Tag Archives: CommonJS

Making sense of the difference between AMD, CommonJS, RequireJS and Browserify

A colleague starting on javascript frameworks asked me what’s the difference between AMD, CommonJS, RequireJS and Browserify. He was under the impression they are 4 separate technologies so here’s a quick overview for those who might be confused. Take note this article is not meant as an in-depth discussion but more of an overview for people unfamiliar with the terms and not sure where to begin.

For a start, we need to understand they are not from the same category. Asynchronous module definition (AMD) and CommonJS are styles/specifications of writing modular code in javascript, while RequireJS and Browserify are 2 popular implementation/helper for them respectively. RequireJS allows you to work with modules the AMD way in the browser, and Browserify for the CommonJS way.


Asynchronous module definition is designed for the browser from the start. It allows your frontend application to load the starting point of your app, which in turn loads it’s dependencies on the fly. When using the requireJS implementation, it’s syntax looks like: Continue reading