NPM publishing automation

I have a small module on NPM and I found myself tweaking it more than a few times lately. One piece of routine related to this kind of work is Git tag management: I want to have a tag for every new version that I publish on NPM. This is handy if you want to get a specific version of the module directly from the GitHub repository.

OK, so I have done that manually for a couple of times:

  • update the version in package.json;
  • create a tag pointing to the appropriate revision, probably current HEAD;
  • push the code and tags to GitHub;
  • publish to NPM.

This felt a bit tedious and I caught myself forgetting to push tags to GitHub or create the tag altogether. So I have set out to create a make task to do that, and not I only update the version in package.json and run make deploy to get all that taken care of:

deploy: tag push
    npm publish

So, I first run the tag and push tasks in that order, and then run npm publish.

VERSION=`$(call get_package_version)`
tag:
    git tag $(VERSION)
    git tag --force latest-release $(VERSION)

This calls the get_package_version function to extract the version number from package.json, creates the Git tag for that version number, and also updates the latest-release tag.

push:
    git push
    git push --tags --force

This pushes the source code, and then pushes the tags with --force to push the new tag, and also update the existing remote tags.

And here is the definition of the get_package_version make function that I used earlier to extract the version from package.json. For version 0.1.9, for example, it will return v0.1.9. It’s just a short UNIX pipeline between grep and sed:

define get_package_version
    grep '"version"' package.json |\
        grep -P -o '\d+\.\d+\.\d+' |\
        sed 's/^/v/'
endef

All the source code is available in that module’s Makefile on GitHub.