Taskcluster-lib-references is responsible for handling the API reference data, including manifests, API references, exchange references, and JSON schemas.

no longer a separate library
Last updated 2 years ago by djmitche .
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Taskcluster-lib-references is responsible for handling the API reference data, including manifests, API references, exchange references, and JSON schemas.

It exports a class, References, that manages reading and writing this data in several formats, as well as performing transformations and consistency checks.

It also serves as the canonical repository for a few shared schemas and meta-schemas under schemas/.

Data Formats

Built Services

This input format corresponds to a directory structure built by taskcluster-builder during the cluster build process:

├── myservice
│   ├── metadata.json
│   ├── references
│   │   ├── events.json
│   │   └── api.json
│   └── schemas
│       └── v1
│           ├── data-description.json
│           └── more-data.json
├── anotherservice
¦   ├── metadata.json

This is a subset of the taskcluster-lib-docs documentation tarball format, and metadata.json is defined there. The library will in fact load any .json files in references and interpret them according to their schema. So, the $schema property of every file in references must point to the relevant schema using a /-relative URI such as /schemas/common/api-reference-v1.json.

NOTE this library can only read data in this format, not write it.


This data structure looks like the schemas/ and references/ URIs within a Taskcluster rootUrl.

├── references
│   ├── manifest.json
│   ├── auth
│   │   └── v1
│   │       ├── api.json
│   │       └── exchanges.json
│   └── ...
└── schemas
    ├── auth
    │   └── v1
    │       ├── authenticate-hawk-request.json
    │       └── ...
    ├── common
    │   ├── action-schema-v1.json
    │   ├── api-reference-v0.json
    │   ├── exchanges-reference-v0.json
    │   └── manifest-v2.json
    └── ...


The serializable format is similar to the URI-structured format, but as a JSON-serializable data structure consisting of an array of {filename, content} objects.

    "filename": "references/manifest.json",
    "content": {
      "$schema": ...
  }, ...

Abstract and Absolute References

A References instance can either be "abstract" or "absolute". The abstract form contains /-relative URIs of the form /references/.. and /schemas/.., abstract from any specific rootUrl. These appear anywhere a link to another object in the references or schemas appears, including $schema, $id, and $ref.

The absolute form contains URIs that incorporate a specific rootUrl and thus could actually be fetched with an HTTP GET (in other words, the URIs are URLs).

The library can load and represnt either form, converting between them with asAbsolute and asAbstract. Some operations are only valid on one form. For example, json-schema requires that $schema properties be absolute URLs, so schema operations on schemas should not be performed on the abstract form.


To create a References instance, use one of the following methods:

const References = require('taskcluster-lib-references');

// Build from a built services format (which is always abstract)
references = References.fromBuiltServices({directory: '/build/directory'});

// Build from a uri-structured format; omit rootUrl when on-disk data is abstract
references = References.fromUriStructured({directory: '/app', rootUrl});

// Build from a serializable data structure; omit rootUrl if data is abstract
references = References.fromSerializable({serializable, rootUrl});

// Build from "live" components of a Taskcluster service; see "Testing Services" below
references = References.fromService({exchanges, builder, schemaset});

To validate the references, call references.validate(). If validation fails, the thrown error will have a problems property containing the discovered problems.

To convert between abstract and absolute references, use

const abstract = references.asAbstract();
const absolute = abstract.asAbsolute(rootUrl);

Note that both of these operations create a new object; Reference instances are considered immutable.

To write data back out, use

// write URI-structured data

// create a serializable data structure
data = references.makeSerializable();

To build an Ajv instance containing all schemas and metaschemas, call references.makeAjv(). This is only valid on an absolute References instance. To skip validation, use makeAjv({skipValidation: true}).

To get a specific schema, call references.getSchema($id), with an absolute or abstract $id as appropriate. To skip validation, use getSchema($id, {skipValidation: true}).


Validation occurs automatically in most operations on this class.

Every schema must:

  • have a valid $id within a Taskcluster deployment (so, a relative path of /schemas/<something>/<something>.json#);
  • have a valid $schema, either a json-schema.org URL or another schema in the references; and
  • validate against the schema indicated by $schema.

All $ref links in schemas must be relative and must refer only to schemas in the same service (so v1/more-data.json may refer to ../util/cats.json#definitions/jellicle but not to /schemas/anotherservice/v1/cats.json). As an exception, refs may refer to http://json-schema.org URIs.

Every reference must:

  • have a valid $schema, defined in the references;
  • have a schema that, in turn, hsa metaschema /schemas/common/metadata-metaschema.json#;
  • validate against the schema indicated by $schema.

File Contents

The contents of the files handled by this library are described in the schemas under schemas/ in the source repository, or under /schemas/common in a Taskcluster deployment.

Testing Services

To catch validation errors within a Taskcluster service's unit tests, add this library as a devDependency and add a test file like this:

# test/references_test.js
const builder = require('../src/v1');
const exchanges = require('../src/exchanges');
const helper = require('./helper');
const References = require('taskcluster-lib-references');

suite('references_test.js', function() {
  test('references validate', async function() {
    const schemaset = await helper.load('schemaset');
    const references = References.fromService({schemaset, builder, exchanges});

If the service does not have an API, or lacks exchanges, simply omit those parameters.

This will generate a temporary References instance containing only information about this service (along with the common schemas), then subject it to the same validation as the Taskcluster build process will.


The usual yarn and yarn test will run tests for this library.

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