DEV Community 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Julien Calixte
Julien Calixte

Posted on • Updated on

Easy Web Worker integration in VueJS

The main thread

Web workers are super handy to make heavy computation and not blocking the main thread. So the user doesn't have his webpage blocked by too much JavaScript working behind.

Example in VueJS

We can see how to use them easily in VueJS. Start by installing comlink-loader. Wait, what is Comlink? And comlink-loader?

Comlink is a library that simplify the way we call web workers, it will be as simple as calling an async function in our code. This lib was created by Surma.

comlink-loader is simply the webpack loader that we will use to tranform files *.worker.js into web workers.

So here we go:

yarn add -D comlink-loader
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Now, here's the trick to add the loader in your vuejs configuration. It is explained here.

module.exports = {
  configureWebpack: (config) => {
    config.module.rules = [
        test: /\.worker\.js$/i,
        use: [
            loader: 'comlink-loader',
            options: {
              singleton: true
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Finally we can use it this way:

  1. Create a file that ends with .worker.js and export async functions,
// utils.worker.js

export const helloWorld = async (params) => {
  // heavy computing goes here
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  1. Import them in vue files.
import { helloWorld } from '../workers/utils.worker'

export default {
  name: 'HelloWorld',
  data: () => ({
    msg: ''
  async mounted() {
    this.msg = await helloWorld()
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Remember, it will always be async methods, so make sure to await them.

Set and done!

You can have a look at the quick example I've made to illustrate how web workers can impact user experience here: See if the button is clickable when the page is computing with and without background tasks.

Thanks for reading!

Top comments (4)

vicentedl profile image

Great article that helped me a lot! one question though, how would you make a message back to the main thread? I have been trying to do MyWorker.onmessage but it gives me an error. Return would not be suitable for my app.


jcalixte profile image
Julien Calixte Author • Edited on

Hi Vicente! Thank you!
Do you want to receive a value from your service worker in you main thread? I think comlink hides the onmessage thing so you can return a value from a method in the web worker. Take a look at this example 🙂
Just remember, methods in web worker will always return a promise.

roynes profile image


Will this work without webpack? By just using the default mode?

jcalixte profile image
Julien Calixte Author

I didn't tested but I guess it'll break after webpack bundles the app as the imported filename will not have the same name. I may be wrong

🌚 Friends don't let friends browse without dark mode.

Sorry, it's true.