re: Yarn and the dark future of third party NPM clients VIEW POST


Howdy! I'm Yarn's maintainer 🙂

It's an interesting article - here are some insight I can provide. Keep in mind I'm a bit biased, of course!

But the problem is not (only) that Yarn code is buggy — the problem is more the disconnect which exists between Yarn (the client) and NPM’s infrastructure

First, consider that the Yarn v1 codebase was written in a quite different time. The team changed, new major features got released (such as workspaces), and even the way we write Javascript shifted! Lots of its internals would be designed differently if we had the chance... And that's precisely what's happening!

But no amount of features in yarn 2.0 is going to fix the disconnect between NPM and the Yarn client

The v2 effort you reference is an acknowledgement that Yarn wouldn't have been able to continue forever in its current state. It represents the new, more stable and mature foundation which will give us the tools to maintain Yarn for the foreseeable future.

No amount of feature is going to fix the design issues, that's true. Fortunately, we're on both fronts! It's an incredible amount of work, but the results are showing. Writing features and fixing bugs has never been so easy.

Which means that Yarn will always lag behind NPM on adopting any necessary client changes that are based on CDN changes.

I don't think that the registry is constraining us in any way. Something nice with the open source is that prioritization is a default: if something is important, someone will work on it. With the v2 plugin system this will become even more true, as users won't have to be synced with our releases to integrate third-party features into their projects.

it doesn’t help that important players such as Github are choosing to prioritise the NPM client instead instead of the Yarn client.

I wouldn't say that Yarn is "ignored". We have good relations with many other projects and companies. I met with the GitHub folks a few times, and while we didn't discuss this particular issue I know they have an eye on Yarn.

It seems without some changes to the way the ecosystem works that third-party clients are doomed to have a second-rate

I'm not too worried about this in particular. I think the key question will be how easy it will be for our open source contributors to work with us. By making the codebase more approachable, I'm certain we have a bright future ahead of us.


Hey Mael!

Thanks very much for your time and your insight, I knew writing this was a risk, since theree was a lot that I did not know. But I felt it important to open up a conversation on the topic, and I'm glad that despite the points I raise you feel hopeful V2 will address a lot of these issues. It seems V1 served it's purpose in showing that package management could be done better, and hopefully V2 will do the same all over again. I'm quite excited for the modules, and the concept of running Yarn as an API, too.

The majority of what I discuss is merely from digging around in the past few days. I was also conscious that I didn't want to downplay all the hard work that goes into open source, and how grateful I always am for the maintainers like yourself — so thank you!


I wanted to give you a feedback on this. I also have problems with yarn always hanging up at different cases like running tests, removing or installing a package etc. The problem is I am very bad at package management, and I know it is the reason for at least half of my problems here. But I want to code, not to manage packages. Yet a lot of my precious free time (it is a hobby project) is wasted because of things like that. I really want to use this time to code. I decided to move back to npm. If things go wrong there, at least there is an error message I can use to try to find the problem.

I wanted to share this as a feedback. If you can get some use cases or a 'user persona' from my story that you can build on, please go for it. I mean it, since there was a good reason I switched to yarn in the first place, and there is a great chance I will come back. Especially if your team keeps up the hard work, and make this a better experience for users.

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