This document describes the format of repositories that are providing Enso libraries and Editions.

General Repository Design

Library and Edition providers are based on the HTTP(S) protocol. They are designed in such a way that they can be backed by a simple file storage exposed over the HTTP protocol, but of course it is also possible to implement the backend differently as long as it conforms to the specification.

It is recommended that the server should support sending text files with Content-Encoding: gzip to more effectively transmit the larger manifest files, but this is optional and sending them without compression is also acceptable. Nonetheless, Enso tools will send Accept-Encoding: gzip to indicate that they support compressed transmission.

Libraries Repository

The library repository should contain separate ‘directories’ for each prefix and inside of them each library has its own directory named after the library name.

Inside that directory are the following files:

  • manifest.yaml - the helper file that tells the tool what it should download, it is explained in more detail below;
  • package.yaml - the package file of the library;
  • meta - an optional metadata directory, that may be used by the marketplace;
  • LICENSE.md - a license associated with the library; in our official repository the license is required, but internal company repositories may skip this, however if the file is not present a warning will be emitted during installation;
  • *.tgz packages containing sources and other data files of the library, split into components as explained below.

The directory structure is as below:

└── Prefix                      # The author's username.
    └── Library_Name            # The name of the library.
        └── 1.2.3               # Version of a particular library package.
            ├── meta            # (Optional) Library metadata for display in the marketplace.
            │   ├── preview.png
            │   └── icon.png
            ├── main.tgz        # The compressed package containing sources of the library.
            ├── tests.tgz       # A package containing the test sources.
            ├── LICENSE.md
            ├── package.yaml
            └── manifest.yaml

The Manifest File

The manifest file is a YAML file with the following fields:

  • archives - a list of archive names that are available for the given library; at least one archive must be present (as otherwise the package would be completely empty);
  • dependencies - a list of dependencies, as described below;
  • description - an optional description of the library that is displayed in the info and search command results;
  • tag-line - an optional tagline that will be displayed in the marketplace interface.

As the protocol does not define a common way of listing directories, the primary purpose of the manifest file is to list the available archive packages, so that the downloader can know what archives it should try downloading.

Additionally, the manifest may contain a list of (direct) dependencies the library relies on. This list is in a way redundant, because the dependencies may be inferred from libraries’ imports, but its presence is desirable, because the downloader would need to download the whole sources package (which may be large) before being able to deduce the dependencies, where if they are defined in the manifest file, the manifest files of all transitive dependencies may be downloaded up-front, allowing to give a better estimate of how much must be downloaded before the library can be actually loaded, improving the user’s experience.

It is not an error for an imported dependency to not be included in the manifest (in fact the manifest may list no dependencies at all) - in such a case the dependency will be downloaded when the library is first being loaded. However, it is strongly recommended that these dependencies shall be included, as it greatly improves the user’s experience.

The dependencies consist only of library names, with no version numbers, as the particular version of each dependency that should be used will be ruled by the edition that is used in a given project.

The upload tool will automatically parse the imports and generate the manifest containing the dependencies.


An example manifest.yaml file may have the following structure:

  - main.tgz
  - tests.tgz
  - Standard.Base
  - Foo.Bar

The Sub-Archives

The published library consists of sub-archives that allow to selectively download only parts of the library.

Each downloaded archive will be extracted to the libraries’ root directory in such a way that common directories from multiple archives are merged on extraction. However, different packages should not contain overlapping files as there would be no way which of the files should be kept when the packages are extracted.

It is not an error if multiple downloaded packages contain conflicting files, but there are no guarantees as to which of the conflicting files is kept.

The package called tests is treated specially - it will not be downloaded by default, as tests (which may contain heavy data files) are not necessary to use the library.

In the future, we will introduce platform specific sub-archives. The initial idea is that if an archive name has format <prefix>-<os>-<arch>.tgz where os is one of windows, macos, linux and arch is amd64 (or in the future other values may be available here), the package is only downloaded if the current machine is running the same OS and architecture as indicated by its name. This is however a draft and the particular logic may be modified before it is implemented. Since the current behaviour is to download all packages (except for test), adding this feature will be backwards compatible, because the older versions will just download packages for every system (which will be unnecessary, but not incorrect).

