An Update On Generator Express

18th December 2016

It's been around 3.5 years since I first created the Yeoman Express Generator, I've just completed updating it to use Yeoman 1.0 which was just released, and thought I'd share an update.

By the end of the year the generator will have been installed from npm 100k times which I feel is a nice milestone, especially when you only need to install it once to then generate as many projects as you like.

I was very surprised in May to find out that the generator features in Microsoft's official documentation: Get started with Node.js web apps in Azure App Service as the first step to generate an express project. I'm not really sure how that happened, someone at MSFT must use it.

Changes to the generator are usually driven by the community, the most recent being the addition of tests within the generated project. Which was requested, and developed by individuals that use the generator. I only had to test, merge and make a few alterations.

So far I've had good experiences with people just wanting to improve the project, although have had a few pull requests go stale after a couple of bits of feedback - which I guess is that contributor has decided they don't have the time to finish it off or have found an alternative project to use, which is fine.

At the moment I spend time keeping the generator maintained, usually every 1-2 months I update the project dependencies. As it's generating a project I feel that the project should be using the latest packages. To aid the maintenance I have a monthly scheduled job in ITTT that adds a reminder issue to the project, I also have a small tool to check if the dependencies are up to date which uses the .dependencies.json file in the root of the project so I can list all the dependencies that the generated project might use. This tool can create a github issue with the list of dependencies and link to their npm pages. I originally wanted to automate this with my monthly ITTT job but have never put the time into it, at the moment it's a couple of clicks away so seems I'd lose more time in automating it than the benefit of time it would save.

I have no grand future plans at the moment for the project, I'll continue maintaining it and await a 5.0 release of express before upping the package's major version to 3, but I'm not sure how long that is off after issues around development of express.

Downloads Downloads over the last 3 years.