If you want RequireJS to fetch jQuery from a CDN, you’ll need to tell it to do so using the “paths” config:
As I understand it, if you want to use the local file fallback code a la html5bp you’re out of luck. For those of you who don’t know, the local file fallback code allows you to load jQuery from your own domain if the CDN version fails to load. It looks like this:
<script>window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="js/vendor/jquery-1.8.2.min.js"><\/script>')</script>
Arguably, if you’re using jQuery it is likely to be a global requirement rather than a requirement for one or two modules. The same sort of thing with BackboneJS. It might be better to place these global requirements in the HTML for your pages (before the RequireJS script) to save typing ‘jquery’ and ‘backbone’ in all your module definitions.