How to use npm module in Meteor client?


I'm thoroughly confused on how to use an npm module in Meteor client code.

I understand modules like fs would only work server-side, but in this case I'd like to use a simple text module like this for displaying pretty dates:

I've tried installing the module under /public/node_modules, and it works great on the server-side following these instructions from SO: ( How do we or can we use node modules via npm with Meteor?)

Meteor.startup(function () {
  var require = __meteor_bootstrap__.require
  var timeago = require('timeago')
  console.log(timeago(new Date()))

However it doesn't work in the client-side code:

if (Meteor.is_client) {
  var require = __meteor_bootstrap__.require
  var timeago = require('timeago')
  console.log(timeago(new Date()))

Uncaught ReferenceError: __meteor_bootstrap__ is not defined"

Server-side is sort of useless for me in this case, as I'm trying to render text on the client.

5/23/2017 12:15:29 PM

Accepted Answer

I don't believe you need to use the server side version. Use the npm stuff for server side only and btw, put it in your /public/ as well. Who knows maybe you can call it once it is in your /public/, try it. Or try this.

Use something like the jquery timeago.js

Put it in /client/ or something like /client/js

Create a /client/helpers.js or some such.

Use a handlebars helper.

Handlebars.registerHelper('date', function(date) {
  if(date) {
    dateObj = new Date(date);
    return $.timeago(dateObj);
  return 'a long long time ago in a galaxy far away';

Example of calling 'date' handlebars helper function from template.

{{ date created }}

Where date is the handebars helper and created is the date coming out of the meteor/mongo collection.

See the github Britto project. That is where I got this code snippet and used it in a chat room app I wrote. Works fine.

There are a couple of others floating out there. Go to and peruse the source of some of the projects.

5/8/2012 9:58:25 PM

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