How to create and publish a TypeScript library with ease

TypeScript is a popular and influential language that extends JavaScript with static typing and other features. It can help you write more reliable, maintainable, scalable code for your projects. However, creating and publishing a TypeScript library can be challenging, especially if you are new to the TypeScript ecosystem. Many tools and configurations are involved, and finding a good template or guide that covers everything you need is challenging.

For the reasons mentioned above, I created a TypeScript library template you can use as a starting point for your library. It is based on my experience and best practices from the TypeScript community (this is usually subjective), and it includes everything you need for developing, testing, documenting, and publishing your library. This article will explain what this template offers, how to use it, and how to customize it for your needs.

What is typescript-library-template?

The typescript-library-template is a GitHub repository that you can use as a template for creating your own TypeScript library. It has the following features:

  • TypeScript: as the primary language for writing your library code. It also includes some recommended settings for the tsconfig.json and tslint.json files.

  • AVA: as the testing framework for writing and running unit tests for your library. It also supports code coverage reports with Istanbul (NYC).

  • Typedoc: as the documentation generator for creating API documentation for your library from your TypeScript comments.

  • Prettier: as the code formatter for keeping your code style consistent and readable.

  • ESLint (typescript-eslint): for static code analysis.

  • Husky and Lint-staged: The template uses Husky and Lint-staged to run pre-commit hooks that ensure your code is formatted, linted, tested, and documented before committing.

How to use typescript-library-template?

I will mention just a couple of commands below. You can find more information in the file.

Using typescript-library-template is very easy. You need to follow these steps:

  1. Click the "Use this template" button on the GitHub repository page. This will create a new repository based on this template under your account.

  2. Clone or download your new repository to your local machine.

  3. Run npm install or yarn install to install all the dependencies.

  4. Start developing your library by editing the src/index.ts file (or adding more files under src). Using AVA syntax, you can write unit tests using .spec.ts or .test.ts suffixes.

  5. Run npm run build or yarn build to build your library. This will generate multiple output files under the dist folder.

  6. Run the npm run test or yarn test to run all unit tests using AVA.

  7. To generate a code coverage report under the coverage folder, run npm run cov.

  8. Run npm run doc or yarn doc to generate API documentation using Typedoc. This will create an HTML file under docs/index.html.

  9. Run npm run fix or yarn fix to format all source files using Prettier.

  10. Commit your changes (it will activate a pre-commit hook that will perform test and linting/formatting)

  11. Push your changes to GitHub.

How to customize typescript-library-template?

You can customize the typescript-library-template according to your preferences. Add files, change configurations, and remove whatever you find unimportant to your liking.