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    1.1.27 • Public • Published

    gulp-npmworkspace (v1.1)

    Provides 'workspace' like utilities for managing the local development of npm packages. The plugins exposed to gulp provide support for the link-ing and install-ing of local npm packages during development without the need to invoke npm link, and also other useful workspace level functions.

    This package was heaviliy inspired by

    V1.1 is a maintenance release that represents a re-write of all the plugins using a core framework that now keeps things consistent going forward.

    Quick Links

    Getting Started

    The general assumption of gulp-npmworkspace is that you'll have a workspace folder that contains a collection of other folders that are pacakges. These packages will typically have dependencies between each other because they'll be component parts of a larger application or component, that is also present in the workspace. Regardless of whether the packages will be published to a npm registry, they'll all contain a 'package.json' file to describe themselves, and more importantly, the dependencies that they have between each other.

    Before utilities such as npm-workspace or gulp-npmworkspace, developing across packages without having to publish to a npm registry meant making use of the npm link command. This required executing the npm link command in every folder that represented the dependant packages and as a consequence, also created symbolic links in folders that you were not expecting. It quickly becomes a mess.

    gulp-npmworkspace consumes 'pacakge.json' files and allows its related Gulp plugins to execute actions over those packages in dependency order. For example, the bundled npmInstall() plugin will look at a package's dependencies and if a given dependency is a package in the same workspace it will create a symbolic link to it (in the same way that npm link will). Otherwise the dependency is installed from the npm registry as usual.

    To begin using npm-workspace:

    In the folder that represents the root of your workspace:

    1) install gulp and gulp-npmworkspce:

    npm install gulp gulp-npmworkspace --save

    2) Modify the workspace level package.json file so that it contains a workspace setting:

        "workspace": true,
        "name": "my-project-workspace",
        "dependencies": {
            "gulp": "*",
            "gulp-npmworkspace": "*",

    This ensures that gulp-npmworkspace knows that this file represents a root workspace.

    3) Use gulp and gulp-npmworkspace to automate your build tasks as you currently do.

    For example, put the following in your gulpfile.js file to install the workspace packages as an install task, and compile the TypeScript in those packages as a compile task:

    var gulp = require("gulp");
    var workspace = require("gulp-npmworkspace");
    gulp.task("install", function() {
        return workspace.workspacePackages()
    gulp.task("compile", function() {
        // Build TypeScript projects in dependency order!
        return workspace.workspacePackages()

    Installing a Workspace through workspacePackages()

    gulp-npmworkspace has a 'root' plugin that streams the package.json files for the packages found in the workspace. It is typical to use this plugin in conjunction with the others provided by gulp-npmworkspace in order to apply workspace level automation across them all. In this section we will look at installing the packages of the workspace ensuring that 'links' between dependant packages are created in the same way that executing npm link would.

    To stream through the workspace packages use workspacePackages() and pipe it into another plugin to apply that behavior:


    Streams the workspace package's package.json files in dependency order.

    options: An optional hash of options that is a union of the options that can be passed to gulp.src() and the following:

    additionalPaths?: string[]
    An array of strings representing the additional paths within the workspace to include when looking for workspace packages.

    package?: string
    The name of the workspace package to focus streaming on.

    onlyNamedPackage?: boolean
    If package is specified, then true will indicate that any following plugins consuming the stream should only apply their behavior to that named package only.
    The default is false.

    The options named above can be overriden (or set) from the command line.


    Installs the dependencies of a workspace package. When a dependency name is the same as the name of another package in the workspace then a symbolic link is created in the package's node_modules folder that links to the target workspace package. All other dependencies are installed as normal by invoking npm install.

    npmInstall() also provides support for installing npm dependencies from differing npm registries, and for creating 'links' to packages that exist in other external workspaces.

    options: An optional hash of options:

    continueOnError?: boolean
    true to continue streaming if the workspace package fails to install.
    The default is true.

    productionOnly?: boolean
    true to install only the production dependencies.
    The default is false.

    minimizeSizeOnDisk?: boolean
    true to apply an installation strategy that attempts to install all devDependencies and optionalDependencies at the workspace level. This is a useful approach when all the workspace packages share the same development dependencies because it reduces the overall size of the workspace on disk. If a required version cannot be satisfied by the version of a dependency installed at the workspace level then it is installed locally and a warning is output.
    The default is true.

    registryMap?: StringDictionary
    A map between a package name and the npm registry URL from where it should be installed.

    externalWorkspacePackageMap?: StringDictionary
    A map between a package name and a relative or rooted folder on disk where an external package can be found.

    postInstallActions?: ConditionableAction[]
    A collection of actions that will executed once the workspace package has been installed. See Conditionable Actions for more detail.

    disableExternalWorkspaces?: boolean
    true to disable external workspace package linking ().
    The default is false.


    Uninstalls the dependencies of a workspace package.

    options: An optional hash of options:

    continueOnError?: boolean
    true to continue streaming if the workspace package fails to uninstall.
    The default is true.

    postUninstallActions?: ConditionableAction[]
    A collection of actions that will be executed once the workspace package has been uninstalled. See Conditionable Actions for more detail.

