Unable to integrate a remote Package that has local Packages

I've got a Swift Package repo. It has a bunch of Packages in it; its manifest defines them via a local, relative path. (I've tried both "NameOfPackage" and "./NameOfPackage".)

When I try to import this repo locally/from the file system, it works perfectly. When I try to import it as a Github-based Package, it fails, throwing

invalidManifestFormat("'\NameOfPackage' is not a valid path for path-based dependencies; use relative or absolute path instead.",

Am I missing something here? The parser in ManifestJSONParser is a little hard to work through, alas, and I don't understand how a relative filesystem path that isn't using ~/ gets turned into an absolute path.

This suggests that you should be using the full file path to the package.

Post your Package.swift file.

If only the absolute path is supported, the error message should be updated and also that makes it useless to me, since it has to work both on developers' machines and also on CI.

Post your Package.swift file.

This is the Package.swift file for the lib package, stripped of identifiable names (and with one dependency instead of a dozen). As I said I've tried it both like this and without the ./ at the beginning of the path.

// swift-tools-version:5.5
// The swift-tools-version declares the minimum version of Swift required to build this package.

import PackageDescription

let package = Package(
    name: "lib-ios",
    platforms: [
        .iOS(.v13)
    ],
    products: [
        // Products define the executables and libraries a package produces, and make them visible to other packages.
        .library(
            name: "lib-ios",
            targets: ["lib-ios"]),
    ],
    dependencies: [
        .package(path: "./Account"),
    ],
    targets: [
        // Targets are the basic building blocks of a package. A target can define a module or a test suite.
        // Targets can depend on other targets in this package, and on products in packages this package depends on.
        .target(
            name: "lib-ios",
            dependencies: ["Account"]),
        .testTarget(
            name: "lib-iosTests",
            dependencies: ["lib-ios"]),
    ]
)

I have thrown together a repository which, at least on my machine, reproduces the behavior.

If this is not a bug, I will happily open a PR against the documentation updating it to reflect that it is intended that trying to integrate a remote Package that itself integrates local-to-itself Packages is not supported, and will give a spurious/incorrect error message.

cc @NeoNacho

This works as designed, from SE-0201:

  • The local package must be declared in the root package or in other local dependencies. This means, it is not possible to depend on a regular versioned dependency that declares a local package dependency.

I believe we used to have a more specific diagnostic for this, it might be a regression that we're not showing that anymore.

1 Like

While I did read that during my passes through the documentation, I didn't realize that "a regular versioned dependency" meant "any remote package". The error message being spurious is extremely frustrating, and a more specific diagnosis would have been great, for "not losing multiple days of time" values of great between those two things.

I'm disappointed that this is working as designed, but I guess if it's not a bug, it's not a bug. Is this simply a limit of the work that's been done to the parser, or is there a reason why it's intended that this workflow not be supported?

I believe the intent here was to avoid a versioned dependency depending on a local package that's outside the same repository, since the path of a local package can point anywhere on the filesystem.

I could see us allowing local dependencies that are part of the same repository in the future.

When you say "in the future", are we talking "please feel free to make a feature request", "not in the foreseeable future", or "if you want to make this happen, we would welcome an implementation"?

(My problem would also be solved by being able to point to a package that's within a repo rather than at repo root, but from my searching that use-case is considered not supported even in the hypothetical future because the team believes Package Registries fulfills that need.)

What I meant is that while we're not actively pursuing it, I wouldn't be opposed to changing it. So probably closest to "if you want to make this happen, we would welcome an implementation".

@AaronSofaer if i understand the use case correctly, i would be interested in better understanding the value of depending on a local package that is in a sub-directory of a top level package compared to defining targets (modules) for those locations

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