Actionhero + Standard.js

actionhero javascript node.js 
Wed Dec 14 2016


I don’t want to talk about ESLint ever again. I don’t ever want to talk about "code style" ever again. I want to write code, and I want the machine to ensure my "style" is correct. I don’t have time for this… I’ve got an app to write!


StandardJS is a ridiculously opinionated collection of "very good" javascript (and JSX) code style rules. There is no configuration and you can’t change the rules. You are either all in or entirely out. This is perfect. I want a set of best practices to follow, set by industry "experts", which are automatically applied for me.

ActionHero has been using a custom collection of .eslint rules for a long time now… but they were very bespoke. Github user @synthmeat did the hard work of creating our .eslintrc configuration back in the dark days of May 2016, and before that, we had .jshint. Having a linter is great, and it really did did help us catch bugs and have a consistent style.

However, our consistent style was only based on one thing… my weird opinions. Synthmeat created a style guide to match what ActionHero already had. Over time, those opinions drifted further and further away from any known "best practices" and our .eslint file become more and more esoteric. This wasn’t great for on-boarding new users and growing the community.

We recently refactored ActionHero’s internal code to use more ES6 features (arrow functions, `let` vs `const`, etc), and it was the perfect time for a refactor.

Awesome Standard.JS feature #1: standard — fix This command actually modifies your JS files automatically and coerces them into a compliant format. I had budgeted 10 hours for this refactor… this brought it down to 2. You probably shouldn’t let a pice of code magically change your source without a good test suite to ensure that things still work… which we have!

Awesome Standard.JS feature #2: standard. The standard package comes with a binary which tests your code. You don’t need to worry about including eslint (it is included automatically), .eslint files (they handle it), or anything else. This one binary just works. It works so well, you can set it as the npm pretest command and automatically enforce code quality as part of your test suite.

Awesome Standard.JS feature #3: Integrations. There are wonderful plugins for Sublime, Atom, VSCode, VIM, and more which make testing your code inline a breeze.


Thank you StandardJS!

Hi, I'm Evan

I write about Technology, Software, and Startups. I use my Product Management, Software Engineering, and Leadership skills to build teams that create world-class digital products.

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