How to Handle External Dependencies With Webpack?

10 minutes read

When working with webpack, handling external dependencies can be done using the "externals" configuration option. This option allows you to specify which dependencies should not be bundled by webpack but instead be provided by an external source, such as a CDN or another script file.


To use this option, you simply define an object where the key is the name of the dependency as it would be imported in your code, and the value is the variable name that should be available in the global scope. For example, if you wanted to use the "jQuery" library as an external dependency, you would set it up like this:


externals: { jquery: 'jQuery' }


This tells webpack that whenever it encounters the "import 'jquery'" statement in your code, it should not include jQuery in the bundle but instead expect it to be available as a global variable named "jQuery".


By using externals, you can reduce the size of your bundle and improve loading times by offloading certain dependencies to external sources. Just be aware that relying on external dependencies introduces potential risks related to versioning and availability, so it's important to carefully consider which dependencies should be externalized in your webpack configuration.

Best Javascript Books to Read in 2024

1
JavaScript: The Comprehensive Guide to Learning Professional JavaScript Programming (The Rheinwerk Computing)

Rating is 5 out of 5

JavaScript: The Comprehensive Guide to Learning Professional JavaScript Programming (The Rheinwerk Computing)

2
JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Master the World's Most-Used Programming Language

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Master the World's Most-Used Programming Language

3
JavaScript from Beginner to Professional: Learn JavaScript quickly by building fun, interactive, and dynamic web apps, games, and pages

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

JavaScript from Beginner to Professional: Learn JavaScript quickly by building fun, interactive, and dynamic web apps, games, and pages

4
Head First JavaScript Programming: A Brain-Friendly Guide

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Head First JavaScript Programming: A Brain-Friendly Guide

5
Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set

6
Learning JavaScript Design Patterns: A JavaScript and React Developer's Guide

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns: A JavaScript and React Developer's Guide

7
JavaScript All-in-One For Dummies

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

JavaScript All-in-One For Dummies

8
JavaScript and jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

JavaScript and jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development

9
Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition: A Modern Introduction to Programming

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition: A Modern Introduction to Programming


How to handle peer dependencies in webpack?

There are several ways to handle peer dependencies in webpack:

  1. Install the peer dependencies separately: If a package has peer dependencies, you can install them separately using npm or yarn.
  2. Use the IgnorePlugin: The IgnorePlugin allows you to ignore certain modules when they are required. You can use this plugin to ignore peer dependencies that are not necessary for your project.
  3. Use Aliases: If you don't want to ignore peer dependencies completely, you can use aliases in your webpack configuration to point to the peer dependencies that are already installed in your project.
  4. Use ProvidePlugin: If the peer dependency is expected to be available globally, you can use the ProvidePlugin to make it available in your project.
  5. Use externals: You can define peer dependencies as externals in your webpack configuration to tell webpack not to bundle them but to expect them to be available at runtime.


Overall, the best approach to handling peer dependencies in webpack depends on the specific requirements of your project and how you want to interact with the peer dependencies.


What is the purpose of external dependencies in webpack?

External dependencies in webpack serve the purpose of allowing developers to include and utilize code that is not part of their own project in their webpack bundle. This could include libraries, frameworks, or modules that are needed for the project to function properly. By defining external dependencies, developers can avoid bundling this code into their own bundle, and instead rely on external sources to provide the necessary functionality. This can help reduce the size of the bundle and improve performance by offloading the responsibility of serving these assets to external sources.


How to bundle external dependencies only when needed in webpack?

You can use webpack's code splitting feature along with dynamic imports to bundle external dependencies only when needed.


Here's an example:

  1. Install the necessary plugins:
1
npm install --save-dev @babel/plugin-syntax-dynamic-import


  1. Update your webpack configuration to include the dynamic import plugin:
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
module.exports = {
  // other configurations
  
  module: {
    rules: [
      {
        test: /\.js$/,
        exclude: /node_modules/,
        use: {
          loader: 'babel-loader',
          options: {
            plugins: ['@babel/plugin-syntax-dynamic-import'],
          }
        }
      }
    ]
  }
};


  1. Use dynamic imports in your code to load external dependencies only when needed:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
// Load external dependency only when needed
const handleClick = async () => {
  const module = await import('external-library');
  module.doSomething();
};

document.querySelector('button').addEventListener('click', handleClick);


By using dynamic imports, webpack will create separate bundles for the external dependencies that are only loaded when needed. This can help reduce the initial load time of your application and improve performance.


How to handle external dependencies in webpack?

When handling external dependencies in webpack, you have a few options to choose from:

  1. Using the externals configuration option: You can use the externals configuration option in your webpack configuration file to specify which modules should be treated as external dependencies. This tells webpack not to bundle these modules, but rather to expect them to be available in the environment (e.g. as global variables).
1
2
3
4
5
module.exports = {
  externals: {
    jquery: 'jQuery'
  }
};


  1. Using the ProvidePlugin: If your external dependencies are expected to be available as global variables, you can use the ProvidePlugin to automatically import them into your modules.
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
const webpack = require('webpack');

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    new webpack.ProvidePlugin({
      $: 'jquery',
      jQuery: 'jquery'
    })
  ]
};


  1. Using a CDN: If your external dependencies are available on a CDN, you can include them directly in your HTML file and use them as global variables in your webpack build.
  2. Loading external dependencies at runtime: If none of the above methods suit your needs, you can also load external dependencies at runtime using dynamic imports or by adding script tags to your HTML file.


By choosing the appropriate method for your project, you can effectively manage and handle external dependencies in webpack.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Telegram Whatsapp Pocket

Related Posts:

To use webpack dev server, you first need to have webpack installed on your system. You can install webpack globally or add it as a dependency in your project. After installing webpack, you can install webpack dev server by running the command "npm install...
To install webpack, you can start by creating a new project directory and navigating to it in your terminal window. Next, you need to initialize a new Node.js project by running npm init -y. Once that is done, you can install webpack and webpack-cli as develop...
Webpack Encore is a simple API, built on top of Webpack, that allows you to configure Webpack in a Symfony application. With Symfony 5, the integration of Webpack Encore has become even easier.To use Webpack Encore in a Symfony 5 project, you need to first ins...