Create a Hybrid Single-Multi Command Node.js CLI with Oclif and TypeScript

Shawn Wang
InstructorShawn Wang

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Sometimes you still want to support the API and quick developer experience of a single command, while still supporting multi commands in your CLI. This is handy when, for example, you want your user to do something useful with just npx mycli.

Here's a quick hack that lets you do that, while also deepening your understanding of how your CLI works with TypeScript, Node.js and Oclif under the hood.

Stephen Weiss
Stephen Weiss
~ 7 months ago

Is there a reason to not create the hybrid by checking if we only have two elements in argv instead of checking more? The concern I have with this approach is that we need to maintain a list of the registeredCommands which feels very easy to get out of sync.

On the other hand, we could flip this so that we have a base if no additional arguments are passed and otherwise use the standard behavior:

if (process.argv.length == 2) {
  require(`../${dev ? "src" : "lib"}/commands/init`)
    .run()
    .catch(require("@oclif/errors/handle"));
} else {
  require(`../${dev ? "src" : "lib"}`)
    .run()
    .catch(require("@oclif/errors/handle"));
}