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Quick Read to understand `package.json`

Here is a summary of the important fields and their descriptions in a package.json file:

  • name: The name of your package. Must be less than or equal to 214 characters and follow specific naming rules. It should be unique if you plan to publish the package.

  • version: The version of your package. Should follow semantic versioning (server) rules. It is used to track changes to your package over time.

  • Description: A short description of your package. Helps people discover your package in npm search.

  • keywords: An array of keywords that describe your package. Also helps with package discovery.

  • homepage: The URL to the project's homepage, usually a GitHub repository or project website.

  • bugs: The URL to the project's issue tracker or an email address for reporting issues.

  • license: The license under which your package is distributed. Should use an SPDX license identifier if possible.

  • author: Information about the author of the package, including name, email, and URL.

  • contributors: An array of contributors to the package, each with a name, email, and optional URL.

  • funding: Information about ways to support or fund development, including URLs to donation or funding platforms.

  • files: An array of file patterns describing the package's contents to be included when installed as a dependency.

  • main: The main entry point to your package, usually a JavaScript file. If not specified, defaults to "index.js."

  • browser: Specifies the browser-compatible version of your module if it's intended for both Node.js and browsers.

  • bin: Maps command names to local files that should be installed as executable commands.

  • man: Specify files to be used for the man program to find manual pages.

  • directories: Allows you to indicate the structure of your package, including directories for documentation, lib, and man pages.

  • repository: The URL or details of the version control repository where your code is hosted.

  • scripts: A dictionary containing script commands run at various times in the package's lifecycle.

  • config: Configuration parameters used in package scripts that persist across upgrades.

  • dependencies: The package's runtime dependencies, with version requirements.

  • devDependencies: Dependencies used for development, such as testing and build tools.

  • peerDependencies: Specifies compatibility with host packages or plugins.

  • peerDependenciesMeta: Provides more information on how peer dependencies are used and marks some as optional.

  • bundleDependencies: Lists packages that should be bundled when publishing the package.

  • optionalDependencies: Specifies dependencies that are not required for installation and won't cause installation failures if they can't be installed.

  • overrides: Allows you to override dependencies or their versions in your package's dependency tree.

  • engines: Specifies the Node.js and npm versions your package is compatible with.

  • os: Defines the operating systems on which your module can run.

  • cpu: Specifies the CPU architectures supported by your package.

  • private: If set to true, prevents the package from being published to the public npm registry.

  • publishConfig: Configuration values to be used at publish-time, such as registry and tag.

  • workspaces: An array of file patterns that specify locations of workspaces within the package.

These fields are used to provide information about your package and its dependencies, configure its behavior, and specify how it should be installed and used by others.

Top comments (2)

mannu profile image
Mannu • Edited

Here's a quick tip, add tags in the post so that it is visible more in that topic

power_coder profile image

Thanks, I will update the post.