Getting to know Bower: a package manager for the web

How long does it typically take you to identify and download all of the third-party libraries and dependencies that you want to use for a front-end web development project? Minutes…hours? Maybe even days? It can be a time-consuming and tedious process identifying and downloading all of the libraries you want to use in addition to all of their dependencies. Package and dependency management is an area where package managers can really save us a lot of time and headaches.

You might be familiar with some other package managers. If you’re a Linux user you’re probably familiar with apt-get or RPM. If you’re a .NET developer you’ve probably at least heard of NuGet if you’re not using it. Node developers know and love NPM. But does such a thing exist for front-end web development?

Yes it does.

Bower is a package manager for the web, and it can dramatically simplify the process of dependency management for your front-end web development projects. In addition to that, it can also make it a lot easier for package developers to share their packages with others. These two reasons alone make it a valuable tool to have in your developer toolbox.

Below is a presentation I put together that will walk you through how to use Bower from start to finish. It covers everything from installing it, using it to manage dependencies in your front-end projects to creating and maintaining your own package for distribution through Bower. If you’ve been curious about whether or not Bower is the right tool for you to use, this should give you the information you need to make that decision and get started using it.

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  • Jakobud

    Horray. Another package manager. That has to be installed via another package manager. Can’t wait for some other package manager to be released that is installed via bower…….. This shit is getting old.

    • ryexley

      Thanks for your feedback. While I can appreciate that no one tool will meet everyone’s needs, we’ve found package managers in general to be valuable tools for enabling productivity. Of the package managers available for front-end development, we’ve been very happy with Bower as it works well with the toolsets and workflows we commonly use.