Until recently, they don't follow immutable versioning. Publisher can remove package at will.
The NPM team looks like they ignore any knowledge any existing package manager before them ever did. They just happen to get included by NodeJS and become defacto by convenience.
I remember when I first starting dabbling in web development from an avionics systems background and I'd just made a little toy express app that did a couple tricks and I was kind of exploring and naive and took an innocent gander into that specially icon'd node_modules directory and it was filled with other projects and peaking into a few those I started to get this feeling of dread, the kind that starts in your stomach and slowly diffuses through the rest of you with that leaden feeling of growing hopelessness. Looking back, I should have stopped there, I really should have, but instead I popped open a terminal and, I can still hear each key as my fingers thumped it out: `tree ./node_modules`
Watching the unraveling was me bearing witness to everything I had ever known and loved and had believed in and strived for get thrown naked and defenseless and pathetic into the abyss and still it kept unraveling and still I sat and watched the descent until I no longer knew where I was or even who I was and still the modules unraveled relentlessly.
I spent that night looking into the mirror as if looking into the eyes of a stranger. The person staring back at me was someone I had not only ceased to know but had never known to begin with. And when the sun rose I had changed and I knew then as the sparrows began to chirp into the cold winter twilight spreading light over a now alien and unrecognizable planet that I had lost something I would never regain because to lose it is to simply realize it was never there to begin with.
I steeled my nerves and pulled on my itchy long underwear and buttoned up my plaid button up and I did not put on socks and headed downstairs to the kitchen and put on Now That's What I Call Music 23 and I drank a glass of orange juice and ate my oatmeal and the mix I had hitherto so much enjoyed now struck me as chaotic and ill-thought out and then Abba came on and the song was about a Dancing Queen and I resolved myself once more and brought my dishes to the sink to rinse them and decided there was nothing to do besides async.waterfall the next set of promises only after the necessary precedents resolved (which is how we spoke back in 2016s).
And I found myself back at my machine and worked like hell to reign my terror in because the tree command I had run the previous evening was still printing to stdout and I closed my eyes and blindly mapped my fingers to ctrl+c and felt just a little twinge of reassurance as the reflexive `clear` followed without me having to have consciously willed it and I took a deep breath and scratched my leg because of the itchy long underwear and then I was typing out `npm --i numbButAlive` and by the shift+b,u tap dance I began to feel hope one last time and finger resting slack on the carriage return I couldn't bring myself to push it yet for some reason and I froze and I clearly remember hearing Agnetha at that exact moment singing about that 17 year old dancing queen, "Having the time of your life, oh, see that girl" and then the hope was gone because it wasn't ever there it was really there like the hopelessness of hoping to feel hope and I felt an anger and I revolt in me rise up and the room filled with my voice "Fuck it, fuck it all!" and I meant it: fuck this world and fuck Abba and fuck Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 3 and up (with the exception of Vol. 7, maybe) and fuck all the empty dreams of all the fucking vapid nobodies polluting it with their nonsense parade of nonsense distraction after distraction after distraction from the truth that their life will end in death and so will their children's and their children's children and there's no greater significance to that, no hidden meaning or lesson, only death and emptiness and going through life knowing this and knowing how all everything you do to whittle away at the precious little time you've been alotted is a complete waste despite your protests and denials and self-deception and still you keep denying it to your dying breath because here even acceptance is denial in that acceptance is meaningless to that which is what is with or without your fucking acceptance and I found myself laughing a hollow, bitter laugh, a laugh that didn't sound like me, a sound I could never had made until that moment, this moment, a moment without joy or sadness or anything besides utter resignation and defeat and I tacked a `-g` onto the command for no other reason than fuck it, fuck everything and everyone and all their delusional basis for anything and it was easy to push the carriage return now and as I did so and I tasted something new to me then and it must have been my first taste of true freedom in all its terrifying glory, a freedom that leaves nothing to its beholder and is beholden to no one and ultimately sentenced to an eternity imprisoned within itself to as its becoming of self is just a much a defiance to what it should have been free to become.