A metalsmith based generator for scaffolding Feathers apps.
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Latest commit c88a719 Jan 9, 2017 @slajax slajax committed on GitHub Merge pull request #6 from feathersjs/slajax/6



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A metalsmith based generator for scaffolding Feathers apps. Used by feathers-cli.


The available generators are:

  • apps
  • hooks
  • services
  • filters
  • models
  • middlewares
  • plugins

File Structure

Each generator has:

  • a main <type>.generator.js file which has all the logic for the given generator.
  • a templates/ directory that contains all the static and dynamic templates the generator uses.
  • a meta.json file.


Each main generator file must implement these methods:

  • loadAppConfigs - This loads any existing Feathers application config files that reside in feathers-app/config/ so that they can be referenced and re-written with new values if necessary.
  • loadPackageJSON - This loads the existing Feathers application package.json file so it can be referenced and re-written with new values if necessary.
  • getQuestions - This returns the questions from the meta.json file
  • generate - This takes in the answers from the user and generates/copies the appropriate files based on their answers.


This file contains the meta data that each generator uses to tell the CLI which questions it needs the user to answer and when.


The CLI uses inquirer to ask the user questions and gather information. The prompts section in the meta.json file tells the CLI which questions to ask and when.

They are almost exactly the same as when defining prompts with vanilla inquirer. The only difference is that for every Inquirer question key that supports a function, we've already wrapped your value in function for you so that we can expose additional properties. Therefore your default, when, filter, and validate values can reference:

  • answers - The ongoing answers to the questionnaire in the current Inquirer session.
  • options - The existing options prior to prompting
  • pkg - Any package.json fields for the existing Feathers app
  • config.default - Any config/default.json fields for the existing app
  • config.staging - Any config/staging.json fields for the existing app
  • config.production - Any config/production.json fields for the existing app

See this meta.json for an example.

Generating Stuff

Generating an app or component goes something like this:

const inquirer = require('inquirer');
const Generator = require('feathers-generator');

const args = {
  template: 'app', // one of the templates
  name: 'my-app', // the name of your generated thing
  root: '/path/to/project/root', // the root directory of your project
  force: false, // whether it should override any existing values or files without confirmation

// Get the appropriate generator based on the `template` you supplied
// By this point the generator has already read in existing app configs
// and the package.json file.
const generator = Generator(args);

  .then(questions => {
    // Get user to answer questions
    return inquirer.prompt(questions);
  .then(answers => {
    // Send answers back to generator
    return generator.generate(answers);
  .then(dependencies => {
    // npm install dependencies
    // { devDependencies: [], dependencies: [] }
  .catch(error => {
    if (error) {