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Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2019

npm-developers (7)


npm-developers - Developer Guide


Please see following description for synopsis


NPM-DEVELOPERS(7)                                            NPM-DEVELOPERS(7)

       npm-developers - Developer Guide

       So,  you've  decided  to  use npm to develop (and maybe publish/deploy)
       your project.


       There are a few things that you need to do above the simple steps  that
       your users will do to install your program.

About These Documents
       These are man pages.  If you install npm, you should be able to then do
       man npm-thing to get the documentation on a particular  topic,  or  npm
       help thing to see the same information.

What is a package
       A package is:

       o a) a folder containing a program described by a package.json file

       o b) a gzipped tarball containing (a)

       o c) a url that resolves to (b)

       o d) a <name>@<version> that is published on the registry with (c)

       o e) a <name>@<tag> that points to (d)

       o f) a <name> that has a "latest" tag satisfying (e)

       o g) a git url that, when cloned, results in (a).

       Even if you never publish your package, you can still get a lot of ben-
       efits of using npm if you just want to write a node  program  (a),  and
       perhaps  if  you  also  want  to be able to easily install it elsewhere
       after packing it up into a tarball (b).

       Git urls can be of the form:


       The commit-ish can be any tag, sha, or branch which can be supplied  as
       an argument to git checkout.  The default is master.

The package.json File
       You  need to have a package.json file in the root of your project to do
       much of anything with npm.  That is basically the whole interface.

       See npm help 5 package.json for details about what goes in  that  file.
       At the very least, you need:

       o name:  This  should be a string that identifies your project.  Please
         do not use the name to specify  that  it  runs  on  node,  or  is  in
         JavaScript.   You can use the "engines" field to explicitly state the
         versions of node (or whatever else) that your program  requires,  and
         it's pretty well assumed that it's JavaScript.  It does not necessar-
         ily need to match your github  repository  name.   So,  node-foo  and
         bar-js are bad names.  foo or bar are better.

       o version: A semver-compatible version.

       o engines:  Specify  the  versions of node (or whatever else) that your
         program runs on.  The node API changes a lot, and there may  be  bugs
         or new functionality that you depend on.  Be explicit.

       o author: Take some credit.

       o scripts:  If  you  have a special compilation or installation script,
         then you should put it in the scripts object.  You should  definitely
         have at least a basic smoke-test command as the "scripts.test" field.
         See npm help 7 scripts.

       o main: If you have a single module that serves as the entry  point  to
         your   program   (like   what   the   "foo"   package  gives  you  at
         require("foo")), then you need to specify that in the "main" field.

       o directories: This is an object mapping names to  folders.   The  best
         ones  to include are "lib" and "doc", but if you use "man" to specify
         a folder full of man pages, they'll get  installed  just  like  these

       You  can  use  npm init in the root of your package in order to get you
       started with a pretty basic package.json file.  See npm  help  npm-init
       for more info.

Keeping files out of your package
       Use a .npmignore file to keep stuff out of your package.  If there's no
       .npmignore file, but there is a .gitignore file, then npm  will  ignore
       the stuff matched by the .gitignore file.  If you want to include some-
       thing that is excluded by your .gitignore file, you can create an empty
       .npmignore  file to override it. Like git, npm looks for .npmignore and
       .gitignore files in all subdirectories of your package,  not  only  the
       root directory.

       .npmignore      files     follow     the     same     pattern     rules
       ing-Changes-to-the-Repository#Ignoring-Files as .gitignore files:

       o Blank lines or lines starting with # are ignored.

       o Standard glob patterns work.

       o You can end patterns with a forward slash / to specify a directory.

       o You can negate a pattern by starting it with an exclamation point !.

       By  default,  the  following paths and files are ignored, so there's no
       need to add them to .npmignore explicitly:

       o .*.swp

       o ._*

       o .DS_Store

       o .git

       o .hg

       o .npmrc

       o .lock-wscript

       o .svn

       o .wafpickle-*

       o config.gypi

       o CVS

       o npm-debug.log

       Additionally, everything in node_modules is ignored, except for bundled
       dependencies.  npm  automatically handles this for you, so don't bother
       adding node_modules to .npmignore.

       The following paths and files are never  ignored,  so  adding  them  to
       .npmignore is pointless:

       o package.json

       o README (and its variants)

       o CHANGELOG (and its variants)


       If,  given  the  structure of your project, you find .npmignore to be a
       maintenance headache, you might instead try populating the files  prop-
       erty of package.json, which is an array of file or directory names that
       should be included in your package. Sometimes a whitelist is easier  to
       manage than a blacklist.

   Testing whether your .npmignore or files config works
       If  you  want  to  double check that your package will include only the
       files you intend it to when published, you can run the npm pack command
       locally  which  will  generate  a tarball in the working directory, the
       same way it does for publishing.

Link Packages
       npm link is designed to install  a  development  package  and  see  the
       changes  in real time without having to keep re-installing it.  (You do
       need to either re-link or npm rebuild -g to update  compiled  packages,
       of course.)

       More info at npm help npm-link.

Before Publishing: Make Sure Your Package Installs and Works
       This is important.

       If  you can not install it locally, you'll have problems trying to pub-
       lish it.  Or, worse yet, you'll be able to publish it,  but  you'll  be
       publishing a broken or pointless package.  So don't do that.

       In the root of your package, do this:

         npm install . -g

       That'll show you that it's working.  If you'd rather just create a sym-
       link package that points to your working directory, then do this:

         npm link

       Use npm ls -g to see if it's there.

       To test a local install, go into some other folder, and then do:

         cd ../some-other-folder
         npm install ../my-package

       to install it locally into the node_modules folder in that other place.

       Then go into the node-repl, and try using require("my-thing") to  bring
       in your module's main module.

Create a User Account
       Create a user with the adduser command.  It works like this:

         npm adduser

       and then follow the prompts.

       This is documented better in npm help adduser.

Publish your package
       This part's easy.  In the root of your folder, do this:

         npm publish

       You can give publish a url to a tarball, or a filename of a tarball, or
       a path to a folder.

       Note that pretty much everything in that  folder  will  be  exposed  by
       default.   So, if you have secret stuff in there, use a .npmignore file
       to list out the globs to ignore, or publish from a fresh checkout.

Brag about it
       Send emails, write blogs, blab in IRC.

       Tell the world how easy it is to install your program!

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | runtime/nodejs/nodejs-8 |
       |Stability      | Pass-thru volatile      |
       o npm help npm

       o npm help init

       o npm help 5 package.json

       o npm help 7 scripts

       o npm help publish

       o npm help adduser

       o npm help 7 registry

       This    software    was    built    from    source     available     at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.    The  original  community
       source   was   downloaded   from     https://github.com/nodejs/node/ar-

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at https://github.com/nodejs/node.

                                  August 2018                NPM-DEVELOPERS(7)