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Using jQuery mobile in a ECMAScript 6 project

Oh the pain...

I started using ECMAScript 6 in a project which required supporting the dependencies I was upgrading from. I used Babel JS to transpile my ES6 code with browserify and everything was working fine until I got to jQuery-mobile.

After a quick inspection, I see that jQuery-mobile is having trouble binding itself to the root aka this aka window object. This is because the way jQuery-mobile is wrapped in a block where this is undefined because the code is not being executed in the assumed scope.


(function (global){
;__browserify_shim_require__=require;(function browserifyShim(module, exports, require, define, browserify_shim__define__module__export__) {
"use strict";(function(root, doc, factory){if(typeof define === "function" && define.amd){define(["jquery"], function($){factory($, root, doc);return $.mobile;});}else {factory(root.jQuery, root, doc);}})(undefined || window, document, function(jQuery, window, document, undefine) {

* jQuery Mobile 1.4.5
* Git HEAD hash: 68e55e78b292634d3991c795f06f5e37a512decc <> Date: Fri Oct 31 2014 17:33:30 UTC
* http://jquerymobile.com
* Copyright 2010, 2014 jQuery Foundation, Inc. and othercontributors
* Released under the MIT license.
* http://jquery.org/license

(function ( root, doc, factory ) {
	if ( typeof define === "function" && define.amd ) {
		// AMD. Register as an anonymous module.
		define( [ "jquery" ], function ( $ ) {
			factory( $, root, doc );
			return $.mobile;
	} else {
		// Browser globals
		factory( root.jQuery, root, doc );
}( this, document, function ( jQuery, window, document, undefined ) {
(function( $ ) {
	$.mobile = {};
}( jQuery ));

// more jquery code

The jQuery-mobile team doesn’t want to make fixes for this because they would have to continue to make patches for their code when another build system comes out and whose got time to keep up with that? Needless to say, I wish they had the time for it to make their libraries more compatible for users and they are a bigger team than just little ole independent me but that’s just my opinion.

Today is going on my 2nd day being stuck with the issue (also second day of using gulp and browserify so give me a break) and I’ve tried just about every solution I can find on the web before I just gave up and wrote my own. Though, not exactly the most elegant solution, I simply replaced all instances of this to this || window and walla it worked.

Now I have jQuery-mobile working just fine in my ES6 project. I’ve bundled my changes up in a npm project under the name jquery-mobile-babel-safe. Here is how I use it in my project:


Run this command in your project room:

    npm install jquery-mobile-babel-safe --save


    "browser": {
      "jquery-mobile": "./node_modules/jquery-mobile-babel-safe/dist/jquery.mobile-1.4.5.js"
    "browserify-shim": {
      "jquery-mobile": {
        "exports": "jQuery.mobile"

And that’s about it. You can test by importing jquery-mobile on your page. You should have access to $.mobile in your scripts.

Wrap up…

I’d like to hear from you if you have a simpler way of making this work. I do feel a little bad about polluting the npm package repository with yet another jQuery package and I’d like to know of a better way of doing this but I know a few other people were stuck with this issue so be it.

Happy hacking!

Mar 11, 2015 Programming