Normalizes data that can be found in package.json files.
Last updated a year ago by audrey.e .
BSD-2-Clause · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
$ cnpm install normalize-package-data 
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.

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normalize-package-data exports a function that normalizes package metadata. This data is typically found in a package.json file, but in principle could come from any source - for example the npm registry.

normalize-package-data is used by read-package-json to normalize the data it reads from a package.json file. In turn, read-package-json is used by npm and various npm-related tools.


npm install normalize-package-data


Basic usage is really simple. You call the function that normalize-package-data exports. Let's call it normalizeData.

normalizeData = require('normalize-package-data')
packageData = require("./package.json")
// packageData is now normalized

Strict mode

You may activate strict validation by passing true as the second argument.

normalizeData = require('normalize-package-data')
packageData = require("./package.json")
normalizeData(packageData, true)
// packageData is now normalized

If strict mode is activated, only Semver 2.0 version strings are accepted. Otherwise, Semver 1.0 strings are accepted as well. Packages must have a name, and the name field must not have contain leading or trailing whitespace.


Optionally, you may pass a "warning" function. It gets called whenever the normalizeData function encounters something that doesn't look right. It indicates less than perfect input data.

normalizeData = require('normalize-package-data')
packageData = require("./package.json")
warnFn = function(msg) { console.error(msg) }
normalizeData(packageData, warnFn)
// packageData is now normalized. Any number of warnings may have been logged.

You may combine strict validation with warnings by passing true as the second argument, and warnFn as third.

When private field is set to true, warnings will be suppressed.

Potential exceptions

If the supplied data has an invalid name or version vield, normalizeData will throw an error. Depending on where you call normalizeData, you may want to catch these errors so can pass them to a callback.

What normalization (currently) entails

  • The value of name field gets trimmed (unless in strict mode).
  • The value of the version field gets cleaned by semver.clean. See documentation for the semver module.
  • If name and/or version fields are missing, they are set to empty strings.
  • If files field is not an array, it will be removed.
  • If bin field is a string, then bin field will become an object with name set to the value of the name field, and bin set to the original string value.
  • If man field is a string, it will become an array with the original string as its sole member.
  • If keywords field is string, it is considered to be a list of keywords separated by one or more white-space characters. It gets converted to an array by splitting on \s+.
  • All people fields (author, maintainers, contributors) get converted into objects with name, email and url properties.
  • If bundledDependencies field (a typo) exists and bundleDependencies field does not, bundledDependencies will get renamed to bundleDependencies.
  • If the value of any of the dependencies fields (dependencies, devDependencies, optionalDependencies) is a string, it gets converted into an object with familiar name=>value pairs.
  • The values in optionalDependencies get added to dependencies. The optionalDependencies array is left untouched.
  • As of v2: Dependencies that point at known hosted git providers (currently: github, bitbucket, gitlab) will have their URLs canonicalized, but protocols will be preserved.
  • As of v2: Dependencies that use shortcuts for hosted git providers (org/proj, github:org/proj, bitbucket:org/proj, gitlab:org/proj, gist:docid) will have the shortcut left in place. (In the case of github, the org/proj form will be expanded to github:org/proj.) THIS MARKS A BREAKING CHANGE FROM V1, where the shorcut was previously expanded to a URL.
  • If description field does not exist, but readme field does, then (more or less) the first paragraph of text that's found in the readme is taken as value for description.
  • If repository field is a string, it will become an object with url set to the original string value, and type set to "git".
  • If repository.url is not a valid url, but in the style of "[owner-name]/[repo-name]", repository.url will be set to git+[owner-name]/[repo-name].git
  • If bugs field is a string, the value of bugs field is changed into an object with url set to the original string value.
  • If bugs field does not exist, but repository field points to a repository hosted on GitHub, the value of the bugs field gets set to an url in the form of[owner-name]/[repo-name]/issues . If the repository field points to a GitHub Gist repo url, the associated http url is chosen.
  • If bugs field is an object, the resulting value only has email and url properties. If email and url properties are not strings, they are ignored. If no valid values for either email or url is found, bugs field will be removed.
  • If homepage field is not a string, it will be removed.
  • If the url in the homepage field does not specify a protocol, then http is assumed. For example, will be changed to
  • If homepage field does not exist, but repository field points to a repository hosted on GitHub, the value of the homepage field gets set to an url in the form of[owner-name]/[repo-name]#readme . If the repository field points to a GitHub Gist repo url, the associated http url is chosen.

Rules for name field

If name field is given, the value of the name field must be a string. The string may not:

  • start with a period.
  • contain the following characters: /@\s+%
  • contain any characters that would need to be encoded for use in urls.
  • resemble the word node_modules or favicon.ico (case doesn't matter).

Rules for version field

If version field is given, the value of the version field must be a valid semver string, as determined by the semver.valid method. See documentation for the semver module.

Rules for license field

The license field should be a valid SPDX license expression or one of the special values allowed by validate-npm-package-license. See documentation for the license field in package.json.


This package contains code based on read-package-json written by Isaac Z. Schlueter. Used with permisson.


normalize-package-data is released under the BSD 2-Clause License.
Copyright (c) 2013 Meryn Stol

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