Time to read: ~ 3 minutes
Skip This for Your Sanity
I have created a module
cause nobody wants to do timesheets no more;
they want PowerShell to do it for ya.
Well, if this is what you need,
then this is what I’ll give ya.
(Ahem, apologies about that, songs get stuck in my head sometimes).
I’ve worked with PowerShell for years but have never published a module before. I’ve helped write changes to a few, e.g. dbatools, dbachecks, and a few internal ones.
But the actual creating and publishing one needs adding to my experience list.
There was a lot of gnashing of the teeth, wailing of the cries, and reading of the documentation.
There were a few things that I wanted to do before I published.
Creating tests against all the functions; done.
Creating documentation for all the functions; done.
These were the easy sections; publishing the module was where I encountered the speedbumps.
So here’s a quick list of the aspects that threw me for a loop.
.PSD1 vs .PSM1 Files
I’m aware that the auto-loading of PowerShell modules boils down to a combination of the PSModulePath environment variable (
$ENV:PSModulePath) and the .psm1 file for the module. But is there a default way to auto-generate that file?
I thought it was using the
New-Module Manifest command, but nope, that creates the .psd1 file. At least I don’t have to worry about that.
The best practice is not to auto-load everything into the .psm1 file. It’s supposed to be more performant to re-create the functions’ definitions there. That’s not what I did.
First of all, yes. Anyone can publish to the PSGallery – you need an account.
Did I know that you needed an account? Hell no.
Did I find out? Hell yeah.
To be fair, they say as much when you try to publish the module, asking you for a NuGetApiKey. Pop open your profile in PSGallery, and you can generate it from there.
Missing Values in the .PSD1 File
Remember a few paragraphs ago when I said I didn’t have to worry about the .psd1 file? Yeah, I was wrong. The command
New-ModuleManifest is excellent. But, a few key features get missed from the default options.
The Description field doesn’t have an entry, yet it’s a required key to publish a module. Simple enough to open a text editor and update the values there; simple, if annoying.
This next bit is on me: after you have filled out the description field and tried to publish the module, you will get the same error message. That’s because the description field, starting off empty, will also be a comment. Re-open the editor, remove the hash/pound/octothorp that makes the field a comment, save, and you should be good to go.
NodeJS, I Think?
There were other tangles with the
Publish-Module command that pushes to the PSGallery. I’ve chalked them down to a sinister combination.
The Linux knowledge needed for troubleshooting vs the amount of Linux knowledge I had.
I switched out of my WSL and tried to publish from my Windows Desktop. It went as smooth as… a very smooth thing.
Overall, it was a simple process made more difficult due to lack of experience. Easy enough for anyone to pick up, annoying but unmanageable. Would I do it again?
Well, I’ve got improvements to make to PSTimeSheets, so… yeah!