Handling Module Name Disputes
npm owner ls <pkgname>
Don't squat on package names. Publish code or move out of the way.
There sometimes arise cases where a user publishes a module, and then later, some other user wants to use that name. Here are some common ways that happens (each of these is based on actual events.)
foo, which is not node-specific. Joe doesn't use node at all. Bob wants to use
fooin node, so he wraps it in an npm module. Some time later, Joe starts using node, and wants to take over management of his program.
foo, and publishes it. Perhaps much later, Joe finds a bug in
foo, and fixes it. He sends a pull request to Bob, but Bob doesn't have the time to deal with it, because he has a new job and a new baby and is focused on his new erlang project, and kind of not involved with node any more. Joe would like to publish a new
foo, but can't, because the name is taken.
foo, and publishes it to the npm registry. Being a simple little thing, it never really has to be updated. Joe works for Foo Inc, the makers of the critically acclaimed and widely-marketed
foojs, but people are routinely confused when
npm install foois some different thing.
foofile format, because he needs it for work. Then, he gets a new job, and never updates the prototype. Later on, Joe writes a much more complete
fooparser, but can't publish, because Bob's
foois in the way.
The validity of Joe's claim in each situation can be debated. However, Joe's appropriate course of action in each case is the same.
npm owner ls foo. This will tell Joe the email address of the owner (Bob).
npm owner add joe footo add Joe as an owner of the
In almost every case so far, the parties involved have been able to reach an amicable resolution without any major intervention. Most people really do want to be reasonable, and are probably not even aware that they're in your way.
Module ecosystems are most vibrant and powerful when they are as self-directed as possible. If an admin one day deletes something you had worked on, then that is going to make most people quite upset, regardless of the justification. When humans solve their problems by talking to other humans with respect, everyone has the chance to end up feeling good about the interaction.
Some things are not allowed, and will be removed without discussion if they are brought to the attention of the npm registry admins, including but not limited to:
If you see bad behavior like this, please report it right away.