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Yarn vs NPM: Which to Choose?

Yarn vs NPM, which is better? Is that the question worrying you right now? Look no further. Idea Usher tech developers have the answer right here. 

The Node Package Manager (or NPM) has been around for over a decade and is very popular among javascript developers. However, NPM started facing a little trouble with performance and security, making the package manager unreliable. 

That’s when Yarn was born. 

Fed up with the troubles they were facing with NPM, the developers at Facebook developed Yarn. A new package manager for node.js. 

The yarn has been gaining popularity since its inception, but will it replace NPM in the future?

Let’s find out!

What is NPM?

Node Package Manager, more commonly known as NPM, is the default package manager in the Node.js. It is very popular among JavaScript developers and has ruled the market since its inception in 2010. 

NPM comes automatically with Node.js on your system. It brings with it three vital components: a Command Line Interface (CLI), an online database of enumerable packages, called npm depository, and the website to manage the various aspects of your NPM experience. 

Over the years, NPM has gained popularity and now has a massive community of developers, making it easier to find assistance when you run into problems. 

Introduction of Yarn 

NPM has been the programmer’s choice for over a decade. However, lately, it has been facing issues as the codebase and the size of the team of developers grows. 

  • Inconsistency when installing dependencies 
  • Security issues in executing code 
  • Inefficient and slow performance  

On finding no way around these issues, Facebook collaborated with Exponent, Tilde, and Google to build Yarn. 

Yet Another Resource Negotiator, or more commonly known as Yarn, is the new package manager that is a fast, reliable, and secure alternative npm client.

Yarn wholly relies on the NPM structure, which makes it the perfect alternative to NPM. Although, It has a slightly different installation process, but gives you access to the same registry. Hence, making the switch from NPM to Yarn hassle-free. You get a lot of benefits with only a little effort

Let’s understand the difference between the two before talking further about switching. 

 

Yarn vs NPM: What’s The Difference?

Yarn and NPM together are both package managers performing similar functions. Then what are the features that set them apart? 

Let’s study the key differences between Yarn vs NPM in detail. 

Security

Security issues were one of the reasons why Facebook developed Yarn. Initially, it was better than NPM with its impeccable security features including, using checksum to verify the integrity of every package and checking licenses of your installed packages. 

However, with time NPM is making changes and trying to win the yarn vs NPM 2020 battle. NPM v6 comes with in-built security, and the new command, npm audit, will assist you in assessing your dependency tree. 

Community Support

Popularity is an important parameter when choosing a technology, such as Yarn vs. NPM. A package manager that is as widely used as NPM is preferable, as it makes assistance and implementation of new changes easier. 

Even though Yarn is gaining popularity at lightning speed, NPM still has a much larger community. 

Installation

Installing NPM is much simpler and quicker than installing Yarn. NPM wins the yarn vs npm install round. 

Yarn is available in the NPM package, so to install Yarn NPM has to be installed first. 

Performance 

The next in line is the Yarn vs NPM performance round. Robust performance is vital when handling a large number of packages. 

The yarn was developed to fix the performance issues faced by NPM and initially was much better than it. However, NPM has now fixed several issues and is catching up. 

Speed 

Comparing Yarn vs NPM speed, yarn is the clear winner. 

Both Yarn and NPM download packages from the npm repository, using yarn add vs npm install command. However, Yarn is much faster than NPM as it installs all the packages simultaneously. It also cashes every download avoiding the need to re-install packages. 

Reliability 

Being developed by some of the world’s greatest tech companies comes with a few benefits. Yarn is much more reliable and stable than NPM. Any issues that are faced by Yarn are addressed and fixed quickly. 

In case things go terribly wrong with Yarn, switching back to NPM is pretty convenient.

CLI Commands 

The yarn has made significant changes to the commands. Modified some, removed some unnecessary ones, and added a lot of new exciting commands. 

The “yarn why” command helps you figure out whether a specific package was installed or not, through the dependency graph.

The yarn seems to be evolving with time and has the potential to win this battle between Yarn vs NPM soon. However, NPM developers are fighting back with their full strength. Let’s see what the future has in store for the two package managers. 

Migrating to Yarn 

On its launch, Yarn was greeted by developers with enthusiasm. As the days pass by, more and more developers are switching to Yarn as their primary package manager. 

Developers are hoping to gain stability, improve performance, and benefit from the latest features of Yarn, leaving NPM behind. 

What Makes Yarn Better?

  • Easy to read CLI output.
  • It has a faster package installation speed.
  • Lock file format ensures baseline installation across all systems.
  • Its offline mode allows reinstallation of packages 
  • It has an improved network performance 
  • It supports both NPM and Bower workflows, allowing users to mix registries. 

These are just a few of the enumerable advantages of using Yarn. 

Are There Any Disadvantages of Switching To Yarn?

Unfortunately, Yes. 

  • Yarn adds to disk usage as it saves dependencies locally.
  • It does not support the NPM shrinkwrap file.
  • It does not work with the older node.js versions.
  • A smaller community means a lack of assistance & support in case of issues.

The issues with yarn are a lot fewer as compared to its advantages. However, they should be considered while migrating from the NPM to Yarn or using Yarn and NPM together.

 

Conclusion 

The scales weigh much higher for yarn, making it the clear winner in the battle of Yarn vs NPM. 

Yarn is the more reliable, stable, secure, and faster package management system of the two. However, NPM developers don’t seem the kind of crowd to accept defeat. They are improving NPM and introducing new functions making the battle extensive at every turn. 

The future is uncertain, Yarn might replace NPM permanently, or NPM might spring back to the top. 

Our advice to the developers is to stay updated and find the best package management that suits them well as per their requirements. 

Still, Confused?

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Our clients from all over the world rely on us to deliver exceptionally customized IT services. We are experts in providing web development and app development solutions. 

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