Frontend dependencies

We use yarn@1 to manage frontend dependencies.

There are a few exceptions in the GitLab repository, stored in vendor/assets/.

What are production and development dependencies?

These dependencies are defined in two groups within package.json, dependencies and devDependencies. For our purposes, we consider anything that is required to compile our production assets a “production” dependency. That is, anything required to run the webpack script with NODE_ENV=production. Tools like eslint, jest, and various plugins and tools used in development are considered devDependencies. This distinction is used by omnibus to determine which dependencies it requires when building GitLab.

Exceptions are made for some tools that we require in the compile-production-assets CI job such as webpack-bundle-analyzer to analyze our production assets post-compile.

Updating dependencies

We use the Renovate GitLab Bot to automatically create merge requests for updating dependencies of several projects. You can find the up-to-date list of projects managed by the renovate bot in the project’s README.

Some key dependencies updated using renovate are:

We have the goal of updating all dependencies with renovate.

Updating dependencies automatically has several benefits, have a look at this example MR.

  • MRs will be created automatically when new versions are released
  • MRs can easily be rebased and updated with just checking a checkbox in the MR description
  • MRs contain changelog summaries and links to compare the different package versions
  • MRs can be assigned to people directly responsible for the dependencies

Community contributions updating dependencies

It is okay to reject Community Contributions that solely bump dependencies. Simple dependency updates are better done automatically for the reasons provided above. If a community contribution needs to be rebased, runs into conflicts, or goes stale, the effort required to instruct the contributor to correct it often outweighs the benefits.

If a dependency update is accompanied with significant migration efforts, due to major version updates, a community contribution is acceptable.

Here is a message you can use to explain to community contributors as to why we reject simple updates:


Thank you very much for this contribution. It seems like you are doing a "simple" dependency update.

If a dependency update is as simple as increasing the version number, we'd like a Bot to do this to save you and ourselves some time.

This has certain benefits as outlined in our <a href="">Frontend development guidelines</a>.

You might find that we do not currently update DEPENDENCY automatically, but we are planning to do so in [the near future](

Thank you for understanding, I will close this Merge Request.

Blocked dependencies

We discourage installing some dependencies in GitLab repository because they can create conflicts in the dependency tree. Blocked dependencies are declared in the blockDependencies property of the GitLab package.json.

Dependency notes


BootstrapVue is a component library built with Vue.js and Bootstrap. We wrap BootstrapVue components in GitLab UI with the purpose of applying visual styles and usage guidelines specified in the Pajamas Design System. For this reason, we recommend not installing BootstrapVue directly in the GitLab repository. Instead create a wrapper of the BootstrapVue component you want to use in GitLab UI first.