Tiny npm package

Guidelines to create a Node.js module following the small package philosophy.


I have few Node.js packages on npm that has a tiny structure: my npm tiny packages. By tiny structure I mean they follow the small package philosophy with a simple but robust workflow like this:

  1. add a feature: edit index.js to add functionality, add example in README.md and related test in test.js.
  2. commit: git commit -a
  3. deploy: npm version minor

The repository contains the following files:

This is just a starting point, it can grows for example adding folders src/ and test/ or adding services like travis or coveralls.


If you read below you may note that the tap-min TAP parser is used: this has several reasons. In particular, using no TAP parser can lead to issues when publishing the package, if there are many many tests.

If you want to add console.log statements without breaking tests, which is the first debugging technique most of the people use, you can just go for a bare

tape test.js

or even use t.comment(message).

If you want a nice output you can optionally install few TAP parsers globally

npm install tap-pessimist -g
npm install tap-spec -g

then run tests with tape test.js | tap-spec or tape test.js | tap-pessimist.

If you need to use the Node debugger, just add a debugger keyword to enable a breakpoint in your index.js and launch tests with

node debug test.js


It is as simple as



Use the following template, replacing <package-name> and <package-description>.

  "name": "<package-name>",
  "description": "<package-description>",
  "version": "0.0.0",
  "homepage": "http://npm.im/<package-name>",
  "author": {
    "name": "Gianluca Casati",
    "url": "http://g14n.info"
  "license": "MIT",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "check-deps": "npm outdated",
    "lint": "standard",
    "test": "tape test.js | tap-min",
    "postversion": "git push origin v${npm_package_version}; npm publish; git push origin master",
    "watch": "npm-watch"
  "repository": {
    "type": "git",
    "url": "git://github.com/fibo/<package-name>.git"
  "keywords": [],
  "bugs": {
    "url": "https://github.com/fibo/<package-name>/issues"
  "pre-commit": [
  "watch": {
    "test": "{index,test}.js"
  "devDependencies": {},
  "dependencies": {}


Here you can see my name and my website URL, change it according to related section on package.json documentation.


Start with 0.0.0, when publishing with npm version minor it will be updated to 0.1.0.


Add some keywords in order to make it easier to find it on npm.


The url http://npm.im/<package-name> redirects to <package-name> page on npm. Add it also to GitHub repo’s website entry.


Install the following development dependencies

npm install npm-watch --save-dev
npm install pre-commit --save-dev
npm install standard --save-dev
npm install tape --save-dev
npm install tap-min --save-dev


Run linter and tests before each commit. This is always a good idea as for the maintainer as for contributors. If the tower is burning and you need to commit with tests failing you can use git commit -n.

Finally it run a non blocking command which displays outdated dependencies.


Push tag on GitHub and publish on npm automatically after launching

npm version minor

See also npm-version.


Run tests when index.js or test.js change.

npm run watch


Use the following template, replacing **** and ****.

# <package-name>

> <package-description>

[Installation](#installation) |
[API](#api) |
[Examples](#examples) |


## Installation

With [npm](https://www.npmjs.com/) do

    npm install <package-name> --save

## API

<a name="foo"></a>
### `foo(bar)`

> get the bar count

If you want to know the bar count you should use this function.

var countBars = foo(bar)
console.log(countBars) // 12

* `@param {String}`: bar lorem ipsum digitorum
* `@returns {Number}`: count

## Examples

All code in the examples below is intended to be contained into a [single file](https://github.com/fibo/<package-name>/blob/master/test.js).

var myFooFunction = require('<package-name>')

### example foo

### example bar

## License



Put the same description in:



Notify that feross/standard style is used. Note that using standardjs linter is a matter of choice if you like semicolons just use another linter, see also my list of Javascript linters.


Specify installation instructions, which may vary for example recommending global flag.


Describe function signature and its usage. Comment each parameter with its type and meaning, write about which result the function returns or which errors are thrown. Actually it is dox syntax rendered as markdown.

Note that the heading can be forced to remove the signature

<a name="foo"></a>
### `foo(bar)`


Put examples, each one must have a corresponding test.


Specify under which license is relesead the code. I usually adopt the MIT license and add a link to a page of my website displaying it.


Contains tests to validate examples, something like

var myFooFunction = require('./index')
var test = require('tape')

test('example foo', function (t) {

  t.equal(myFooFunction('foo'), 'xxxfoo')

test('example bar', function (t) {

  t.equal(myFooFunction('foo'), 'xxxbar')


Contains the implementation, which should be a single function documented by a dox compatible comment. Something like

 * My foo function
 * @params {String} bar
 * @returns {String} quz

function myFooFunction (bar) {
  var quz = 'xxx'

  quz += bar

  return quz

module.exports = myFooFunction