“Terms about the package management”

Originally from https://github.com/themanifest/package-management-glossary

Package Management Glossary :package:

A glossary of terms relating to package management.


The complete umbrella of a software project that may have one or more packages distributed across multiple package managers.

Package (or Distribution)

A uniquely named record of a project being distributed on a registry, with one or more releases.

Release (or Version)

A (mostly) immutable snapshot of a project's source code published at a point in time under a unique version number.


The declaration of the dependency of one package on another.

Transitive Dependency

A transitive dependency is one that wasn't directly depended on by a package but instead the dependencies of one of a package's declared dependencies.

Dependency Tree

A graph of all the resolved dependencies of a single package or manifest.


A file where a package or application can declare it's top level dependencies, often with version ranges.


The place where a successfully resolve dependency tree is recorded so that it can be recreated at a later date.

Dependency Resolution Algorithm

The strategy used to decide which releases of each package should be picked to produce the complete dependency graph for a package or manifest.

Versioning scheme

The format and meaning applied to each release version number, often in the format X.Y.Z.

Two popular schemes are https://semver.org and http://calver.org.

Version Range

A short hand for declaring or constraining which version numbers are acceptable for a package when resolving dependency trees.


The locally installed software for installing and managing packages, usually provided as a command line interface. Often communicates with one or more registries to find package and release metadata and to download releases.


A source of metadata about packages, their releases and where to download those releases.

Source Distribution

Packages that are published in the form of uncompiled source code, this is usually the default for scripting languages that cannot be compiled.

Binary Distribution

Packages that are published in the form of a pre-compiled binary, usually without the original source code. There are often multiple binary distributions available for a single package, each compiled for a particular cpu architecture or operating system.

Source Repository

The version control repository where development of a software project is co-ordinated, often hosted on GitHub, GitLab or Bitbucket.


The end-user software project that utilises other software projects as dependencies but is not something that can be directly depended upon or published as a package.