Maven like dependency management for browsers

Behrang Saeedzadeh behrangsa at
Fri Jul 31 10:50:16 UTC 2015

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
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

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>

> 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>
> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> 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
> _______________________________________________
>> es-discuss mailing list
>> es-discuss at
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Best regards,
Behrang Saeedzadeh
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