Misc

What is a package manager?

October 23, 2021

What is a package manager?

In this article we will learn what a package manager is, what its functions are and also some examples of the most known and used ones in the market.

What is a package manager cover

Package managers are tools that help a developer download packages/libs/frameworks and insert into their web project

And we can understand as packages any ‘portion’ of code that does some real action

For example: the React framework (a package), can be inserted into your project through npm (package manager)

So in this way we must follow the logic about all package managers, which basically do the same functions regardless of the language it is written in.

But this is the big difference among them, depending on the language,

 we will have a different package manager

Heavily used package managers

I’m going to mean some of the most used package managers, but it’s good to make it clear that there are several others and it doesn’t make sense to show them all here

So this section will help you learn about some of these tools and if you want to go deeper, you will have resources to search about

npm: package manager for JavaScript/Node.js

npm logo

composer: package manager for PHP

composer logo

pip: package manager for Python

pip logo

You just have to look for the best package manager for your language and run tests

It’s worth repeating: they all have the same purpose, they may have some different functionality among themselves, but the business rule is the same

Purpose of package manager 

The main purpose of using these tools, in my opinion, is to organize and make your project more professional

That’s because all packages are in a repository, so you always download dependencies from the same place

Installation, updating and removal of dependencies become easier, as these tasks are already automated by managers

It also has a semantic versioning detail that allows you to check the version of the package or install the version you want

Of course, these package managers are usually maintained by someone or a team, at least the most famous ones, ensuring updates to new features and bug fixes

Another good reason is that it splits away with the ctrl + c and ctrl + v code/file in every project when you need to use some snippet or lib, you simply leave the package described in its dependencies

Conclusion

In this article we learned what a package manager is and its main functions

Also we know some of the most famous managers for languages like: JS, PHP and Python.

And that’s it for today; see you on the next post!

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