Introducing Skypack Discover

Two years ago, we set out to build the best search engine for JavaScript developers. Pika — the original project codename — was designed to help you find better open source packages using data and insights that other search engines ignored. Package size, number of dependencies, side effects, ability to bundle & tree-shake efficiently… Pika analyzed every package to help you make the best choice in less time.

Today, we’re excited to launch our v2 search engine featuring Skypack Discover. Discover combines human-reviewed package recommendations with a quality-focused search algorithm to help you find the best JavaScript packages, faster than ever.

Solving the open source discovery problem

Javascript has evolved, but the way that we find packages is still far too time-consuming. Finding the right package for your project involves a wild dance between, Google, “this vs. that” blog posts, bundlephobia, dependency tree visualizers, Quora, Stack Overflow…

An actual issue that I was once assigned at work.

If you’re in a rush, you might just grab the most popular package and hope for the best. For example, the #1 recommended “date/time” package on npm’s official search engine would be the popular package named “moment”. You install it, build on top of it, deploy your site to production, and… BAM! Google’s official auditing tool throws a warning when you go to test your website before launch:

Replace unnecessarily large JavaScript libraries
@addyosmani: “Lighthouse in @ChromeDevTools now recommends smaller libraries that improve bundle size.

It turns out, popularity and search algorithms only tell half of the story. A search algorithm can’t tell you that earlier this year the official Moment.js docs were also updated to say: We would like to discourage Moment from being used in new projects going forward.”

Finding the right package for your project requires context. If a package claims to be widely-used, it’s essential to look deeper. Is it still popular today? Is it well-maintained? Or, has something better come along? Has it been abandoned by the original author?

Gathering this context yourself is a time consuming and imperfect process. So, we decided to bring the context to you.

Skypack Discover: Recommended packages, curated by humans

Skypack Discover is a curated, up-to-date list of the top recommended packages for popular search terms. It’s like Wirecutter or Spotify playlists, but for open source JavaScript.

Skypack Discover cuts through the noise to surface the best packages that match your search. We look at factors like package size, performance, documentation, quality, degree of maintenance, community support and more. If a popular package has been abandoned or better alternatives exist, you won’t find it in Discover.

In addition to package recommendations, you also get additional resources linked directly in your results page: relevant blog posts, articles, video walkthroughs and documentation can all help you make your package decision faster and easier.

Today, over 100 popular search terms feature Skypack Discover results. Starting next month, we’ll begin publishing detailed write-ups of our recommendations: how we arrived at our top picks and our thinking behind them.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose the best package for your project. And now, Skypack Discover can help.

Skypack CDN: Try out any package, right in the browser

Installing and testing a package locally can introduce an entirely new struggle, best documented in this brutally honest experience by Lea Verou.

CDN code snippets on every package page!

Skypack makes trying out packages so much easier with a ready-to-go Skypack CDN link on every package page. With Skypack CDN, you can load and run any package directly in the browser, on demand. There’s nothing to install and no tools to run. As long as the package wasn’t designed for the server, it should run on Skypack.

To try out a package yourself, find it on and then click the “Edit on CodePen” button on the package page. You’ll be instantly transported to a full CodePen IDE containing your Skypack import, ready to go. CodePen runs entirely in the browser, so there’s no slow startup or unnecessary wait-time required. Just an instant IDE, ready to play.

Built something fun with Skypack CDN? Tweet us a link to the CodePen!

Skypack: the future of Pika

We started Pika almost two years ago with a simple mission: make modern JavaScript more accessible. The world of web development looks very different today, and some of the wild ideas that we introduced back in 2018 are now mainstream. We can’t wait to continue this mission into the future with Skypack.

PS: If you love modern JavaScript, check out Snowpack, our popular open source JavaScript build tool!