Package Manager Standardization

  • 2 minutes reading time

Matt Turnbull has a great article titled Why Are You Still Using Yarn in 2018? which makes the argument that newer versions of NPM are just as fast as Yarn and switching to NPM might actually have some benefits (I’m still a Yarn user).

Furthermore, it’s getting complicated to maintain documentations and say: To install this package, use npm install package or yarn add package, etc. With other great package managers on the horizon like PNPM which claims to be faster than both NPM and Yarn, docs are going to get even harder to maintain.

The solution: Package manager standardization. Just like with browser extensions became a standard so developers could write extensions for multiple browsers, we can have a standard for package managers. To use storage in a a Chrome extension, you can use the API or, both work.

Similarly, instead of npm install package and yarn add package and pnpm i package, you can do:

package-manager install package

or, even more interesting:

package-manager + package

Based on your local configuration, this can be translated to npm install package or yarn add package. Both package managers (and all package managers) will use the same verbs — and even if they don’t, at least have aliases to the standards.

The standard commands can be install (or +), remove (or -), and update (or ^). Then, developer documentations can be as simple as “Add our package: package-manager + package and start using it.”

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About the author

Anand Chowdhary

Anand Chowdhary is a creative technologist and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CTO of Pabio, an interior design and rent-to-own furniture company funded by Y Combinator. He lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

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