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0.2.0 • Public • Published

Who? Why? When?

I made this tool when I just got a project from my coworker, and after running npm install then grunt build failed miserably. It was working well on his machine, so we compared npm ls and after a few manual npm install I finally discovered that a very specific version of a module was required to make the grunt build work.

This situation should never happen. In a ideal world where developers all follow semver and don't let their projects in version 0.x for its whole life, then it would not happen. But we don't live in this world :(


Work in progress. Tool is working, but it needs some polish and documentation :)

It, above all, needs optimization in the process too.


  • Working API
  • Working CLI
  • Better output
  • Better performance (parallel downloads and/or installs and/or tests)
  • Tool to generate npm-dichotomy.json (some smart guesses from package.json)
  • Conquer the world



npm install -g npm-dichotomy

Configure & run

Create a npm-dichotomy.json file:

  "test": "grunt build",
  "setup": "npm install",
  "modules": {
    "grunt": {"gte": "0.4.2", "satisfies": "~0.4.1"},
    "grunt-angular-templates": {"gte": "0.4.8", "satisfies": "~0.4.7"}
  • test is the command run after each npm install, this command must exit with code 0 to mark a success
  • setup is the command run once at beginning of the global operation
  • debug is a boolean, set to true if you want debug (dev) information
  • modules defines the criteria to follow, as a set of semver rules.
    • Key is the module's name
    • A rule is a method of semver module, you will generally need lte, lt, gte, gt and satisfies which are all self-explanatory
    • Typically you know that your test worked once in your project's life, you have an idea of the few modules that may cause the bug, you may simply list them and add a single satisfies rule copied from your package.json
    • Additionnally, you may know a module's version when it was working, you can then add a gte rule to limit the number of tested versions

Then run


How it works

npm-dichotomy will then grab available versions for each module, keep only the matching ones, then calculate all the possible combinations and test them all, one by one. That can be long, time for a cup of tea.

You can follow the progress in standard output, but that's not really the point of this command, it's supposed to free your mind from this annoying task. At the very end npm-dichotomy will display the successful combinations.

Final result

[ { versions: [ 'grunt@0.4.2', 'grunt-angular-templates@0.4.9' ],
    success: true } ]

What then?

Now you know, you can make your package.json more strict, yell on modules' maintainers, or try to understand why it failed, with a lot more information.




npm i npm-dichotomy

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