First play with ES modules, rollup, webpack

I played with ES modules, rollup, and webpack on my site for the first time over the weekend. My site barely has any javascript, so it was an easy way to wade into it.

ES modules seem pretty nice in many ways. Finally, javascript has a built in way to bring in dependencies, with the synchronicity of loading sorted and each with their own scope. It’s annoying though that importing can’t be done conditionally / dynamically. For something like that, I’d have to insert <script> elements into the DOM dynamically. I think something is in the works though.

It was easy to split the main js of my site into a main entry point, two tiny modules, and some helper modules. This should make it easier to add more functionality in the future.

I tried both webpack and rollup to convert my modules to more widely compatible regular scripts, running their command line interfaces without any config file to keep things simple. Rollup with uglify made for about 500 byte smaller files and seemed a little easier to understand, so I went with that. My build script has an option to run either though, so I can switch later if I find I want webpack’s features.

In my template, I output a <script type="module"> in dev environment and a regular <script> in prod. This allows me to develop without having to compile anything; then I can compile when I’m ready to deploy to production. That allows for the same rapid workflow I use at Cogneato using require js, but without the extra module loader script and theoretically with easier setup and configuration, though my site is a little too simplistic to extrapolate to what I do at work.