Not too jarring

Managing web libraries as dependencies with WebJars

Elliot Bentley
webjars1

James Ward of Typesafe officially launches WebJars project, with new website and support for Java web frameworks.

With
modern websites becoming increasingly reliant on libraries like
jQuery, Bootstrap and Backbone.js, managing these components also
becomes increasingly annoying.

James Ward of Typesafe saw a parallel with the way Java libraries
were once manually downloaded before the days of managed
dependencies, and set about working on WebJars, a method for allowing the
necessary JavaScript and CSS to be packaged as Jar files.

“Why not do with web libraries like we now do with Java libraries
and specify them as managed dependencies?” he
wrote
in April. “This allows us to declaratively set the
version, use a consistent version across an application, and easily
deal with transitive dependencies.” For example, specifying
Bootstrap 2.2.1 as a dependency includes jQuery 1.8.2
automatically.

While an initial experiment was
released in April
, yesterday Ward launched a new site for the
project, webjars.org, and
released these WebJars to
Maven Central
. The new website also includes instructions for making
WebJars compatible with web frameworks such as Play 2, Spring MVC
and Servlet 3. Grails instructions are promised to be “coming
soon”.

So far there are 31 libraries already available, including
angularjs, ember.js and of course jQuery, and new frameworks
can be
requested
as an issue on GitHub. Of course, keeping these
libraries up-to-date is another story – but the open-source nature
of the project should hopefully mean others can help
contribute.

Photo by Kim
Knoch
.

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