    Filtering Packages

    Sometimes there will be a need to apply workspace level tasks across only a subset of the workspace packages.

    filter(filterFunc: (packageDescriptor: PackageDescriptor, packagePath: string) => boolean)

    Applies a filter to a stream and removes the workspace package from the stream if the supplied filter function returns false. filter() ensures that workspace packages going forward in the stream meet the given criteria.

    filterFunc: A function that returns false to indicate that a package should be removed from the stream.

    For example:

    gulp.task("publish", function() {
        // Only publish packages that are not marked as "private"
        return workspace.workspacePackages()
            .pipe(workspace.filter(function(packageDescriptor, packagePath) {
                return packageDescriptor.private === undefined

    Building with TypeScript


    Invokes the TypeScript compiler for a workspace package. If a version of the TypeScript compiler is present 'local' to the package, then that version will be used over any version that may be installed at the workspace level.

    options: An optional hash of options:

    continueOnError?: boolean
    true to continue streaming if the workspace package fails to compile.
    The default is true.

    fastCompile?: boolean
    true to compile only those source files that are affected by change.
    The default is true.

    postTypeScriptCompileActions?: ConditionableAction[]
    A collection of actions that will be executed after the workspace package has been compiled. See Conditionable Actions for more detail.

    The buildTypeScriptProject() plugin is designed to work with tsconfig.json files. However, if you're working with an older version of TypeScript, of you want to run the compiler with more than one configuration, you can provide the compiler options by exporting a getTypeScriptCompilerConfig() function from the workspace package's gulpfile.workspace.js file. This function should return an array of objects that define the TypeScript compiler configuration options. For example:

    exports.getTypeScriptCompilerConfig = function() {
        return [
                "compilerOptions": {
                    "module": "commonjs",
                    "target": "es5",
                "files": [

    Publishing Packages


    Publishes a workspace package.

    options: An optional hash of options:

    continueOnError?: boolean
    true to continue streaming if the workspace package fails to publish.
    The default is true.

    shrinkWrap?: boolean
    true to generate a shrink wrap file for the workspace package before publishing.
    The default is true.

    prePublishActions?: ConditionableAction[]
    A collection of actions that will be executed prior to the workspace package being published. See Conditionable Actions for more detail.

    versionBump?: string
    A version number (i.e., "1.2.3") or a 'semver' release type (i.e., "major", "premajor", "minor", "preminor", "patch", "prepatch" or "prerelease").
    The default is "patch".

    Conditionable Actions

    Many of the plugins that gulp-npmworkspace provides have support for executing actions as part of their behvior. A conditionable action is simply an object that provides the following properties:

    condition?: (packageDescriptor: PackageDescriptor, packagePath: string) => boolean
    An optional function that if returns true indicates that the action should be applied. If no condition is supplied then the action is always applied.

    _action: (packageDescriptor: PackageDescriptor, packagePath: string, callback: (error?: Error))
    The action function to execute. The callback must be invoked on completion and may supply an optional error to indicate a failure.

    There are two ways of providing conditionable actions to the plugins:

    1. Pass an array of Conditionalable Actions to the plugin as part of the options they accept:

    For example, npmInstall() can be invoked with actions such as:

    function doSomething(): Promise {
        // some asynchronous code
    return workspace.workspacePackages()
            postInstallActions: [
                    condition: function(package, packagePath) {
                        return getCondition() ? true : false;
                    action: function(package, packagePath, callback) {
                // This action will always execute
                    action: function(package, packagePath, callback) {
    1. Add a gulpfile.workspace.js file to the root of the workspace package and add the action there:

    Sometimes an action is only applicable to one package, and adding it via the plugin options means that you would then have to introduce specific testing into a conditon to ensure that the action is only applied for that given package. gulp-npmworkspace looks for gulpfile.workspace.js files when streaming the workspace packages and makes it available to the other supporting plugins. This facilitates the addition of actions that are applicable to only individual packages.

    For example npmInstall() will also use the postInstall export from a package's gulp.workspace.js file:

    exports.postInstall = [
            condition: function(package, packagePath) {
            action: function(package, packagePath, callback) {
        // This action will always execute
            action: function(package, packagePath, callback) {

    Conditionable Actions defined in the workspace's gulpfile.js and passed into the plugins execute before those defined in a package's gulpfile.workspace.js file. It is also important to note that they are also executed in array order.

    gulpfile.workspace.js file export equivilants

    • npmInstall()
      • postInstallActions
      • exports.postInstall
    • npmUninstall()
      • postUninstallActions
      • exports.postUninstall
    • npmPublish()
      • prePublishActions
      • exports.prePublish
    • buildTypeScriptProject()
      • postTypeScriptCompileActions
      • exports.postTypeScriptCompile

    Command line Switches

    Although you can pass options to the plugins provided by gulp-npmworkspace, it is also convenient to be able to override them from the command line when invoking the associated Gulp tasks that you have defined.

    The following options support this:

    -p or --package package-name
    -p or --package !package-name  

    Overrides the package option that can be provided to workspacePackages(). Note the use of '!'. This indicates that the onlyNamedPackage option should be set to true.


    Overrides the versionBump option that can be provided to npmPubish().


    Overrides the disableExternalWorkspaces flag that can be provided to npmInstall().

    -v or --verbose

    Enables verbose logging.


    npm i gulp-npmworkspace

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