This is my initial idea for a requireJS module that could be used in zend framework 2. There’s not a lot of details yet, but the logic is there. Implementing this will be the easiest part, as I do believe that the architecture for this should be just right because you otherwise lose the flexibility and structure that both zend framework 2 and requireJS offer. I guess I’ll just start of by explaining my personal zend framework 2 architecture a little bit.
I do not store all of my assets in one directory.
My approach is slightly different, in the sense that I supply assets on a per module basis. Every module has a public directory, and I use AliasMatch and RewriteEngine to map requests to their assets:
So basically I rewrite requests from this “/mymodule/js/main.js” to this “/path/to/application/module/Mymodule/”. This way my modules actually supply their own assets.
The reason I started using requireJS should be obvious to everyone that knows what it is.
In case you still want to know why, it’s because I like structuring and setting up dependencies in a proper manner. This allows me to have a “main” module that will take care of global modules / dependencies such as jquery, allowing me to quickly scan for modules that don’t support jquery1.7.3 yet (example).
The problem with requireJS is the structure it expects.
With the way zf2 modules are set up the optimizer will not work. Also, being able to have one entry point (for the “main” requireJS) will be rather difficult with a bunch of modules having their own “main”. This could be solved by mapping those to the main application but then you’d not be working modular.
My solution is an implementation that will figure all of this out for you.
I was thinking of building a zf2 module with a viewhelper that allows you to register a path for your zf2 module as well as the main requireJS module. zf2 modules register requirejs modules, and at the end of the run the viewHelper will simply set up the requirejs config (paths, so that /zf2module/* links to the actually resource) and dependencies to make sure that all requirejs modules get loaded.
When enabled, this run could also automatically create a build file for requirejs. This, however, will work event based (zf2) and will ask every module for their requirejs modules (because a build takes all js). This allows you to leave out very specific requirejs modules from the build. Along with this approach, you could also have a build.json / build.js for every zf2 module which would be scooped out by the optimizer (a zf2 layer that will create the build file based on these files).
The reason I think this approach is awesome is because of its flexibility.
Simply because using this approach allows you to not have to think about your structure too much (the main goal behind requireJS and zf2 modules) and focus on doing what you know, thus your logic. It’s flexible enough for you to write your own implementations and use this the way you think fits best, while still keeping all advantages of requireJS.
Some examples, maybe?
I do not have a working module yet, as I’m still collecting feedback and ideas. I do however have some really simple uses for the view helper.
// In order to get your zf2 module's requireJS modules working, we'll have to specify the
// app.js for this zf2 module. This app.js will (as we'll be working in modules) dispatch
// the entire "application" for that specific module.
// name/app.js will automatically resolve to the correct path, as we've specified this already.
// These modules can have their own dependencies and we're not forcing you to use any specific dependency.
// This allows you to set up a module with the specific task to supply "standard" requireJS modules for your application.
I do realize this illustrates the usage for your main module view, however it might give you a better idea of the structure I’m thinking about.
Any questions, tips or feedback?
Do tell me. This is just the theory and an initial proposal. So all feedback both positive and negative are well appreciated.