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Dependency hell

Posted by gvix on January 17, 2006 at 7:54 PM PST

I started work on an existing project at my day job today and the first thing that I had to do was to download all the dependencies for the project. Here is a snapshot of the dependencies folder after I had checked it out of CVS:

dependencies.jpg

Wow! That's 21 dependencies in that folder. Twenty-One! Actually, it should be more because Jakarta-Commons contains many separate libraries, which in this case is 14 more. So that's a total of 35 dependencies I have to contend with before I start on the project.

It is a shock to me (maybe not to the rest of you) because I am coming back to working mostly full time on a Java project after a year or so, in which time, I was working on a .NET project.

I will say this now, looking at that folder: even though Java is my preferred platform, I never encountered this kind of dependency nightmare working with .NET.

What's the maximum number of dependencies that you have encountered? Is it a problem in the Java language that requires these many dependencies? Because to be fair, these dependencies wouldn't be there if they were not required.

And yet, I am almost nostalgic for the simplicity of .NET. *shudder*

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