6.1.0 • Public • Published


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Build and compile npm packages to run in the browser. This API is capable of building modules through different build systems. The aim is to have full cross-build-system API that serves a single file to be used in the browser. Note that this API should only be hit from


git clone
npm install


Make sure BFFS is configured against a running NoSQL database. Development, staging and test configurations assume this instance is available on the localhost. Without a database builds will not be stored.

npm start


The API consists of two methods. Running this as an API allows the entire build process to run independantly as a microservice. POST routes only accept application/json.

POST /build

Trigger a new build for the package specified in the payload. Configuration properties are merged in with the provided specification. For example the registry that is used to install the package will be merged in. This route expects a POST payload that is similar to npm publish.


  "_id": "test",
  "name": "test",                     // Used as key for storage.
  "description": "A builder test",
  "main": "index.jsx",                // Entry file if not defined in build system.
  "dist-tags": {
    "latest": "0.0.0"                 // Used to extract the version.
  "build": "webpack",                 // Overrule the build system type.
  "main": "index.jsx",
    "test-0.0.0.tgz": {
      "data": "...",                  // base64 encoded tarball of npm pack.
      "length": 665

The route will stream whiteline delimited JSON as response. The id is the unique v4 id generated that can also be used to cancel the build.


curl -vX POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d @payload-0.0.0.json http://localhost:1337/build

Accept: application/json
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8
Host: localhost:6064


Build systems

carpenterd will orchestrate builds as specified in the package. Builds are distributed to NSQ. carpenterd-worker instances subscribe to NSQ and perform the actual builds. To maximize the developer experience it will use the same configuration you use locally. In any case the result should equal the local build output, with the exception of additional minification, etc. Minification will only be performed if the env is set to prod, e.g. for npm dist-tags 'package@version' prod. The following builds systems are currently available.

  • Browserify: will read the main file as determined from the package.json and bundle all modules that are imported/required. Configuration is usually part of any dependant package.json. This build has no explicit configuration, it will simply execute browserify. The complete output file with the CommonJS require wrapper is exposed to BFFS.

  • Webpack: will read the default webpack configuration (webpack.config.js). There are no imposed limitations on the configuration. However, the output directory will have to be ./dist by our convention. All files in the output directory will be published to BFFS.

Identification of build system type

Specify a build system in package.json with the build keyword or use any of the following terms in the keywords:

  1. Webpack: webpack
  2. Browserify: browserify

Alternatively specifying the build system name on the package.json with the relative path to the configuration file will also classify the build system, for example: webpack: '/path/to/config.js'.

Forcefully ignore builds

If a published package should not run any builds at all, provide a build: false flag in the package.json.

  "name": "package",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "build": false,

Note: the module/package can also be published directly to a module registry. However, if you want to ensure dependents are build whenever your module is published this flag can be useful.


Each environment specifies a different set of default options for the builder. For instance which registry to run npm install against. Each build instance has a maximum runtime of 15 minutes. This value can be changed in the configuration.

Secure setup

By default carpenterd runs as an service over http and has no authentication in place. Setup the configuration to have Slay use https and use authentication middleware, for example authboot. Store API keys and tokens in an encrypted config with whisper.json.

Per build specifications

Variables and specifications required for a build are discerned from a combination of package.json, build system configuration files and defaults from Carpenters configuration.

type: can be supplied as build property on the package.json or is extracted from the keywords. Defaults to Webpack.

target: writes the package and its dependencies to a temporary folder named after a unique v4 id. After building this folder is removed from the file system to save disk space.

version: read from the package.json dist-tags.latest. Has no default.

name: Defaults to the package.json name property, e.g. the modules name.

locale: Uses the locales specified on the package.json. Each unique locale triggers a new build. The build will have the environment variables LANG and LOCALE set for each build. These values default to en-US.


The files listed here need to be relative of the root project so that they can be properly read from disk. This gives you more fine tune control over what files get published to the CDN in any given environment.

prod = ['dist/js/app.min.js', 'dist/css/app.min.css']
test = ['dist/js/app.js', 'dist/css/app.css']
dev = ['dist/js/app.js', 'dist/css/app.css'];


Carpenterd supports posting messages to the status-api via NSQ. It will post messages to the nsq topic configured at:

  // ...other configuration
  "nsq": {
    "statusTopic": "an-nsq-topic", // topic that you choose for the status-api to consume
    // ...other nsq setup
  // ...other configuration

The NSQ payloads will be object that take the form:

    eventType: "event|queued|error|ignored", // The type of status event that occurred
    name: "package-name",
    env: "dev", // The environment that is being built
    version: "1.2.3", // The version of the build
    locale: "en-US", // (Optional) The locale that is being built
    buildType: "webpack", // The type of the build (typically just webpack)
    total: 5, // (Optional) The number of builds that were queued
    message: "Description of what happened"

Event Types

In the status-api NSQ payload there is a field called eventType. The possible values that carpenterd will send are:

  • event - Used for interim statuses that a user might care about, but doesn't affect/progress the overall build status
  • queued - Used to indicated how many builds were queued with carpenter-worker
  • error - Used to indicate that carpenterd encountered an error and wasn't able to queue all the builds
  • ignored - Used to indicate that the build was ignored and no builds were queued. Typically this is because the package was not configured to have a build or was set to not build.


Run an AWS local cloud stack, pull latest [localstack]. This requires docker to be setup.

docker pull localstack/localstack:latest
npm run localstack

Run tests in a separate terminal.

npm test

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npm i carpenterd

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