What Are NPM’s Optional Dependencies and When Should We Use Them?

What Are NPM’s Optional Dependencies and When Should We Use Them?

Many JavaScript projects rely on a lot of third-party packages. Many packages depend on other libraries that are often referenced in famous memes about the node_modules folder being way too big sometimes. After all, some projects include dependencies that are barely used (e.g. for one custom NPM script), but they are still installed every time.

Many JavaScript projects rely on a lot of third-party packages. Some of them are required (e.g. a component library like Bootstrap), while others are only useful for developing (e.g. tooling like ESLint). Many packages depend on other libraries that are often referenced in famous memes about the node_modules folder being way too big sometimes. After all, some projects include dependencies that are barely used (e.g. for one custom NPM script), but they are still installed every time.

node_modules is often big

Meme from Reddit.

Not only can bigger projects consume a lot of disk space, but as a consequence, the installation times can be longer. Some popular packages like Puppeteer or Cypress may download large binaries in order to work. As long as you are not resetting your development environment every day and you have enough disk space, this may not be a problem at all.

continuous-integration programming software-engineering javascript npm

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