Writing JavaScript Libraries

This short tutorial will guide you through the process of creating and sharing a components library for Wonderland Engine.

Install npm 

npm is the official package manager for the JavaScript ecosystem.

It now is part of the Wonderland Engine toolchain, to make it seamless for developers to use external dependencies. As a library creator, you will need npm to manage and publish your libraries.

You can download nodejs, that comes with a packaged npm installation.

Create the Library 

For this tutorial, we will create a library in a folder called my-library. Change directory to the my-library folder and run:

1npm init

Some prompts will appear asking you for information about your package:

1package name: (my-library)
2version: (1.0.0)

After filling the prompts, you will see a package.json file that looks like that:

2  "name": "my-library",
3  "version": "1.0.0",
4  "description": "My Wonderland Engine first library!",
5  "main": "index.js"

The package.json file contains all the necessary information about the library. When a developer installs your library, npm finds the data it needs inside this file.

‘wonderlandengine’ Tag 

Wonderland Editor automatically registers libraries based on a specific meta tag: wonderlandengine.

When creating a library to use with Wonderland Engine, you must add the following line to your package.json, e.g., above "main": "index.js":

1  "wonderlandengine": {},

For now, this is all you need for the editor to automatically pick up the library. In the future, the wonderlandengine metadata object might allow specifying more properties for Wonderland Engine.

Entry Point 

One of the most important pieces is the index.js field. It specifies the file that should be exporting your library objects. When a developer uses your library and imports it:

1import {ComponentA, ComponentB} from 'my-library';

'my-library' gets resolved to:


The entry point must thus export the public interface (classes, functions, etc…) of your library:


1// Re-export components from other files
2export {ComponentA} from './component-a.js';
3export {ComponentB} from './component-b.js';
5export {someUtilityFunction} from './someUtilityFunction.js';

When the wonderlandengine meta tag is found in a package.json, the entry point is used to find all the exported components (ComponentA and ComponentB in the above example):


In this tutorial, we will create a component that uses Wonderland Engine’s public API.

We add it as a dependency in the package.json. Below "dependencies", we add a new section "peerDependencies":

1  "dependencies": {
2  },
3  "peerDependencies": {
4    "@wonderlandengine/api": "^1.0.0"
5  }

This is important, as we want to allow the user to use a range of API versions with a library, usually up to the next major release version.

To be able to use the API, you next have to run npm install to apply changes in your package.json:

1npm install

Add Content 

For this tutorial, we will create a simple component that moves its object forward with some speed. Create a new file called move-forward.js in your library folder with the following content:


 1import {Component, Property} from '@wonderlandengine/api';
 3const tempVec = new Float32Array(3);
 5export class MoveForward extends Component {
 6    static TypeName = 'move-forward';
 7    static Properties = {
 8        speed: Property.float(1.5),
 9    };
11    update(dt) {
12        this.object.getForward(tempVec);
14        tempVec[0] *= this.speed;
15        tempVec[1] *= this.speed;
16        tempVec[2] *= this.speed;
18        this.object.translate(tempVec);
19    }

We also need to re-export this component to the developer using our package. We can update the index.js file with:


1export {MoveForward} from './move-forward.js';

For this example, we could have put the component into the index.js directly. However, the more your library grows, the greater the control you will want to have over your exports.

Testing & Debugging 

Testing can be done by creating a Wonderland Engine project and installing your library using a local path. For this tutorial, we will assume a Wonderland Engine project is created with the name MyWonderland. In the project’s root, you can run:

1npm install path/to/my-library

You will need to replace path/to/my-library with a path pointing to the root of the library folder.

That’s it! You should now have access to the MoveForward component in your project.

Writing JavaScript Libraries

In this case, the library is installed locally. Other developers will not have access to the library. You either need to:

  • Publish the library (as described in the Publish the Library section)
  • Or provide a local package (e.g., as .tar.gz) for them to install

Publish the Library 

By publishing the library as a package on the npm package repository, you mark a certain version of the code with a version number and upload the package to the npm servers for download by other developers.


To publish your library to npm, you need to:

  • Create an account at npmjs.com
  • Login using the terminal command (more information here)


When logged in, you can publish your package by navigating into the library folder with a terminal and running:

1npm run publish

You can also run a “dry” publish using:

1npm run publish --dry-run

This command will print information about the files to be published and allows verifying that you are not publishing unwanted files.


With your library successfully published, you can install it by going in your project and running:

1npm install --save my-library

You are now ready to create the most wonderful libraries.

Creating libraries helps the community thrive and develop amazing WebXR content for all.