Maven like dependency management for browsers

Mohan.Radhakrishnan at Mohan.Radhakrishnan at
Sun Aug 2 02:32:49 UTC 2015

But Maven has many more facilities like the 'Bill of Materials'(BOM) that doesn't need a version. Moreover the dependencies are handled based on the project lifecycles like 'compile','test' etc.

From: es-discuss [es-discuss-bounces at] on behalf of Behrang Saeedzadeh [behrangsa at]
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2015 4:20 PM
To: Sébastien Cevey; EcmaScript Discuss Mailing List
Subject: Re: Maven like dependency management for browsers

Hi Sebastien,

JSPM and SystemJS, IMHO, are not as elegant as the way Maven (Java) or Bundler (Ruby) can manage dependencies.

Apologies if the following explanation is redundant and you already know how Maven works, but just for the sake of wider audience I will briefly explain it here.

In Maven, each library is resolved by its coordinates: group id, artifact id, and version. For example, the Google Guava library is made of the following coordinates:

Group ID:<>
Artifact ID: guava<>
Version: 18.0<>

The short form notation is

Guava itself might depend on other dependencies, but you don't have to explicitly require them in your project. As long as you specify you require, all its dependencies are added to your project automatically.

Most open source libraries are available in the Maven Central repository which is enabled by default. Users can additionally specify other repositories that Maven should query in order to find libraries with specific coordinates.

In SystemJS, baseURL looks similar to the notion of a Maven repository, but it is not as elegant: you can't have multiple baseURLs (if I am not wrong), and dependencies are specified relative to the baseURL, not as absolute coordinates and not versioned.

I am looking for something similar to SystemJS that can be used like this:

    repositories: [


The call to System.import('com.modernizr:modernizr:2.8.3') will first query<> for com.modernizr:modernizr:2.8.3. If found, it will use that, if not it queries<> and then<> until it finds it or fails.

Similarly the call to System.import('com.jquery:jquery-ui:1.11.4') will do the same thing, but as jquery-ui depends on jquery, it will also download that.

One benefit of this compared to what is already out there is that at the moment if Site A uses CDN 1 for loading jQuery v1 and Site B uses CDN 2 for the same version of jQuery, the browser has to download both versions. But with this approach, as long as both sites depend on com.jquery:jquery-ui:1.11.4 it only has to be downloaded once.

On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 7:14 PM Sébastien Cevey <seb.cevey at<mailto:seb.cevey at>> wrote:
Hi Behrang,

Have you had a look at JSPM and SystemJS? They cover similar grounds in userspace, with the intent for SystemJS to be the upcoming standard Module Loader.

On Thu, 30 Jul 2015 at 09:59 Behrang Saeedzadeh <behrangsa at<mailto:behrangsa at>> wrote:

Has this been discussed before? In a nutshell this diagram illustrates the idea:

  *   Rather than referencing a url in <script> or <style> tags, we require the browser to load name-spaced, versioned libraries. For example: com.jquery:jquery:1.0.
  *   This can either be done using the <script>/<style> tags similar to <script module="com.jquery:jquery:1.0"/> or <style module="com.jquery:jquery:1.0" /> or probably programmatically too: (in a JS file: require "com.jquery:jquery:1.0")
  *   There will be a central placed governed by W3C, for example, that can host libraries. Third-party repositories could also exist and be used (e.g. <script module="com.jquery:jquery:1.0" repository="<>"/>
  *   One benefit of this is dependency management. If jquery, for example, depends on lodash, it also gets downloaded and loaded automatically.

This is just the core of the idea. Nothing new (already similar systems are available for Java, Node, .NET, Ruby, etc.) but this will bring it to the web.

What do you think?
Best regards,
Behrang Saeedzadeh
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Best regards,
Behrang Saeedzadeh
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