Joel Purra: Developer and more

jqnpm logotype, a Penrose triangle

jqnpmjq package manager

A package manager built for the command-line JSON processor jq as an example implementation. This is experimental software. Want to contribute?

⚠️ This project has been archived

No future updates are planned. Feel free to continue using it, but expect no support.

jqnpm in action


On Mac with Homebrew

# NOTE: if homebrew-core's jq was installed previously.
brew unlink jq

# NOTE: due to brew formula issues, this always installs a forked jq with package-root support.
brew install joelpurra/joelpurra/jqnpm

On other systems

  • Clone or download, then symlink src/jqnpm. There is no build step.
  • Requirements: jq 1.5+, bash 4+, git, shUnit2.

Compatibility with jq

  • jqnpm was tested with jq-1.5, which is not yet fully compatible with jqnpm.
  • For example deep package resolution doesn’t work with plain jq. Without this feature, every dependency has to be installed in the package root.
  • See also the jqnpm’s package-root fork of jq, which fixes these issues.
  • The easiest way to get both is to use brew to unlink both jq and jqnpm, then install the jqnpm --devel version which installs the patched versions.
brew tap joelpurra/joelpurra
brew unlink jqnpm
brew unlink jq
brew install jqnpm --devel


jqnpm help

Example 1

These are the extended steps from the demo animation above.

# Your new project folder.
mkdir my-project
cd my-project/

# Create 'jq.json', 'jq/main.jq', the local '.jq/' folder.
jqnpm init

# Fetch package from github, installs it into '.jq/packages/'.
jqnpm install joelpurra/jq-stress

# Edit your 'jq/main.jq' file with your code.
echo 'import "joelpurra/jq-stress" as Stress; Stress::remove("e")' > jq/main.jq

# 'jqnpm execute' is a wrapper around jq, which also loads dependencies managed by jqnpm.
# **'jqnpm execute' is a workaround until plain jq is up to speed.**
echo '"Hey there!"' | jqnpm execute

Example 2

Example jq/main.jq combining two other packages; jqnpm install joelpurra/jq-zeros && jqnpm install joelpurra/jq-dry.

import "joelpurra/jq-zeros" as Zeros;
import "joelpurra/jq-dry" as DRY;

def fib($n):
    [ 0, 1 ]
    | DRY::repeat(
                + .[1]
    | .[0];

# Get the eighth Fibonacci number, pad it to four (integer) digits.
| Zeros::pad(4; 0)

As this example doesn’t expect to read any JSON data, execute it with --null-input/-n as you normally would with jq.

jqnpm execute --null-input

Creating a package

How to create a package of your own, using jqnpm generate. Share your code! 💓


  • The smaller package scope the better - it improves reusability through modularity.
  • One piece of functionality per package – each package does only one thing, but does it well.
  • The new github repository name should start with jq-, be all lowercase and words are separated by dashes: jq-good-tool. The jq- prefix is to make it easier for others to see which of your repositories are jq packages.
  • The jq package name is written in jq.json. It is all lowercase and words are separated by dashes: good-tool. Note that there is no jq- prefix, as jq.json already knows it’s package for jq.
  • Author information, software license and project links are written in jq.json.


  1. Create a new github repository:
    • Choose a name starting with jq-, similar to jq-good-tool.
    • Choose the MIT license if you don’t have any other preference.
  2. On your computer, run jqnpm generate <github username> <package name> "<one sentence to describe the package>":
    • <github username> should be obvious.
    • <package name> is the same as the git hub repository you just created, for example jq-good-tool.
    • "<one sentence to describe the package>" is something snappy, like "This tool solves the worlds problems and can, contrary to a knife, only be used for good!"
  3. Push the code to github:
    • git commit
    • git push
    • git tag -a v0.1.0 -m v0.1.0 && git push origin v0.1.0 (assuming your package version is 0.1.0.)
  4. Tell the world about it!


Copyright (c) 2014, 2015, Joel Purra. All rights reserved.

When using jqnpm, comply to at least one of the three available licenses: BSD, MIT, GPL. Please see the LICENSE file for details.