How to add comments to package.json

  • Author: Techiediaries Team

In this quick tip article, we'll see how to add comments to the package.json file.

What's package.json?

The package.json file uses the JSON format for storing meta-information about a Node.js project, and most importantly managing the project's dependencies installed or that should be installed from the npm registry. It can also contain scripts for building and running your project and any related development tools such as a live-reload server or Sass preprocessor, etc.

How to Create a package.json file?

You can create a package.json file manually or using the npm init command once you install Node and npm in your machine.

This is an example package.json file generated using the npm init command with the default values:

{
  "name": "e",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  },
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC"
}

Once you install a dependency from npm, for example:

$ npm install bootstrap

This will be the content of the package.json file:

{
  "name": "e",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  },
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "bootstrap": "^4.5.2"
  }
}

Since Node is used for powering most front-end tools, such as Angular CLI , Vue CLI and React Create App, you'll ofter need to work with the package.json file in your front-end projects.

How to Add Comments to your package.json File?

There is an angoing discussion about if we need comments in JSON files that by default they don't support them but there are also many ways that you can use to add comments to your JSON files including the package.json file.

You can find most of the possible ways to add comments to JSON in the linked article.

For the package.json file, you can't use tools that pre-process your file and remove any added comments that are not supported by JSON, since the file itself is not part of your project's workflow. However, you can add comments as valid JSON properties, For example, going back to our generated package.json file, we can comment it as follows:

{
  "name": "e",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  },
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "bootstrap": "^4.5.2"
  },
  "comments": {
    "dependencies": "We use Bootstrap 5, we will upgrade to v5 once is ready for production",
    "description": "Add a description",
    "license": "Still deciding MIT or BSD"
  }
}

This will be a good way for adding comments to your package.json file if you maintain a good structure of your comments preferably close to the structure of your package.json file itself.

The idea is originally taken from this post.


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