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Bower, a Package Manager for the Web

Bower is a package manager for the front-end web development created by Twitter. Bower can handle with assets, libraries, frameworks, and utilities. It can manage different website’s components that contain JavaScript, CSS, HTML, fonts as well as image files. Users just have to install the right versions of packages they need and their dependencies.

 

Bower is used in many closed source and open source projects to solve lots of recurrent issues.

 

Today, development of a web application or a website involves using many third-party dependencies. For, example, developers will need to use many front-end frameworks, such as jQuery, Bootstrap, Angular, etc. To download each of these packages, developers have to navigate the corresponding site, find the appropriate version, download it, unzip it, and, finally, move the main files to the specific vendor folder. After the files have been downloaded to their repository, developers have to visit all the above-mentioned websites one by one, check updates, and download updates if any.

 

Managing all the project dependencies manually takes much time. Developers can use Bower as the package manager because Bower helps them find and download packages they need for the development of their web application, update these packages, and resolve their dependencies. Bower uses a manifest file called bower.json to manage these installed packages.

 

Bower requires NPM, Node JS, and Git so these components have to be installed before the installation of Bower.

 

The advantage of using Bower is that it takes care of the third-party code when developers run bower install and gets those dependencies to the right locations. Besides, Bower makes the final project package smaller for distribution.

 

Bower differs from other client-side package managers such as Ende, Volo or Jam because it operates at a lower level so these managers could easily consume Bower as a dependency. It just installs packages, resolves dependencies from a bower.json, checks versions and, finally, it provides an API to report on these things.