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Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths

Posted on • Originally published at stegriff.co.uk on

How Kinopio helped me design and build an npm package

For a little while I’ve wanted to build an npm package using the latest typescript technology and build chain, like esbuild.

But… there was a lot to learn and figure out, and I wasn’t sure where to start! So I decided to start expressing my thoughts, notes, and plans using my favourite thinking tool, Kinopio.club.

Planning

Kinopio is a really great way to organically express your thoughts and link everything together.

So I made a new space called ‘Writing a JS library’ and split it into the things I needed to figure out, like: how JS modules are written and used, how to use esbuild (and some unfamiliar parts of npm!), and how the exposed API of my package should work.

Anytime I find a good resource online, I can drop the link into a card and it makes a neat link preview, and I can drop in images and gifs too for a bit of self-expression.

I find it helpful to drop code samples in their own cards, using the usual markdown syntax of triple backticks. But this only suits short samples, as the cards are small. Bigger things, I can link to GitHub Gists or source files.

Code samples

My Kinopio space ended up a good representation of my journey of discovery… from the very simple first steps (I couldn’t remember how to get npm to generate a new package.json… turns out it’s npm init 😅) through to how to test and publish my package.

Link previews

When I compare it to other tools, I think that using Kinopio this way actually made my project easier. When I think about using a traditional planning tool like plain text notes or a kanban board, there are things they lack:

  • Visuals and colours to help with finding and recognising things
  • Connecting ideas multi-dimensionally (i.e. more than one hierarchy)
  • Fun and playfulness!

…and all of those factors are really helpful to me.

If you give Kinopio a try, let me know what you think! You can also leave a card on my personal space, SteGriff is on Kinopio, to say hi!

Btw, the library I created is called old-money and it’s for working with the pre-decimalisation currency of the UK… another post is incoming to talk more about that! 💷

Til next time 🍃

Discussion (1)

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Ben Tsai

Hey Stephen, this is a great display of how useful, fun and beautiful Kinopio is. I like how you used named connections so you can drill down to certain areas.