Dependencies

"When the Gods with to punish us, they answer our prayers." – Oscar Wilde

For decades, the idea of code reuse was merely a dream. The idea that code could be written once, packaged into a library and re-used across many different applications was an ideal, only realized for a few standard libraries and for corporate in-house tools.

The growth of the Internet, and the rise of open-source software finally changed that. The first openly accessible repository that held a wide collection of useful libraries, tools and helpers, all packaged up for easy re-use, was CPAN: the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, online since 1995. By the present day, almost every modern language1 has a comprehensive collection of open-source libraries available, housed in a package repository that makes the process of adding a new dependency easy and quick.

However, new problems come along with that ease, convenience and speed. It's usually still easier to re-use existing code than to write it yourself, but there are potential pitfalls and risks that come along with dependencies on someone else's code. This part of the book will help you be aware of these.

The focus is specifically on Rust, and with it use of the cargo tool, but many of the concerns, topics and issues covered apply equally well to other languages.


1: With the notable exception of C and C++, where package mangement remains somewhat fragmented.