Is Yarn still a thing?
npm@5 was just released this question was the first one I have googled. No doubts it comes to mind since new
npm version introduced a lot of
yarn’s features. In other words: should I still use
yarn after installing
Why do people use
yarn in the first place?
npm had some known issues. Well, we all have been there: downloading and installing packages for hours, resolution hell, not using essential
--save-dev by default, and many others.
yarn was first released it solved many of these issues completely. It offered multiple improvements:
yarn addsaves a package not only to
node_modulesbut also adds it to the list of dependencies in
package.json. Think of it like
yarndoes not install a package into
node_modulesdirectory, it adds a package to your project
yarn installworked in average from 2 to 3 times faster than
yarnchanges how packages are downloaded and installed, that’s why it is so blazingly fast
yarn installalso checks for
yarn.lock(or creates it), a special file where every single version is locked into a known state, what makes dependency resolution process deterministic
yarnutilizes cache to make the installation process even faster. It is even possible to reinstall everything without internet connection when the cache is alive (saved me once)
This set of advantages at some point predetermined how the
js package manager should look like.
npm had to take the pace.
npm@5 breaks in
Keeping all that in mind the
npm core team made a huge step towards the competitor. When the 5th major release was out a lot of people asked this question: should we still use
yarn? The changelog for this release is inspiring indeed.
What are the key features that
npm@5 brings to us?
Speed up: it is now competing with
yarn and other package managers. Here’s a nice gif of the speed up, brought to you by one of the
npm ‘s core members:
npm now enforces the same workflow as
yarn (and many other package managers). It generates
package-lock.json to know what exact versions your project uses. It is worth mentioning that algorithms in
npm differ. And
npm has a solid advantage since it has better hoisting position across npm versions than
yarn has across different version of
--save is now enabled by default. No more problems with that.
Cache: it was completely rewritten.
pacote living inside the new realization are fast and reliable. You can run this command to see it yourself:
git clone https://github.com/zkat/cacache && cd cacache && npm i && npm run benchmarks
npm is the default. Everyone uses it. Earlier it was like
IE: a browser to download another browser. Jokes aside, this point is strong. You don’t need to have this one extra custom package manager.
But, really, is yarn still a thing?
The answer is: it depends.
My first attempt to install something with
npm@5 was with my the most favorite
vue-starter which has around 850 packages to download.
npm’s time was not bad at all with 42 seconds at the fresh run. When the cache is ready, it takes only 30 seconds to install everything.
yarn: 35 seconds without cache and 20 seconds with the cache in place. For me, this time gap was important enough to still use
yarn as a primary tool.
But. Do not use both tools inside one team. It will lead to a disaster with package resolution and pollute your repository with extra files. Stick to something and use it.
npm is moving in a right direction (say hi to
pip). It is pretty great already, but soon it will be even cooler.
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