Browserify : separate app and vendor bundles

08 Feb 2016

When working with browserify, I like to separate bundles for libraries and vendor files and app. Since app bundle will change for most releases and vendor bundle will change only in couple of release and caches much longer. So for my application I have a app.js and vendor.js.

Since I have a react application, the libraries like react, redux, react-redux etc will got to vendor.js and and my components will go into app.js.

Splitting bundles in command line

We can use --external or -x option to tell browserify not to include react, redux and react-redux in app.js bundle.

./node_modules/.bin/browserify src/index.jsx -o dist/app.js -x=react -x=redux -x=react-redux -t [ babelify --presets [ es2015 react ] ]

Now our app bundle is ready. Now it’s time for vendor bundle. For that we can use --require or -r option to require all our dependencies.

./node_modules/.bin/browserify -o dist/vendor.js -r react -r redux -r react-redux

Using gulp

In gulp, you can use b.require() method for requiring modules and b.external() method for specifying vendors. I added two different tasks, one to build the vendor and one for app. I add watch only for app build for performance.

Also I keep a array for vendor libraries to specify easily in each tasks.

import gulp from 'gulp';
import browserify from 'browserify';
import babelify from 'babelify';
import source from 'vinyl-source-stream';
import buffer from 'vinyl-buffer';
import sourcemaps from 'gulp-source-maps';

const vendors = ['react', 'redux', 'react-redux'];

gulp.task('build:vendor', () => {
  const b = browserify({
    debug: true
  });

  // require all libs specified in vendors array
  vendors.forEach(lib => {
    b.require(lib);
  });

  b.bundle()
  .pipe(source('vendor.js'))
  .pipe(buffer())
  .pipe(sourcemaps.init({loadMaps: true}))
  .pipe(sourcemaps.write('./maps'))
  .pipe(gulp.dest('./dist/'))
  ;
});

gulp.task('build:app', () => {
  browserify({
    entries: ['./src/index.jsx'],
    extensions: ['.js', '.jsx'],
    debug: true
  })
  .external(vendors) // Specify all vendors as external source
  .transform(babelify)
  .bundle()
  .pipe(source('app.js'))
  .pipe(buffer())
  .pipe(sourcemaps.init({loadMaps: true}))
  .pipe(sourcemaps.write('./maps'))
  .pipe(gulp.dest('dist/'))
  ;
});

gulp.task('default', ['build:app', 'build:vendor']);

That’s it. Now we have separate builds for app and vendor.

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