GOPATH, Vendoring, oh my...

If you’re using vendor directories (which were introduced in Go 1.5 for vendoring project-specific dependencies) be aware that your project still has to be in your $GOPATH for that vendor-directory to be seen by go build.

Especially with smaller projects I often just start them inside my generic projects folder where I put everything code-related no matter the language. Today a co-worker wanted to try out some changes I had my and noticed that glide install wasn’t installing everything that was needed by the project. Turns out I had forgotten to glide get one of the dependencies but everything kept building for me simply because I also had this library installed globally within the $GOPATH.

But as it happened, just adding that dependency didn’t solve his building issues so we started to play around a bit. I removed the project’s dependencies also from my system and right away ran into the same difficulties my co-worker was reporting after fixing the glide.yaml file:

[INFO] Running go build github.com/boltdb/bolt
[WARN] Failed to run 'go install' for github.com/boltdb/bolt: go install: no install location for directory /Users/zerok/work/code/project/subproject/vendor/github.com/boltdb/bolt outside GOPATH
    For more details see: go help gopath

After reading the error message and already suspecting something like that, I found the confirmation on the official mailing list. Turns out that the vendor directory only works if the parent project is already living in the $GOPATH. Bummer. This might make working in a mixed-language mono-repo a bit more complicated. At least I can still simply symlink that project into my $GOPATH and everything will be fine, though 😉

cd $GOPATH/src/company-reposerver.com/project/
ln -s ~/work/code/project/subproject $PWD/subproject
cd subproject && glide install

Definitely not ideal but good enough for now 😊 If you know or/and are using other approaches that work nicely in a similar environment (monorepos with mixed languages), please let me know!

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