Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment for Open Sourced NPM Tooling.
Last updated a year ago by raybenefield .
MIT · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
$ cnpm install kli 
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.


KLI (based on Kommand Line Interface) is a package that allows you to define commands with aliases and will determine what commands your users are trying to run. It uses a trie search to find a single command that matches the user's request. Meow from Sindre is a great reference for simple things that can be done to ease the development of CLI tools. But I needed more. Commands also push to enforce a dry-run first philosophy by separating out side effects, and defining a run function that encourages returning all data pre-calculated to be used in the side effect. This approach also allows for a focus on things like providing a template to display the results of the run function, before running --commit to execute the side effect.


I was exploring how do I make the CLI tool for KI/KD much easier to use. I really wanted a system that would automatically "generate" all of the potential aliases that you could use for a single command. Like I should be able to do kd b, kd bu, kd bui, etc. in order to run the build command. But I also don't want to have to generate all of those every one of those manually. So I started doing research and I remembered that I saw something that generated those aliases. Well I couldn't find that, but I did find the trie search concept. It would allow a search over a set of tokens to determine what command to use. And I found just the repo to pull it off and played around in a sandbox to make sure it was a viable idea and it totally was.

Feature Goals

So I want to do at least what Meow does. Which is:

  • Parses arguments
  • Converts flags to camelCase
  • Outputs version when --version
  • Outputs description and supplied help text when --help
  • Makes unhandled rejected promises fail loudly instead of the default silent fail
  • Sets the process title to the binary name defined in package.json

In addition I want to add:

  • Auto-complete commands if unique
    • a should resolve add if only add and build exist as commands
  • Suggest potential commands based on ambiguous command string
    • a given with add and app commands
  • Determine command wanted based on flags send
    • add selected if given a with a flag of --dev when another command of app exists that does not support that flag
  • Generate list of viable aliases
    • if add and app exist the aliases would be:
      • ad
      • add
      • ap
      • app
    • Ambiguous aliases are basically removed
  • Generate BREAKING CHANGES based on commands going from concrete to ambiguous
    • if we only have add then a, ad, and add works, but when we add app then a is now ambiguous and can't be determined automatically

Configuration Structure

The main configuration will be the list of commands given, which will look like so:

The Command List

    commands: [
            name: 'list',
            aliases: ['ls'],
            run: () => {},
            template: () => {},
            name: 'build',
            renderer: () => {},
            aliases: ['distribution', 'generate'],
            run: () => {},
            effect: () => {},
            args: { _: 'packageNames' },
            name: 'publish'
            aliases: ['deploy'],
            run: () => {},
            effect: () => {},

The above commands will automatically be used to create a Trie Search and the name and aliases will be joined appropriately to match a structure that works. Then when the run command is used, it will determine which one to run and then run that command. If it can't decide which one (like d is given which refers to deploy and distribute) then it will run an Inquirer prompt to help the user decide.

Command API

    name: 'build',
    aliases: ['distribution', 'generate'],
    run: () => {},
    template: () => {},
    renderer: () => {},
    effect: () => {},
    args: { _: 'packageNames' },

A Command's API has several features:

  • name - The major name of the command and is used in the trie search
  • aliases - Alternate names that a command can be called as, also used in the trie search
  • run - This is intended to be a side effect free operation that gathers as much data as possible for any potential side effects that could be run
  • template - Formats the resulting data from the run function, eventually used in the renderer function... useful for templating languages like handlebars, html like structure, etc.
  • renderer - Determines how the output will be rendered, which could be nothing as a noop function, a simple console.log, a no color console.log, a json format, or more, it gets passed the result of the template function
  • effect - Effects receive the full data structure from the run function, however they are not run unless a --commit flag is passed, forcing a dry-run first philosophy
  • args - KLI automatically parses command line arguments and sends them to the run functions, and this is a way to remap those arguments... particularly useful for non-named arguments

Current Tags

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12 Versions

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