node package manager



A module that allows you to build your project, resolving dependencies based on the @uses annotation.

Build Status Dependency Status NPM version


Before I dive into the technical specifics, I'll explain what this module is all about.

In short, it allows you to annotate your files with the @uses annotation to specify your dependencies; which is convenient for the developer reading your code as he or she now knows what dependencies a file has. It looks like this:

 * My file
 * Some info about My file
 * @author  RWOverdijk
 * @version 0.1.0
 * @license MIT
 * @uses ./my-dependency.js
 * @uses ./my/other/dependency.js
 // Code here... 

It's also convenient because this module will bundle all dependencies together for you. If you'd like a more detailed explanation of this module and its benefits, you can read about it in this blog post.


This module allows you to:

  • Build combined dist file based on used dependencies.
  • Wrap the output to prevent pollution of the global scope.
  • Include external (third party) resources. *New
  • Aliases. *New
  • Configure custom search (include) paths. *New


You can install useuses using npm:

Save as dependency: npm install useuses --save

Global (for the cli): npm install -g useuses


This module can be used in a programmatic manner, or via the command line.


This example assumes you have useuses installed globally. If that's not the case, simply replace useuses with ./node_modules/useuses/bin/useuses.js.

useuses -i example/main.js -o example/dist/built.js -w

All available options can be found further down this document.


Below is an example on how to use Useuses.

var Useuses = require('useuses'),
options = {
  in     : 'example/main.js',
  out    : 'example/dist/built.js',
  wrap   : true,
  verbose: true,
  aliases: {foo: 'bar/baz/bat'},
  search : ['bower_components']
useuses = new Useuses(options);
useuses.compile(function (error, assembled) {
  if (error) {
    return console.error(error);
  console.log('Yay! The build succeeded. The files included in the build are:', assembled);

All available options can be found further down this document.


The following options are currently available for useuses.

In (--in, -i)

Use this option to tell useuses where the main project file is located.

Out (--out, -o)

Using this option you can tell useuses where to write the built file to.

Verbose (--verbose, -v)

When supplied, useuses will output the files written to the build.

Tolerant (--tolerant, -t)

When supplied, useuses will not stop on missing dependencies.

DryRun (--dry-run, -d)

When supplied, useuses won't write the actual build. In stead, it will output a list of files that would have been written if this weren't a dry-run.

Note: Programmatically, the key for this option is dryRun.

Aliases (--alias, -a)

With this option you can set up aliases for your dependencies. This is particularly useful with external resources or vendor (lib) files.


-a angular=

Now you can just use @uses angular to specify you're using angular, and it will be downloaded and added to the build.

Using aliases can also be useful to specify alias paths.

For instance, creating alias -a namespace/core=library/namespace/src/core would allow you to get rid of the lengthy @uses. You can now just specify namespace/core/array-utilities.js as a dependency.

You can supply multiple -a options, or an array separated string of assignments.


-a vendor=vendor/bower_components,angular=library/angular/angular.js

Note: Programmatically, the key for this option is aliases. An object where the key is the alias, and the value is what the alias links to.

Search (--search, -s)

This option allows you to specify custom search paths; places for the module to look for your dependencies.


useuses -i simple/main.js -o examples/simple/dist/built.js -s examples -w

Will now find simple/main.js in examples/simple/main.js and will also use the path examples for nested dependencies.

Note: Programmatically, the value for this option should be an array of paths.

Wrap (--wrap, -w)

Setting this to true, will instruct useuses to wrap the built code in a self-invoking function. The advantage here, is that your code will not pollute the global scope; but will still run.

For example, this:

var name = 'World';
console.log('Hello ' + name);

Would become this:

(function () {
  var name = 'World';
  console.log('Hello ' + name);


If you have any questions / suggestions feel free to use one of the following resources: