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By mimicking node.js' require, Herluces lets you use your CommonJS packages in the browser. It even supports packages.json dependencies.

This enables you to develop and test your code server side, and bundle it for the browser later.

The code examples below are written in Coffeescript but plain Javascript will work too.

How does it work?

Hercules = require 'hercules'
bundle = Hercules.bundle '/path/to/my/package'
source = bundle.toString() # Returns a chunk of Javascript that defines this.require 

Send source to the browser (for example via express). All code run after source, will have access to a require method.

If you don't want to attach require to window you can do like this:

Hercules = require 'hercules'
bundle = Hercules.bundle '/path/to/my/package'
source = "
  (function() {
    window.MyAwesomeApp = require('.');


Add hercules to your package.json and run npm install. Then you'll be able to do require 'hercules'.


Hercules automatically add dependencies defined in your package.json (read more about package.json).

If you try to bundle a package that depends on a package that require node (defined in package.json's engines field), Hercules will throw an error. If you instead want Hercules to just ignore these packages, you can use ignoreNodePackages like this:

Hercules = require 'hercules'
bundle = Hercules.bundle '/path/to/my/package'ignoreNodePackages: true
source = bundle.toString()


If you want to play with Hercules, I recommend checking out this little example app.


Here's a list of other libraries that somehow enables you to use require in the browser.


Very elegant and simple! Unfortunately, it is based on load paths which makes its require behave different from node's. Written by one of my heroes, Sam Stephenson.


Mature solution with a lot of options and features. It doesn't handle dependencies however. It tries to do too many different things for my taste - but you might see this as an advantage.

Other alternatives I haven't tried: