I have a GitHub repository that contains foundational styles and scripts that I use in other projects. In order to avoid copying and pasting the code, I wanted to include it as an npm dependency. Additionally, I wanted to see if I could avoid sending it to npm, and get it directly from GitHub. Fortunately, you can!

From the NPM docs on npm install, GitHub repositories can be installed directly by using the [username]/[repository-name] convention:

npm install samhermes/alexander

Once that runs, it will show up in package.json as:

"dependencies": {
"alexander": "github:samhermes/alexander"

This worked great, but then I started to wonder about versioning. If I make an update to the alexander repository, the latest version will always be pulled into my projects when doing an install. In most cases, this would be a good thing, but it would be better to be able to opt in.

Again, from the npm install docs, I found that I could install based on a commit number or tag. I set up a tag for the latest version of the repository, and used it to reinstall:

npm install samhermes/alexander#1.0.3

Now, package.json reflected the tagged version, and I'll need to update to a new version to get any future changes:

"dependencies": {
"alexander": "github:samhermes/alexander#1.0.3"