "jquery": "http://..."
    "shim": {
        "jquery": {
            "deps": [],
            "exports": "jQuery"

The config object for requireJS can be passed into the requirejs attribute of the function, which is further described below.

$ npm install -g amdee

On Command line:

$ amdee --source <module_file> --target <output_file>

In Node program (below is written in coffee-script with expressjs)

express = require 'express'
amdee = require 'amdee'
app = express()

app.configure ->
  # ...
    source: './client/'
    target: './public/js/main.js'
    watch: true
    requirejs: # add requireJS's config here; will be written to main.js
        jquery: ''
        'jquery.livequery': ''
        'jquery.address': ''
          deps: []
          exports: 'jQuery'
        'jquery.livequery': ['jquery']
        'jquery.address': ['jquery']

The watch: true setting will ensure that if & its relative dependencies are changed, main.js will be recompiled.

Ensure your to include the needed dependencies the usual way.

$ = require 'jquery'
require 'jquery.address' # plugin does not return object
require 'jquery.livequery'

# add relative dependencies within the module

# ... your code ...

Any relative dependencies will be resolved into the same file, whereas the external dependencies will be loaded as separate scripts.


Amdee is released under MIT License.

Node Core Modules

  • Buffer - not available in browser
  • child_process - not available
  • cluster - not available in browser
  • crypto - not available
  • dns - not available
  • domain - not available
  • EventEmitter - available
  • fs - not available
  • globals
    • process - might not make sense
    • console - certainly needed
    • require - yes definitely needed
    • __filename
    • __dirname
    • module
    • exports
    • setTimeout
    • clearTimeout
    • setInterval
    • clearInterval
  • http - not sure if make sense, but partial request & response do
  • https - same thing
  • net - same thing
  • os - might not make sense either.
  • path - some of the capabilities make sense; but not sure all of it...
  • process - not sure...
  • punycode - don't even know what this does...
  • querstring - available
  • readline - not available
  • console - yes
  • stream - not available
  • string_decoder - not available
  • ssl - not available
  • udp - not available
  • url - yes
  • util - yes
  • vm - not avialable
  • zlib - not available