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Watch Your Versions


Today I tried to add Husy to this project. I went through my standard workflow of yarn add -D husky then declaring hooks in package.json. Then I tried to commit. Hook’s didn’t work.

Why? It turns out that Husky recently released version 5 which has an entirely different workflow than version 4. Version 5 also mentioned a yarn v1 vs yarn v2 install. There are different methods for installing depending on Yarn version. Well that’s interesting. Yarn version 2. When did that come out? I know I’m on version 1 but figure I’ll checkout version 2 since it’s news to me.

Well Yarn V2 is a major release with many backwards incompatible changes. The biggest being that installing through something like brew is no longer supported. Yarn V2 is installed with npm install -g yarn. Then you run yarn config set version berry (yes that’s “berry”, a code name for the recent release). At this point you can run rm -rf node_modules and try yarn install. Next you need to add a bunch of .yarn files to .gitignore because Yarn writes more files to .yarn/. Anyway it seems that version 2 is a major release with significant backwards incompatible changes.

Those changes seem fine for the projects I tend to work on. So I upgraded to v2 for this project just to start riding the latest release. Riding the latest release is an important practice in low risk environments. Which brings me back to Husky.

This small endevour revealed that two of my important tools have major releases with breaking changes.

There’s no way around this in software. No versions are released. Its our job as software professionals to keep abreast of these developments so we don’t step into it when we least expect.

This is one case for the concept of auto-updating builds, meaning CI should upgrade everything and see if the build passes. If the build passes then the changes may be merged in. With this approach upgrades are always happening. In other words, it’s automated so it happens an on an on-going basis. If it’s not automated then it’s left to us humans. We tend to forget about updates, so as a result, the batch size to update gets larger and complex, which in turn makes it less likely to complete.

Anyways, It’s never safe to assume that installing the latest version of a library or tool will work as the last one (duh, right?). I’ve been bitten by this recently with Husky just today and yq a few weeks ago. Yq version 4 is completely different and no way compatible with yq version 3. So that’s what I get for relying on brew. Thankfully there was an ASDF plugin for YQ so I could lock relevant projects to version 3.