Using JavaScript modules embedded in HTML

Today I came across this interesting article by Manuel Matuzović. The whole post is a nice read, but one nice trick jumped out for me. Manuel is “cutting the mustard”[1] using this little embedded JavaScript snippet:

<script type="module">

Using the type="module" attribute makes sure that only modern browsers with JavaScript module support run this snippet. Nifty!

I had never come across a <script> element with a type="module" attribute that was not linking to the URI of an external script and I was wondering if this was some sort of hack. So I tried the following snippet.

<script type="module">
const body = document.body; = 'deeppink';
// beautiful
<script type="module"> = 'purple';
// Uncaught ReferenceError: body is not defined

A const body defined in the first module is available only in that module and trying to use it in the second module results in an Uncaught ReferenceError: body is not defined. So of course it is not a hack. It is behaving exactly as you would expect.

  1. The original website no longer exists 😔. Thankfully there's the Internet Archive. ↩︎

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