webpack is a module bundler.
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webpack takes modules with dependencies and generates static assets representing those modules.
Existing module bundlers are not well suited for big projects (big single page applications). The most pressing reason for developing another module bundler was Code Splitting and that static assets should fit seamlessly together through modularization.
I tried to extend existing module bundlers, but it wasn’t possible to achieve all goals.
webpack has two types of dependencies in its dependency tree: sync and async. Async dependencies act as split points and form a new chunk. After the chunk tree is optimized, a file is emitted for each chunk.
Read more about Code Splitting.
webpack has a clever parser that can process nearly every 3rd party library. It even allows expressions in dependencies such as:
require("./templates/" + name + ".jade"). It handles the most common module styles: CommonJs and AMD.
webpack features a rich plugin system. Most internal features are based on this plugin system. This allows you to customize webpack for your needs and distribute common plugins as open source.
Read more about Plugins.