If you are only publishing the bundle of your library and not exposing any of its dependencies directly to the consumers, you can consider putting those dependencies in the devDependencies section of your package.json. However, the decision depends on your specific use case and project requirements. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed choice:

  1. Bundle Dependencies Only: If you are publishing a bundled version of your library that includes all its dependencies, and consumers won't need to separately install any of those dependencies, it makes sense to keep them in devDependencies. This approach helps reduce the size of the published bundle and ensures that consumers don't get duplicate or unnecessary dependencies when they install your library.

  2. Transitive Dependencies: Consider whether your library has any transitive dependencies (dependencies required by your library's dependencies). If your library's bundled version already includes the transitive dependencies, it's a good practice to keep them in devDependencies.

  3. Development and Build Dependencies: If the dependencies are only used during development, build processes, or other tasks related to maintaining the library (e.g., testing, linting, building), it's appropriate to place them in devDependencies.

  4. Type Declarations (TypeScript): If your library uses TypeScript and relies on type declarations (.d.ts files) from some of its dependencies, you may want to keep those dependencies in dependencies instead of devDependencies. This allows consumers of your library to access the correct type information when using your library in TypeScript projects.

  5. Peer Dependencies: If your library relies on peer dependencies (dependencies that must be installed by the consumer), keep them in dependencies. Peer dependencies are not automatically installed when your library is used, so consumers need to ensure they have the required peer dependencies.

  6. Consider Bundler Options: If you are using a bundler like Webpack or Rollup to create your library's bundle, it may have options to exclude certain dependencies from the final bundle. In such cases, you can leave the dependencies in dependencies and configure the bundler to omit them from the output bundle.

Ultimately, placing dependencies in devDependencies or dependencies affects how they are handled during installation, development, and consumption of your library. Make sure to document the dependencies and provide clear instructions for developers who want to use your library.

In summary, placing dependencies in devDependencies can be appropriate if your library is bundled with all its dependencies, and consumers won't need to install or access them separately. However, be mindful of any transitive dependencies, type declarations, and peer dependencies that might require a different approach.

Have questions or queries?
Get in Touch