Building web applications can be complex, but with the right tools, it becomes simpler. These tools, called packages, can do everything from cleaning up our code to protecting data.
In this article, we will explore some of the most useful NPM packages that every web developer should know. Let's get started!
The main benefit of lodash is the modular architecture. Rather than providing one massive utility library, lodash is split into smaller modules that can be included independently.
This allows you to only include the specific helpers needed for your project to reduce bundle size. Useful modules include those for arrays, collections, numbers, objects, strings and more. Lodash methods are also optimized for performance with techniques like avoiding slower for loops.
The Axios library simplifies HTTP requests in browsers and Node.js with a promise-based API. It provides automatic transforms for request/response data like JSON stringification and parsing.
Other key features include interceptors, cancellation tokens, XSRF protection, timeouts and upload progress. With simple syntax like get() and post(), Axios makes sending requests seamless.
Prettier is an opinionated code formatter that enforces a consistent code style by parsing your code and re-printing it with its own rules. It takes care of the formatting, allowing developers to focus on coding logic.
Bcrypt.js is a library to help hash passwords. It's a password-hashing function designed to be computationally intensive to resist brute-force attacks. Bcrypt.js is useful when you need to securely store user passwords.
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The 'uuid' library is used to create universally unique identifiers. It supports the generation of various types of UUIDs, such as time-based and random, which can be used for creating unique keys, identifiers, or any other case where unique strings are needed.
Fs-extra adds file system methods that aren't included in the native Node.js 'fs' module. It is a drop-in replacement for 'fs' and includes methods for copying directories, removing directories recursively, and more.
ShellJS is a portable Unix shell commands for Node.js. It provides a way for developers to use Unix system commands within a Node.js application, helping in automating various system tasks.
Nodemon is a utility that monitors for any changes in your source code and automatically restarts your server. It's designed to speed up development in Node.js based applications.
Chalk is a Node.js library that provides a simple and easy-to-use interface for applying styles, such as colors and background colors, to terminal strings. It helps to create more readable logs.
Dotenv is a module that loads environment variables from a `.env` file into `process.env`. This helps in creating project-specific environment variables that shouldn't be shared with the public.