All other packages are always downloaded by default. This may however change in the future with additional reserved names with special behaviour being added.

There is no special name for a default package that should always be downloaded, the only requirement is that the library should consist of at least one package that is downloaded on every supported operating system (as otherwise it would be empty). A safe name to choose is main.tgz as this name is guaranteed to never become reserved, and so it will always be downloaded.

The archives should be tar archives compressed with the gzip algorithm and should always have the .tgz extension (which is a shorthand for .tar.gz).

Other formats may be added in the future if necessary, but current versions of the tool will ignore such files.


For example a library may have the following manifest:

- main.tgz
- tests.tgz

With the following directory structure (nodes under archives represent what the archive contains):

├── main.tgz
│   ├── src
│   │   ├── Main.enso
│   │   └── Foo.enso
│   ├── polyglot
│   │   └── java
│   │       └── native-helper.jar
│   │   ├── native-component-license.txt
│   │   └── native-component-distribution-notice.txt
│   └── data
│       └── required-constants.csv
├── tests.tgz
│   ├── tests
│   │   └── MainSpec.enso
│   └── data
│       └── tests
│           └── big-test-data.csv
├── package.yaml
├── LICENSE.md
└── manifest.yaml

Then if both maing.tgz and tests.tgz packages are downloaded (normally we don’t download the tests, but there may be special settings that do download them), it will result in the following merged directory structure:

├── src
│   ├── Main.enso
│   └── Foo.enso
├── polyglot
│   └── java
│       └── native-helper.jar
│   ├── native-component-license.txt
│   └── native-component-distribution-notice.txt
├── tests
│   └── MainSpec.enso
├── data
│   ├── required-constants.csv
│   └── tests
│       └── big-test-data.csv
├── package.yaml
└── LICENSE.md


To be able to publish libraries to a repository, the repository must provide an upload endpoint which satisfies the following requirements.

The endpoint should get the library name and version from the query parameters: namespace, name and version.

It should check any authentication data attached to the query and verify that the user has sufficient privileges to upload the library for that namespace.

Currently, we use a static check which checks an Auth-Token header for a pre-determined secret key, but any other authentication schemes can be used, as long as they are supported by the GUI or CLI.

Then, the server must check if a library with the given name and version combination already exists. If the library already exists, the request should be rejected with 409 Conflict status code indicating that a conflicting library is already in the repository.

If the request goes through, the server should create a directory for the library and put any files attached to the request there. Each request should always contain package.yaml and manifest.yaml files attached and at least one sub-archive, usually called main.tgz.

Editions Repository

The Editions repository has a very simple structure.

Firstly, it must contain a manifest.yaml file at its root. The manifest contains a single field editions which is a list of strings specifying the editions that this provider provides.

For each entry in the manifest, there should be a file <edition-name>.yaml at the root which corresponds to that entry.

Naming the Editions

The edition files are supposed to be immutable, so once published, an edition should not be updated - instead a new edition should be created if changes are necessary. In particular, once an edition with a particular name has been downloaded, it is cached and will never be downloaded again (unless the user manually deletes its file in the cache).

The edition names should be kept unique, because if multiple repositories (listed in the global configuration) provide editions with the same name, the edition file from the first repository on that list providing it will take precedence when the editions are being updated, but once the editions are cached, modifying the list order will not cause a re-download.

Each organization should try to make sure that their users will not encounter edition names conflicts when using their custom edition repository. In particular, it is recommended that custom published editions are prefixed with organization name.

Official editions will use the following sets of names:

  • the year and month format <year>.<month>, for example 2021.4;
  • nightly-<year>-<month>-<day> for nightly releases, for example nightly-2021-04-25.

Example Edition Provider Repository

For example for a manifest file with the following contents, we will have a directory structure as shown below.

  - "2021.1"
  - "foo"
  - "bar"
├── manifest.yaml
├── 2021.1.yaml
├── foo.yaml
└── bar.yaml

The Simple Library Server

We provide a simple webserver for hosting custom library and edition repositories.

Currently it relies on Node.js, but that may change with future updates.

See tools/simple-library-server/README.md for more details.