Olegs Jeremejevs Olegs Jeremejevs - 2 months ago 11
Javascript Question

Webpack import returns undefined, depending on the order of imports

I'm using webpack + babel. I have three modules looking like this:

// A.js

// some other imports here
console.log('A');
export default 'some-const';

// B.js

import someConst from './A';
console.log('B', someConst);
export default 'something-else';

// main.js

import someConst from './A';
import somethingElse from './B';
console.log('main', someConst);


When
main.js
is executed, I see the following:

B undefined
A
main some-const


If I swap the imports in
main.js
,
B
becoming the first, I get:

A
B some-const
main some-const


How come
B.js
gets
undefined
instead of a module in the first version? What's wrong?

Answer

After almost a full workday of narrowing down the issue (AKA hair-pulling), I've finally came to realize that I have a circular dependency.

Where it says // some other imports here, A imports another module C, which, in turn, imports B. A gets imported first in main.js, so B ends up being the last link in the "circle", and Webpack (or any CommonJS-like environment, for that matter, like Node) just short-circuits it by returning A's module.exports, which is still undefined. Eventually, it becomes equal to some-const, but the synchronous code in B ends up dealing with undefined instead.

Eliminating the circular dependency, by moving out the code that C depends on out of B, has resolved the issue. Wish Webpack would somehow warn me about this.

Edit: On the last note, as pointed out by @cookie, there's a plugin for circular dependency detection, if you'd like to avoid hitting this problem [again].

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