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Version your static assets with MD5 hashes using node.js
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Build Status

  • Versions your static assets using the power of streams!
  • Version number produced from md5hash of each file -> so unchanged assets will keep the same file name and not blow the browser cache.
  • Greps your html and css files and updates filenames of versioned files.
  • Add to your build scripts/favourite build tool.
  • See below for grunt integration example.


npm install -g node-version-assets

What it does:

  1. Renames assets on filesystem
    ## BEFORE
    /www/project-x/public/css$ ls -l
    > all-min.css

    ## AFTER
    /www/project-x/public/css$ ls -l
    > all-min.44d0440440442524c6d667900275e.css
  1. Find and replaces references to them in files:
    <!-- index.html: BEFORE -->
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/all-min.css">

    <!-- index.html: AFTER -->
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/all-min.44d0440440442524c6d667900275e.css">

How this module fits into your build process:

  1. you: generate fresh asset and output to the location specified in options.assets (> /public/css/all.min.css)
  2. module: renames fresh asset file to versioned name (> all.min.newversion.css)
  3. module: deletes original fresh asset file (all.min.css > deleted)
  4. module: deletes old versioned asset files in the same dir (all.min.oldversion.css > deleted)


Input options in script:

/* ~/www/project-x/version.js */
var Version = require("node-version-assets");
var versionInstance = new Version({
    assets: ['public/css/all-min.css', 'public/js/app.js'],
    grepFiles: ['views/prod/index.html']

Run the script:

andy@bada55:~/www/project-x$ node version.js

Deleted Assets:

Versioned Assets Created:
   public/css/all-min.44d0440440442524c6d667900275e.css: file unchanged > version number re-used
   public/js/app.12d070550742574e8d87900er34.js: file unchanged > version number re-used

Files whose contents were updated with refs to renamed asset files:

Grunt Example

grunt.registerTask('version-assets', 'version the static assets just created', function() {

    var Version = require("node-version-assets");
    var versionInstance = new Version({
        assets: ['public/css/all-min.css', 'public/js/app.js'],
        grepFiles: ['views/prod/index.html']

    var cb = this.async(); // grunt async callback;

// make sure versioning is final task
grunt.registerTask('default', 'lint rjs jpgmin gifmin pngmin concat cssmin version-assets');


@param {options}

  • accepts: object

@param {options.assets}

  • accepts: array of strings
  • required: each item of the array is the relative file path to the static asset
  • each static asset listed will have the new version number inserted before the file type prefix, eg:
    • all-min.js > all.min.01135498.js
  • if there is a previous version number in the same position then it will be replaced, eg:
    • all-min.oldversion234.js > all.min.01135498.js

Optional, ahem, Options

@param {options.grepFiles}

  • accepts: array of strings
  • list of files (relative filepaths) containing references to the {options.assets} which need to be renamed

@param {options.newVersion}

  • accepts: string (only numbers or letters)
  • not required: defaults to generating an md5 hash of the file (recommended to leave as default as md5 hashing means that assets will not blow browser cache if they're unchanged)

@param {options.keepOriginalAndOldVersions}

  • accepts: boolean
  • set this to true if you want to disable auto-deletion of BOTH the original and old versions
  • by default the module deletes:
    1. the original, unversioned asset (eg app.js)
    2. previous versions of the asset (eg app.435fdg435TG435435.js)

@param {options.keepOriginal}

  • accepts: boolean
  • set this to true if you want to delete just the ORIGINAL
  • if options.keepOriginalAndOldVersions is true then the old versions will still be deleted

@param {options.keepOldVersions}

  • accepts: boolean
  • set this to true if you want to delete just the OLD VERSIONS
  • if options.keepOriginalAndOldVersions is true then the original will still be deleted

@param {options.requireJs}

  • accepts: boolean
  • not required: defaults to false

If set to true then unsuffixed js assets (listed in the assets array) will be updated to the new version, eg:

<script type="text/javascript">
        paths: {

            <!-- BEFORE: -->
            main: "js/app.newie"

            <!-- AFTER: -->
            main: "js/app.newie.001"

Potential Gotchas

  • Assets that you want versioned must be listed in the assets array
  • Check all asset paths are correct: they must be relative to the dir where you are executing the command.
  • The new assets must exist in an unversioned form on the filesystem to be renamed and be listed in the {options.assets} array
  • If you specify a version number it can only contain letters or numbers (ie no special characters)

Version Log

  • 0.0.2: added {options.keepOriginalAndOldVersions}
  • 0.0.3: enabled versioning of all file types (previously just utf8)
  • 0.0.4 - 0.0.8: misc bug fixes
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