ESBuild is an extremely fast bundler for javascript. Unfortunately speed doesn’t matter if your app doesn’t work! While migrating from Webpacker to esbuild with a Rails 7 application I ran into an issue where esbuild would compile successfully, however the twilio-video.js library (and accompanying twilio-ruby gem) were not able to startup. The error was as follows:

Uncaught ReferenceError: process is not defined

This is happening due to a call to require('twilio-video') which expects process.env to be available globally. There is a good writeup on the cause of this in an issue on twilio-video.

The trick to working around this issue with esbuild is to leverage the @esbuild-plugins/node-modules-polyfill package. It provides a polyfill for built-in modules for the browser meaning things that would not normally be available inside a browser will still work. Below is how I included this using an esbuild configuration file.


import NodeModulesPolyfills from '@esbuild-plugins/node-modules-polyfill'
import esbuild from 'esbuild'{
  entryPoints: ['app/javascript/application.js'],
  outdir: 'app/assets/builds',
  plugins: [NodeModulesPolyfills.default()]
}).catch(() => process.exit(1))

From there, I was able to execute esbuild using the command node esbuild.config.mjs and twilio-video.js was once again working successfully..