pmuellr is Patrick Mueller, an IBMer doing dev advocate stuff for node.js on BlueMix.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More on why AMD is Not the Answer

Follow-on to Tom Dale's blog post "AMD is Not the Answer" and James Burke's response "Reply to Tom on AMD". I pretty much concur with everything Tom said. Here are some points brought up by James:

need an alternative

James says:

what is missing is a solid alternative to AMD. In particular, "use build tools to wrap up CommonJS modules" is not a generic solution. It does not allow for generic dynamic loading of resources, particularly from CDNs. Dynamic loading is needed for big sites that still do builds but want to stage loading of the site as the user uses it.

I don't think using build tools precludes you from building wads of modules that can be loaded dynamically. Generic solutions bother me. See: J2EE.


James says:

On his concern about too much ceremony -- this is the minimum amount of ceremony:

    define(function(require) {
        //Module code in here

On the other hand, here's some code pulled from dijit.Calendar.js:

        "dojo/_base/array", //
        "dojo/_base/declare", // declare
        "dojo/dom-attr", // domAttr.get
        "dojo/dom-class", // domClass.add domClass.contains domClass.remove domClass.toggle
        "dojo/_base/event", // event.stop
        "dojo/_base/kernel", // kernel.deprecated
        "dojo/keys", // keys
        "dojo/_base/lang", // lang.hitch
        "dojo/sniff", // has("ie")
    ], function(array, date, local, declare, domAttr, domClass, event, kernel, keys, lang, has,
                CalendarLite, _Widget, _CssStateMixin, _TemplatedMixin, DropDownButton){
        //Module code in here

This isn't just ceremony. It's ugly ceremony of the sort that's difficult to debug when you screw up.

module consumption

James says:

the alternative he mentions does not handle the breadth of JS module consumption

The simple require()y story of npm modules seems to handle the JS module consumption pretty well, for node.js. For the browser, you can use npm modules with Browserify or other "build tools". Where is the equivalent of npm for AMD? Or maybe npm already contains AMD modules? Or let's say I want to just use a single module out of Dojo in my app. How do I do that?