How do you organize your npm-scripts?

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This post isn’t explanation. This is a question.

Many people say that gulp, grunt and other build systems are overkills and we should just use simple npm-scripts. That’s reasonable, but there is a problem of organizing npm-scripts.

What am I talking about? Well, here is an example of npm scripts:

As you may noticed, it’s hard to understand all of this complex commands. So when you start to use too many specific flags or agruments of your command, your npm-script became ugly.

What the solution? Unfortunately, I don’t know. However, I have some ideas.


The simplest way to make your commands a little bit simpler is using of better-npm-run package. This package give us opportunity to define environment variables in more readable way. By the way it’s cross-platform.

Here is an example:

js file

If your npm-script is going to be too complex to understand, just create a javascript file.

In most of cases, the command which is used in npm-script is part of npm package. And this package should have API. It’s simple to use this API and implement what you need.

If your script require a specific system command (like rm, mkdir, etc), feel free to use fs module.

shell scripts

Another way is good when your command is really complex. Create a scripts folder and put there shell scripts for your tasks.

The benefits of this way:

  • Scripts are much more extandable
  • package.json is kept very simple
  • You can define environment variables in your scripts
  • You can do almost everything in your scripts

But this solution isn’t cross-platform and that’s may be a big problem.


Those solutions may be not good enough, but this is working. I will be glad to hear any other solution, because that’s exactly what I’m looking for. So if you have any better idea, please, let me know.