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Neil James Monzales
Neil James Monzales

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Publishing your first Typescript npm package using Github actions

As Javascript/Typescript developer, have you ever dreamed to publish an npm package? If yes, then I'll walk you through the steps I've done to publish my first npm package.

Things we're going to use/tackle

  • Github actions
  • Npm

What you need to know

  • Git
  • Git tags
  • Nodejs
  • Typescript
  • Github
  • Github Secrets

Getting Started

First thing to do

You have to create your github repository.Create github repo and then clone it and initialize your node application using

npm init
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After setting up your project, you have to take a look at these package.json properties:

{
  "name": "<@org_name>/<pkg_name>", // you can simply just add the package name and omit `"<@org_name>/` if you don't want to publish it into a certain organization
  "version": "1.1.2", // update this if you want to release a new version of you package
  "main": "lib/index.js", // entry point of your package
  "repository": {
    "type": "git",
    "url": "git+https://github.com/<username>/<repo_name>.git"
  },
  "keywords": ["node"],
  "author": "<your_name>",
  "bugs": {
    "url": "https://github.com/<username>/<repo_name>/issues"
  },// add these for devs/collaborators to submit an issue on your repository
  "homepage": "https://github.com/<username>/<repo_name>#readme", // add these to show the homepage of your package
  "typings": "./lib/index.d.ts" // add this to have a typescript badge in your package, this shows that your package has built in types
}
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Configure your typescript application

Add the following dev dependencies:

# using yarn
yarn add -D typescript @types/node nodemon ts-node
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Then we have to create tsconfig.json:

{
  "compilerOptions": {
    "module": "commonjs",
    "target": "es6",
    "noImplicitAny": true,
    "removeComments": true,
    "preserveConstEnums": true,
    "sourceMap": true,
    "outDir": "lib",
    "moduleResolution": "Node",
    "rootDir": "./src",
    "allowSyntheticDefaultImports": true,
    "declaration": true,
    "types": ["node"],
    "esModuleInterop": true
  },
  "compileOnSave": true,
  "exclude": [
    "node_modules/**/*",
    ".webpack/**/*",
    "_warmup/**/*",
    ".github/**/*",
    ".vscode/**/*"
  ],
  "include": ["src/*.ts"],
  "buildOptions": {
    "assumeChangesOnlyAffectDirectDependencies": false
  }
}
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This configuration outputs the transpiled code from src/* folder to lib directory.

Excluding files from git

We also have to exclude some files/folders in our repository. To exclude them, we have to create .gitignore, in my case these are the following files I have to ignore:

# .gitignore
node_modules # these are the packages installed in our application
lib          # these are the transpiled output files
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Create the application

Now, we have to create files inside the src directory.

└── src
    ├── index.ts # entry point of our application
    └── types.ts # optional
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Inside src/index.ts, we can just write anything beyond this point. (We can create a package to check if a number is odd 😏 like this one)
is-odd
Well just as an example, we can do it! 💪🏽

// src/index.ts
const isOdd = (number: number): boolean => number % 2 !== 0;

export { isOdd };
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Create scripts for your package

  • You have to run your app locally before publishing it. We can create dev script inside the scripts property in your package.json.
  • You should also add a build script so you can transpile your code into javascript.
"scripts": {
  "dev": "nodemon --watch \"src/**\" --ext \"ts,json\" --ignore \"src/**/*.spec.ts\" --exec \"ts-node src/index.ts\"", // dev script
  "build": "tsc -p .", // build script
}
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Publishing our package

We're now ready publishing our first package but first things first.

  • We have to get our npm access token which you can get in your npm profile
  • You can generate token by selecting either of these scopes: npm token scopes

Note: You can use automation if you wanted to bypass 2-factor authentication. It is highly recommended to use in your ci/cd

  • After getting the access token, you can now put it in Github secrets.

Tip: You can find it here. https://github.com/<username>/<repo_name>/settings/secrets/actions

  • Now we can use github actions to publish our npm package. You can use this yaml file for our publish action.

Note: In the yml file, we're going to publish a new version once there is a tag pushed into our repository

Additional note: In order to create a tag, you have to commit all the changes first in your repository. Then you have to create a tag using this command:

git tag -a <version> -m '<message>' # the tag version should match the package version which can be seen on `package.json` 
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Once everything is settled, you can push the tag using

git push --tags
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yahoo

You just have to wait and check if the ci/cd succeeds.

Note: If anything breaks in your development, you can reference my project here https://github.com/nljms/ph-mobile-networks

I hope this helps you in your journey building your first npm package! 😄

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