To provide more detail: the reason require is so good is that it:
Allows code to be dynamically loaded from other locations (which is stylistically better, in my opinion, than linking all your code in the HTML)
It provides a consistent interface for building modules
It is easy for modules to depend on other modules (so I could write, for instance, an API that requires jQuery so I can use jQuery.ajax()
I have yet to find a library that does this effectively. The workarounds I tend to use are:
coffeescript-concat — it’s easy enough to require other js, but you have to compile it, which means it is less great for fast development (e.g. building APIs in-test)
RequireJS — It’s popular, straightforward, and solves 1-3, but lack of scoping is a real deal-breaker (I believe head.js is similar in that it lacks scoping, though I’ve never had any occasion to use it. Similarly, LABjs can load and .wait() does mollify dependency issues, but it still doesn’t do scoping)
EDIT (MY ANSWER): Since writing this, I have extensively used RequireJS (which now has much clearer documentation). RequireJS really was the right choice in my opinion. I’d like to clarify how the system works for people who are as confused as I was:
You can use require in everyday development. A module can be anything returned by a function (typically an object or a function) and is scoped as a parameter. You can also compile your project into a single file for deployment using r.js (in practice this is almost always faster, even though require can load scripts in parallel).
The primary difference between RequireJS and node-style require like browserify (a cool project suggested by tjameson) uses is the way modules are designed and required:
Node uses CommonJS. In CommonJS, require is a blocking call that loads a module and returns it as an object. This works fine for Node because files are read off the filesystem, which is fast enough, but works poorly on the web because loading files synchronously can take much longer.
In practice, many developers have used Node (and therefore CommonJS) before they ever see AMD. In addition, many libraries/modules are written for CommonJS (by adding things to an exports object) rather than for AMD (by returning the module from the define function). Therefore, lots of Node-turned-web developers want to use CommonJS libraries on the web. This is possible, since loading from a