Relative paths with fetch in Javascript

I was surprised by an experience with relative paths in Javascript today. I’ve boiled down the situation to the following:

Suppose you have a directory structure like:


All my app.html does is run js/app.js

<!DOCTYPE html>
<script src=js/app.js></script>

app.js loads the JSON file and sticks it at the beginning of body:

// js/app.js
fetch('js/data.json') // <-- this path surprises me
  .then(response => response.json())
  .then(data => = data)

The data is valid JSON, just a string:

"Hello World"

This is a pretty minimal usage of fetch, but I am surprised that the URL that I pass to fetch has to be relative to app.html instead of relative to app.js. I would expect this path to work, since data.json and app.js are in the same directory (js/):

fetch('data.json') // nope

Is there an explanation for why this is the case?

59 thoughts on “Relative paths with fetch in Javascript”

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