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A skeleton for developing npm-modules in ES6 by using webpack with babel-loader.


  • production, development & development-server mode
  • minifying
    • Tree-Shaking
  • hot development-server
    • Hot module replacement
    • webpage is automatically created
    • use of a template
      • modify index.ejs for your needs
      • Bootstrap is preconfigured
  • clean dist-directory before recompiling
  • configuration-file in config/app.js
  • if wanted:
    • create a sourcemap
    • include lodash
    • use polyfills
  • postcss & cssnext
  • babel for converting ES6
  • mocha & chai for testing

This package is bundled in a way that will achieve the following goals:

  • setting the library name as npm-es6-webpack-skeleton
    • change the name in package.json
  • exposing the library as a variable npmEs6WebpackSkeleton.
    • change the constant libraryVarName in config/app.js
  • access the library inside Node.js.

Also, the consumer should be able to access the library the following ways:

  • ES2015 module
  • CommonJS module
  • Global variable, when included through script tag.


You can decide how to install the skeleton, via npm or git


git clone
cd npm-es6-webpack-skeleton
mv package.json.example package.json
npm i


npm init -y 
npm i npm-es6-webpack-skeleton 
mv node_modules/npm-es6-webpack-skeleton /WHERE/EVER/YOU/WANT/IT
mv package.json.example package.json
npm i

Now check if everything went ok. Herefor you've got some possibilities:

  • webpack-dev-server, with hot-module-replacemnt enabled
    • an html-page should open
    • your bundle will be automatically injected
    • the bundle is notified when a change has happened
npm start
  • development-mode:
npm run dev

... or better

npm run watch
  • testing
npm run dev
npm test


In config/app.js you have some options for basic configuration:

const libraryVarName = 'npmEs6WebpackSkeleton';
const libraryFileName = 'app';
const sourcemap = (process.env.NODE_ENV === 'PRODUCTION') ? true : false;
const htmlTitle = 'npm-es6-webpack-skeleton';
const includeLodash = true;
const enablePolyFill = false;
const libraryTarget = 'umd';
variable description
libraryVarName the public variable-name you can reach the bundle, i.e. in a script-tag
libraryFileName filename for the bundle
sourcemap output sourcefiles for js & css
htmlTitle the title of the development-server page
includeLodash a really nice utility-library. If set to false, webpack adds it to externals.
enablePolyFill babel-polyfill allows you to use the full set of ES6 features beyond syntax changes. This includes features such as new built-in objects like Promises and WeakMap, as well as new static methods like Array.from or Object.assign. Without babel-polyfill, babel only allows you to use features like arrow functions, destructuring, default arguments, and other syntax-specific features introduced in ES6.
libraryTarget umd is the default. See here for more information


Write your module

Open src/index.js and begin coding. Webpack will only bundle the code you are importing, which is also the case for your css & sass files, so you have explicitly ask for it. Here's an example:

// import essential libraries
import _ from 'lodash';
import * as mathLib from './lib/math.js';
import {
    diag as d
} from './lib/math.js';
import printMe from './lib/print.js';
import * as pointLib from './lib/class.Point.js';

// import some css & sass
import './css/styles-01.css'; 
import './css/styles-02.css'; 
import './sass/sass.scss';  

// are we in development-mode?
if (process.env.NODE_ENV !== 'production') {
    console.log('Looks like we are in development mode!');

// exports
export default function(x) {
    return 'I am the default function.';
export function hello() {
    return _.join(['Hello', 'world'], ' ');
export function print(num) {
    return printMe();
export function numFormatter(number, locale) {
    return number.toLocaleString(locale);
export const math = mathLib;
export const mathSelection = {
    diag: d,
export const point = pointLib;

For easier development use npm --watch or npm start. The latter one starts the development-server and brings up a page, which you can modify for your needs in src/template/index.ejs.

npm --watch creates the files app.css && app.js in dist/, whereas npm prod creates the minfied versions as well.

Import the module

The module already works out of the box, so you can link it easily to an application, without publishing it:

npm link

Import ...

// ES2015 module import
import theDefault, * as ns from 'npm-es6-webpack-skeleton';

// CommonJS module require
var ns = require('npm-es6-webpack-skeleton');

... and use it"theDefault", theDefault());"ns.hello", ns.hello());"ns.print", ns.print());"ns.numFormatter", ns.numFormatter(21)); 
// math
console.log("ns.math.square", ns.math.square(11)); 
console.log("ns.math.cube", ns.math.cube(11));
console.log("ns.math.diag", ns.math.diag(4, 3));

// mathSelection
console.log("ns.mathSelection.square", ns.mathSelection.square(21)); 
console.log("ns.mathSelection.cube", ns.mathSelection.cube(11));
console.log("ns.mathSelection.diag", ns.mathSelection.diag(11,22));

// pointLib
const point = new ns.point.Point();
const colorpoint = new ns.point.ColorPoint();
colorpoint.create(55,88, "red");
console.log("point", point.toString());
console.log("colorpoint", colorpoint.toString());

The consumer also can use the library by loading it via a script tag:

<script src="your-public-place/app.js"></script>


  • npm run
    • start - bring up the development server, where an index.html is automatically created. Modify the template, which you will find in src/template/index.ejs, so it fits your needs. The server is reachable under localhost:8080
    • dev - create dist/app.js, not minimized
    • watch - watch the src-directory
    • prod - create dist/app.js in a minified version, where tree-shaking is triggered as well
    • test - mocha & chai tests
    • prepublish - run tests before publishing

Running tests

npm i 
npm run dev
npm test


Andreas Stephan


Copyright © 2017 Andreas Stephan Released under the MIT license.