Releasing node packages

August 20, 2017

When releasing a new version of an open source project, it’s important to make sure a series of things happen in the same order for every release. I’ve attempted to make a “script” I follow for releasing Griddle to npm that helps promote consistent releases and (as much as possible) illuminates any issues before they impact others using the package.

  1. Run all tests and local ”smoke-tests
  2. Update the version in package.json
  3. Update with any high-level changes
  4. Push package.json and to the master branch of the project
  5. Release to npm as a tagged, pre-release version. Generally, this would be done by running npm publish --tag next (or whatever you want to call your pre-release version). This lets you test your project as a npm package without making it the version that is installed when running npm install or yarn add. In Griddle, we generally run this through npm run ship-it which essentially runs our build script and then pushes the output as a pre-release package. See this blog post for more thoughts on this pre-release strategy.
  6. From here, I generally install the new, pre-release version on the griddle-docs project as well as some of my own projects that use the library. I do this to help ensure that there are no known regressions before making this version the @latest tag in npm.
  7. If all is successful, it’s time to officially release this version — npm dist-tag [email protected] latest

While following a script doesn’t ensure there will be zero issues, it does help avoid common mistakes or makes things very clear where there is a problem in the process.

Ryan Lanciaux

Hi 👋 I'm Ryan Lanciaux. I run Spaceship Studio, LLC. a consultancy specializing in fast and dynamic web and native mobile applications.

I live in Ann Arbor with my wonderful family! In my freetime, I create electronic music.

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