What's the difference between package.json and a lock file?
  • package.json: This file describes your project and lists dependencies with desired version ranges (e.g., ^1.2.3). Think of it as your project's wishlist.

  • lock file: This file locks down the exact versions of dependencies installed to ensure everyone gets the same setup. It's like a receipt for your project's dependencies. Different package managers have their own lock file, for example npm uses package-lock.json, yarn uses yarn.lock and pnpm uses pnpm-lock.yaml.

In short, package.json defines what you want, and the lock file guarantees you get it. Both are essential for managing Node.js project dependencies.

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