The absolute state of package management in C++

The absolute state of package management in C++

C++ is widely used in programming, but managing packages has been a little tough, to say the least. Let's glimpse its evolution and upcoming changes.


2 min read

๐Ÿง Back in the dawn of C++, package management wasn't even on the radar.

Developers were left to fend for themselves, downloading libraries, wrangling dependencies, and praying for compatibility. The result? Chaos, to put it mildly. This prompted a cry for change.

๐Ÿ”จ In response, enterprising developers started crafting package managers.

The likes of Conan and vcpkg emerged, promising to streamline the process. And they did bring progress, yet limitations remained. Compiling from source, dealing with different build systems, and juggling with dependencies still posed challenges.

๐Ÿ—๏ธ Stuck in the Tides of the Past...

While the programming landscape evolved, C++'s package management landscape seemed anchored in time. Complex build setups and version conflicts continued to frustrate developers. To put it simply: compared to Swift, Go or Rust, the C++ side of things seemed like a complete joke.

๐Ÿงฒ Amidst these stagnant waters, a glimmer of hope emerges: Magnet.

Designed with a fresh perspective, Magnet takes inspiration from the simplicity of modern package managers. It aims to break free from the chains of historical complexities, offering a lightweight and intuitive dependency management solution.

๐ŸŒฑ Magnet approaches the challenge with a novel approach.

It centralizes package metadata, eliminates build system hassles, and simplifies version management. With a keen focus on minimalism, Magnet intends to lighten the developer's burden and enhance the C++ experience.

โ›ฐ๏ธ This is the start of a big journey.

You can take an early look into Magnet on GitHub. It is still nowhere near finished, but hearing feedback from you would be more than appreciated.