Referencing external libraries and UI components in vanilla JS project

Hi everyone,
I’m building a Chrome extension in vanilla JS, HTML, and CSS. The problem is that I’m having trouble using external libraries (e.g. Material Design components) since I’m unable to follow the usage instructions provided in the documentation. Things like import or require always throw an error.
As a concrete example, I’m trying to use Material’s switch component, but in order for it to actually function, I need to add some Javascript and this is where I hit a brick wall since non of the options seem to apply to me.
What is generally the right way to set up a project like this? It seems like such an unnecessary hassle everytime I try to reference or use some external component. Should I just use something like React?
You can find the whole project on GitHub.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

I haven’t really developed any Chrome extension, but buy the look of it seems like you can either

  • download (minified) JS plugin, add it into your extension folder and then reference it in your manifest.json

  • develop your extension with a bundle manager like WebPack or Parcel, and ship a single JS file with all the external JS dependencies.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Could you please elaborate on the first option?

Guess you could download/clone the repo, grab the JS file you need and add it into your extension folder.
It’s a bit “old school” but I guess it’s doable

<script type="module">
  import { myFunction } from './module.js'

You need to specify type="module" in the HTML

Then if you want external libraries, you just import them :man_shrugging: Use this to find them and check they work (just directly from NPM or even Unpkg won’t work for most things, the ecosystem is only moving veeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrry gradually towards ES6 modules as standard):

Note that import requires the file type, you can’t do import foo from "./foo-module" it has to be "./foo-module.js". Being allowed to miss off the qualifier is just a module bundler “feature” to make them work visually like Node CommonJS modules, it isn’t part of the JS spec at all

Referencing the script as a module enables import. However, I couldn’t get the import form Skypack to work. I found Material’s switch component on Skypack here. I’m able to run it in the browser, but the Chrome extension generates the following error:


Ah, I just specified how it would work normally, I’ve never built a Chrome extension and assumed they worked the same way. Have you read how Chrome extensions work? They can’t reference external scripts at all, it has to be contained in a single webpage, so you can’t do what you were trying to do anyway, you have to really package it up into a single script

So I guess what you’re saying goes along the lines of what @Marmiz mentioned about using Webpack?

Or Rollup or similar, so yes, unfortunately I don’t think there’s a way around this.

Edit: You can download the actual packages you need from skypack and put them in your packages folder and reference them as above, that should work

I don’t see an option to download the package. Am I overlooking something?

Ah sorry I meant NPM. Issue you’ll have is that if it hasn’t been written as JS modules then it won’t work as an module, so you’ll need to use a bundling tool like Rollup that emits a standalone JS module. This isn’t trivial and it’s easy to make errors, so it’s much easier to just use Webpack/Rollup to build your whole project and have it emit a single bundle with all your code

My personal preference goes to ParcelJS, it’s probably the easiest bundler I have tried so far.

Good luck and happy coding :slight_smile:

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This! I’ve integrated ParcelJS into my project and so far it’s working like a charm. Having to mess around with Webpack was such a pain.

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