WWW posts

web development, my site, server, and the world wide web in general

JS: ES Modules and Node bare specifiers via response rewrite

I’ve been playing with JS lately, including ES modules and building with Rollup, Babel, and Terser, along with other accessories. One thing I’m disappointed with of ES modules in the Nodejs ecosystem is dealing with third party imports. Using the “bare” specifiers that Node expects works fine in that environment and thus tools running in it (possibly needing helpers), but they don’t work at all directly in the browser. This is discussed in this post by Jake Archibold, for instance.

Import maps are one solution in the works, but that requires explicitly mapping every dependency, which could get complicated fast when dependencies have dependencies. It also is only in draft stage and only works in Blink based browsers currently.

I eventually gave in to the idea of having server code rewrite the paths in the js file responses to point to a symlinked node_modules folder, similar to what is mentioned in this post by the Polymer project. I created a PHP test server for one of my projects that does this.

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Recaptcha and prototype.js conflict

One of Cogneato’s clients noticed that Recaptcha wasn’t working on their site. The checkbox wouldn’t check at all. I noticed that there was an error like “Unexpected token in JSON at position 0” in the browser’s console log. Since this was one of our really old sites, I figured it might have some sort of inadequate polyfill for JSON.parse(). I saw that the site was using Prototype.js, so I looked through the script to see if it was overriding that method, but it wasn’t. That did put me on the right track, though, to find the Stackoverflow answer that solved it for me.

Prototype was overriding the now browser standard reduce() method of Array.prototype with its own, incompatible functionality. The solution was simply to remove that method from the “prototype.js” file. We weren’t using the special Prototype functionality anywhere, so this didn’t cause a problem. If we were, we’d probably have to duck punch the browser’s functionality to handle both method signatures.