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Angular CLI: Speed up installing dependencies with Yarn

Initially the entry barrier into the world of Angular development was pretty high because of the need to learn and manually configure multiple tools. Even to get started with a simple application, you need to know and use the TypeScript language, the TypeScript compiler, ES6 modules, SystemJS, npm, and a development web server. To work on a real-world project, you also need to learn how to test and bundle your app.

To jumpstart the development process, the Angular team created a tool called Angular CLI (see https://github.com/angular/angular-cli), which is a command-line tool that covers all the stages of the Angular application lifecycle, from scaffolding and generating an initial app to generating boilerplate for your components, modules, services, and so on. The generated code also includes pre-configured files for unit tests and bundling with Webpack.

All this is good but a project generated by Angular CLI has a lot of dependencies that have to be downloaded and installed in the node_modules directory of your project. What’s “a lot”? Let’s use the Unix tree command to see how many files and directories exist in a project freshly generated by Angular CLI. Enter the following command in the root directory of such project:

tree node_modules

You’ll see a nicely formatted tree structure of all packages installed in the node_modules directory ai a summary line at the end, which will look like this:

6233 directories, 38656 files

This is what I mean by a lot. Actually all is relative. It clearly a lot if you compare with the content of node_modules of a jQuery project:

7 directories, 13 files

On the hand, the rumor has it that React Native installs 120K files. The software becomes more complicated every year and we have to deal with it. Anyway, Angular CLI has already created the project with all packages installed. Now, let’s delete the node_module dir in the project and reinstall it with npm install. On my laptop it takes about two minutes. Can this time be improved? Yes, if you’ll use Yarn – an alternative to npm client.

Yarn is a new package manager that can be use instead of npm package manager. The plan is to use npm one last time to install Yarn, and them npm is not needed. Here’s the command to install Yarn globally:

npm install yarn -g

Now let’s run Yarn from within the root dir of our project:

yarn install

This command reads the list dependencies from your package.json file and installs all of them. It took about one minute (half the time comparing to npm) on my laptop to download and install those 38K files. Pretty impressive.

Being more performant is not the only advantage of using Yarn over npm, and you can read more about Yarn’s architecture and benefits in this Facebook blog. At the time of this writing Yarn is still at its early stages, but you can start using it today as I do.

If you want to learn Angular 2 in depth, I offer you two choices:
1. Get our book Angular 2 development with TypeScript (use the promo code faindz)
2. Enroll into my Angular 2 workshop in New York City. What a great reason to spend several days in Manhattan during the holiday season, isn’t it?


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

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