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       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

What is a <code>package</code>

       A package is:

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

       ·   b) a gzipped tarball containing (a)

       ·   c) a url that resolves to (b)

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

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

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

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

       Even if you never publish your package, you can still get a lot of benefits 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:

       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 necessarily need to match your github repository name.

              So, node-foo and bar-js are bad names. foo or bar are better.

              A semver-compatible version.

              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.

       author Take some credit.

              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.

       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.

              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 ones.

       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 <em>out</em> 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 something 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
       as .gitignore files:

       ·   Blank lines or lines starting with # are ignored.

       ·   Standard glob patterns work.

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

       ·   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:

       ·   .*.swp

       ·   ._*

       ·   .DS_Store

       ·   .git

       ·   .hg

       ·   .npmrc

       ·   .lock-wscript

       ·   .svn

       ·   .wafpickle-*

       ·   config.gypi

       ·   CVS

       ·   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

       ·   package.json

       ·   README (and its variants)

       ·   CHANGELOG (and its variants)

       ·   LICENSE / LICENCE

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 publish  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  symlink  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

       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!


       ·   npm help 7 faq

       ·   npm help npm

       ·   npm help init

       ·   npm help 5 package.json

       ·   npm help 7 scripts

       ·   npm help publish

       ·   npm help adduser

       ·   npm help 7 registry

                                          December 2015                         NPM-DEVELOPERS(7)