Down the rabbithole

ekov @ pm.me

Publishing an npm package

There comes a time when you need an npm package that doesnʼt exist — or just want to share something with the world. In my case, itʼs a Typography.js theme. Iʼll use yarn as this is my favourite package manager, but npm can be used in a similar fashion.

Creating a module *

This part is quite simple. yarn init and answer all the questions.

Using npm packages locally *

We should also test the package locally while developing and before publishing it to npm. This can be done by locally linking it — basically, we are letting our local yarn or npm know that this package exists, and where it lives. We also need a test project where we import it from — Iʼm using a Gatsby blog starter, because it already uses Typography.js by default.

To link the package:

cd path/to/package-name
yarn link
cd path/to/test-project
yarn link package-name

Thatʼs it, now we can develop away.

Production build (spoiler: using Babel) *

For the sake of performance and compatibility, we should minify and compile our code to be ES5-compatible. The easiest way to do it is using Babel.

yarn add --dev @babel/cli @babel/core @babel/preset-env babel-preset-minify

Now, we can add a build script to package.json:
"build": "babel src -d dist"

Letʼs not forget to point our package entry to this dist folder (it can be called something else of course):
"main": "./dist/index.js"

Ready to publish? *

First, we have to register on npm. At least I have to, because this is my first package published there. This is conveniently done from the command line with npm adduser, which asks for a username, password and public email. Then a simple email verification, and the magic command:

npm publish

Thatʼs it!


By the way, check out my Typography.js theme on npm.js, and feel free to use it in your projects.

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