NPM is planning on integrating Tink. Yarn 2 introduced PnP. The two biggest package managers in the ECMAScript ecosystem, are both starting to steer away from the node_modules directory. At least Tink is keeping the ability to “unwind” for backwards compatibility, and NPM is trying to play nice with the community (See “Play Nicer with Yarn”).

At the heart of this is “the node_modules problem”. This is a short title encompassing several pain points.

  • The size of the average node_modules directory.
  • The complexity of the node_modules filesystem.
  • That node_modules is on disk, and disk IO is slow.

Other problems are generally related to those problems. …

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