A laoban project is a directory with a package.details.json file in it. This project MUST be under a directory that has a laoban.json file in it.

Typical package.details.json

  "template":    "typescript",
  "name":        "laoban",
  "description": "A cli for managing projects that have many npm packages",
  "links":       [
    "@laoban/variables", "@laoban/generations", "@laoban/validation", "@laoban/debug", "@laoban/files"
  "guards":      {
    "compile": true,
    "test":    true,
    "publish": true
Name Purpose
template This examples ‘what type of project this is’.
name The name of the project. This is the value that the project would be published to in npmjs
description Human readable description of the project.
details.links This is how we express ‘This project depends on other projects’
details.compile/test/publish These control if commands are executed in this project

Project details file and variables

All the fields in a package.details.json file are available as variables in scripts.

How do I find what packages exist

laoban packages

If we examine the results of this in the laoban project itself

modules\debug       => @laoban/debug       (remoteTypescript)
modules\files       => @laoban/files       (typescript      ) depends on [@laoban/utils]
modules\generations => @laoban/generations (typescript      ) depends on [@laoban/debug,@laoban/utils]
modules\laoban      => laoban                 (typescript      ) depends on [@laoban/variables,@laoban/generations,@laoban/validation,@laoban/debug,@laoban/
modules\utils       => @laoban/utils       (typescript      )
modules\validation  => @laoban/validation  (typescript      )
modules\variables   => @laoban/variables   (typescript      )

Each line corresponds to a packages. We can see the directory and the npm name of the packages. The value in (brackets) is the template of the packages The dependencies between the packages are shown at the end.

What are package dependencies?

Each laoban package can depend on others. This is important for things like ‘compilation order’. If we are compiling all the projects we want to compile the dependent projects first.

Dependencies are specified in the package.details.json file. A sample is shown here

Note that the links reference the name of the project not the directory. With a javascript project this is the name that would be present in npmjs.

How can I use the packages dependencies

You can execute any script in link order by

laoban helloWorld -l

How can I see what order the commands will be executed in

Adding the -g option says display the generation plan. This will show the order that the

laoban helloWorld -lg
Generation 0 modules\debug, modules\utils

Generation 1 modules\files, modules\generations, modules\variables, modules\validation

Generation 2 modules\laoban

This is telling us that all the projects in generation 0 will be executed before the projects in generation 1 and so on.

How do I make a packages from scratch

You should be able to see the packages now if you execute laoban packages

Typical package.details.json


As described in Scripts some commands set status to true, which means that the success or failure of the last run will be remembered and displayed when you run laoban status.

Examples of this are laoban compile, laoban test and laoban publish.


For general interest the times of the status scripts is recorded and can be seen with laoban profile. Each package is shown twice: once in average and once in latest.