NPM – sense or non sense?

Today I’ve seen three posts filled with jokes about Node.js‘ NPMs.

Sure, at first glance it seems strange that there are packages wrapping a single line of code that is so simple, that is does not really make sense to add a dependency on that package. But it does happen. For example there is a package „isPositiveInteger“ that returns true if the parameter is in deed a positive integer value.

Sounds too simple to use a single package for this? Well, maybe. Though, with JavaScript this is not as trivial as it sounds since JS is a typeless language and you have to do the type checking by yourself. Making a mistake here can lead to several bugs or security flaws.

Therefore such seemingly trivial NPMs are very important.

Let’s try to look at it from a different perspective. What happens in the NPM universe is IMHO a typical standardization process. No engineer would design a simple screw from scratch. The screw is invented, ready to use, tested billions of times, user friendly, has standard interfaces for tools – why would anybody redesign that to only get a result you could have had much quicker and safer?

Same with many NPMs that are downloaded millions of times each month and. Though the most important fact is that hundreds of other packages depend on them.

I would really like to see software development being as professional and reliable as mechanical or electrical engineering and this is one possible way to achieve that.


Referring to the title: NPM = sense!

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