My First npm Package

October 17, 2021

In this post, I describe how to publish an npm package, based on my experience of publishing my first npm package, @otee/toolbox.

Create an Account on npm

An npm user-account (otee) needs to be created. To do this, one needs to sign up on npm using an email address, a unique username and a password.

Create a Git Repository

A repository may be created, using git. This can be done using GitHub’s web UI. While creating a git repository, one can (optionally) add a ReadMe file, create a .gitignore folder and choose a licence. Once the repository is created, it needs to be cloned to the local system. This can be done by using the git clone keywords in the requisite root directory of the local system, followed by the remote URL of the git repository (generated from GitHub’s web UI).

Scoping Packages

Once a user account is created on npm, one can use the username as a scope for publishing packages. This scope can be used as name-spaces for packages published by that user. Scopes allow users to publish new packages sharing the same name as that of an existing package on npm.

Scoped packages start with a @ followed by the scope (username) and a /:


Initialising npm

In the repository where the git repository was cloned, the command npm init should be executed along with the scope flag followed by the name of the scope (username):

npm init --scope=@otee

This will create the npm package. Before doing this (or thereafter), the contents of the package may be added. Wherever necessary, the command npm install will need to be executed, to install dependencies relied by the package.

Adding User

Before publishing the package, one needs to verify the credentials of the npm account. To do this, the following command needs to be executed: npm adduser. This will require the user to type in the username and password of the npm account


The package can be publicly published by using the following command: npm publish --access public.

Subsequent changes made to the package will need to be published using the same command. Note that, before publishing new changes, the version of the package on package.json needs to be updated. Otherwise, an error message will be displayed, indicating a conflict with an existing version.

Deprecating Versions

To decommission earlier versions which are no longer supported (or containing bugs), one can either use the command npm deprecate to indicate to users importing those versions of the package, that they are not supported any more.

npm deprecate otee@toolbox"< .3" "critical bug fixed in v1.0.3"


The package.json file contains important meta-data about the project. While publishing a package on npm, the following fields are most significant:

Project Structure

Here’s the structure of the project we want to publish as a package:

├── index.js
├── package.json
├── package-lock.json
├── src
│   ├── array_utils.js
│   └── string_utils.js
└── test
    ├── test_array_utils.js
    └── test_string_utils.js

Note that, array_utils.js and string_utils.js contains certain functions that will be exported by the package. One of them is keep:

 * This works like map but removes all the non-truthy values from the resulting array
 * @param {[any]} list 
 * @param {function} mapper 
 * @returns {[any]}
export function keep(list, mapper) {
  let reducer = (acc, entry) => {
    let result = mapper(entry);
    if (result) {
    return acc;
  return list.reduce(reducer, []);

Since this function is placed in a file other than index.js, we need to make it accessible from index.js. To do this, the corresponding file array_utils.js needs to be exported from index.js. This will mean that all the exports of the array_utils module will be exported from index.js optionally by using an alias (to avoid name conflicts):

export * as array_utils from "./src/array_utils.js";
export * as string_utils from "./src/string_utils.js";

To use keep externally, we can import the package @otee/toolbox and access keep by referring to array_utils:

import * as toolbox from "@otee/toolbox";
console.log(toolbox.array_utils.keep([1,2,3], a => a));

For every new module in this package, we need to export it from index.js file.