Store State on Filesystem in Node.js CLIs with Conf

Shawn Wang
InstructorShawn Wang

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Most Node.js CLIs merely execute scripts statelessly, deterministic based on inputs from flags and args and configs. However this understates the massive potential of CLIs given their location in your filesystem. Just like the Browser DOM is inherently stateful, remembering your past link visits and preserving your form data, CLIs are another form of user experience that can be enhanced greatly by adding memory, particularly when the same CLI is used across multiple projects. This isn't a surprising insight, it is just that there is no standardized tooling around this. (Although there is a spec for where to store your data while respecting the user's preferences and operating system, called the XDG spec)

The Conf library provides an unbelievably easy way to persist values to memory in an XDG compliant fashion. We will explore two practical examples of using it.