Thursday, July 2, 2015

NPM 3–Finally a windows friendly versions

As a windows user, I never liked NPM(Node Package Manager), the node.js package manager. In contrast to Nuget, where the package folder structure is flat, with NPM you have packages inside packages inside packages and so on…  The Windows file system doesn’t like this and you can end up with folders you cannot remove with any of the standard tools.(Tip: use 7zip to delete the folder.)

With the announcement of the beta of npm 3.0, this problem is finally history. NPM 3.0 introduces flattened packages(they call it deduping, if this is a real verb).

Here is the announcement on GitHub:

Flat, flat, flat!

Your dependencies will now be installed maximally flat. Insofar as is possible, all of your dependencies, and their dependencies, and THEIR dependencies will be installed in your project's node_modules folder with no nesting. You'll only see modules nested underneath one another when two (or more) modules have conflicting dependencies.

  • #3697 This will hopefully eliminate most cases where windows users ended up with paths that were too long for Explorer and other standard tools to deal with.
  • #6912 (#4761 #4037) This also means that your installs will be deduped from the start.
  • #5827 This deduping even extends to git deps.
  • #6936 (#5698) Various commands are dedupe aware now.

This has some implications for the behavior of other commands:

  • npm uninstall removes any dependencies of the module that you specified that aren't required by any other module. Previously, it would only remove those that happened to be installed under it, resulting in left over cruft if you'd ever deduped.
  • npm ls now shows you your dependency tree organized around what requires what, rather than where those modules are on disk.
  • #6937 npm dedupe now flattens the tree in addition to deduping.

And bundling of dependencies when packing or publishing changes too:

  • #2442 bundledDependencies no longer requires that you specify deduped sub deps. npm can now see that a dependency is required by something bundled and automaticlaly include it. To put that another way, bundledDependencies should ONLY include things that you included in dependencies, optionalDependencies or devDependencies.
  • #5437 When bundling a dependency that's both a devDependency and the child of a regular dependency, npm bundles the child dependency.

Of course there is more! So don’t forget to check out the other improvements as well…

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