2.0.0 • Public • Published


Pods.js is a tiny synchronous module definition and dependency management library, built around a familiar define/require interface. Pods are designed to provide a light-weight manager for organizing collections of related module components. Pods are a great way to break up a large compiled application codebase into managed modules. The synchronous nature of Pods also makes their benefits orthogonal to that of an AMD system such as RequireJS; it can still be useful to break down large AMD application modules into locally-scoped component clusters.

The Pod API has three methods: define, declare, and require. Pods may be instanced, each instance will manage its own collection of modules. Modules may also be managed through the static Pod interface.

// Manage using constructed pod instances:
var p = new Pod();
p.define("module", {});
p.declare("jquery", $);
// Manage through the static library instance:
Pod.define("module", {});
Pod.declare("jquery", $);

Note that all Pod instances and the static Pod object will each manage their own unique module collections. A module defined in one Pod instance will not be available to other Pods.


The define method creates a module definition.

Pod.define( "moduleId", [dependencies]?, exports );
  • "moduleId" : Required. Unique string identifier for this module.
  • [dependencies]? : Optional. Array of dependency module ids to be required and injected into the module's scope.
  • exports : Required. An export object for the module, or a factory function used to build the module export. A factory function should receive arguments mapped to the module's dependencies.

The complete usage of define allows:

var p = new Pod();
// 1) Define a module with a plain exports object.
p.define("module", {});
// 2) Define a module with a factory function.
p.define("module1", function() {
    return {};
// 3) Define a module with a single dependency and factory function.
p.define("module2", ["module1"], function( mod1 ) {
    return {};
// 4) Define a module with multiple dependencies and a factory function.
p.define("main", ["module1", "module2"], function( mod1, mod2 ) {
    return {};
// Require a module to load it...

While listing module dependencies, you may include "pod" as an identifier to have the managing Pod instance provide a reference to itself:

var p = new Pod();
p.require(["pod"], function( pod ) {
    console.log(pod === p); // true

Modules may be defined in any order, however, all define calls should precede your first require call. A good practice is to define a "main" module for launching your application, and then require "main" as your final line of code. For example, here's a simple modular application pattern:

// 1) Create an application scope and pod instance...
(function() {
    var p = new Pod();
    // 2) Define all application modules...
    p.define("module1", function() {
        return {};
    p.define("module2", function() {
        return {};
    // 3) Define a "main" module used to launch your app...
    p.define("main", ["module1", "module2"], function( mod1, mod2 ) {
        // Launch application!
    // 4) Require "main"...


The declare method is a convenient way to quickly define one or more object literals. When using declare, functions will be treated as export objects rather than as factory functions. Use this method to safely declare third-party libraries as managed modules.

Pod.declare( "moduleId", exports );
// OR:
Pod.declare( exportsMap );
  • "moduleId" : Unique string identifier for the declared module.
  • exports : An export object for the module. The provided object will be set as the module's definitive export value; if a function is provided as the export, it will be preserved rather than being used as the module's factory.
  • exportsMap : An object with key-value pairs mapping multiple module ids to their related exports.

The complete usage of declare allows:

var p = new Pod();
// 1) Safely declare any object type (including functions/libraries) as module exports.
// (note that the root jQuery object is a *function*...)
p.declare("jquery", $);
// 2) Declare multiple exports as a map of key-value pairs.
    "backbone": Backbone,
    "jquery": $,
    "underscore": _

Why declare third-party libraries rather than using define? jQuery is a great example: the root jQuery object is actually a function. In order to define jQuery, we'd need to wrap it in a factory function to safely export it. The declare method does this for us, like so:

Pod.define("jquery", function() {
    return $;
// is identical to...
Pod.declare("jquery", $);


The require method builds/accesses a module or collection of modules. Modules and their dependencies are built the first time they are required. Built modules are returned by the require method, and injected into an optional callback.

var module = Pod.require( ["moduleId"], callbackFunction? );
  • ["moduleId"] : Required. The string identifier of a single module, or an array of module ids.
  • callbackFunction? : Optional. Callback function into which the required modules are injected. Provide mapped arguments.
  • return : A single module is returned when a single id string is required; an array of modules is returned when an array of module ids are required.

The complete usage of require allows:

var p = new Pod();
p.define('module1', {});
p.define('module2', {});
// 1) Return a single module by direct id reference.
var module = p.require('module1');
// 2) Inject a single module as an argument of a callback function.
p.require('module1', function( mod1 ) {
    // do stuff.
// 3) Return an array of modules mapped to a list of required ids.
var moduleArray = p.require(['module1', 'module2']);
// 4) Inject a collection of modules as arguments of a callback function.
p.require(['module1', 'module2'], function( mod1, mod2 ) {
    // do stuff.
// 5) OR, do all of the above... return AND inject one or more modules with a single require call.
var moduleArray = p.require(['module1', 'module2'], function( mod1, mod2 ) {
    // do stuff.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Pods do not care to figure it out, so they'll throw an exception when a circular reference is required. Avoid circular references; you should be rethinking your organization anyway if you encounter this problem.


  • Support for elevating MMD/Pods methods to global scope has been officially deprecated as of version 2. Pods are specifically intended to be used as instances.

  • Happy building, and have fun!




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