vessel-package-sets seems pretty out-of-date… it’s stuck at Motoko v0.6.8, which is older than the current version of v0.6.14
It’s the latest compiler version CI tested against. Given that v0.6.14 just has patch bumps compared to v0.6.8 I’m assuming that the package-set should work just fine with the newer compiler version. There’s no reason to release a new package-set if none of the packages changed their versions. But updating the compiler version used on CI also isn’t hard.
npm’'s dependency model puts the onus on every single developer to try to keep their individual project building on a foundation of shifting dependencies underneath them. With the package-set approach we can share that work of making new versions of dependencies build together and then contribute the compatible version updates back upstream. Now that doesn’t stop you from maintaining your own project-local package-set like you’d do with package.json.
Does motoko-matchers require wasmtime to actually run tests? The documentation isn’t clear
That’s how I’ve run them so far. You can totally compile a Motoko actor and have it run matchers tests on the replica, though the feedback cycle would be much slower. I have an example of doing that here: GitHub - kritzcreek/ic101
There doesn’t seem to be a good reason to use vessel if you’re not using vessel-package-sets
vessel-package-sets forms a reasonable basis of “These are commonly used packages”. But, if you have your own, maybe company internal?, set of packages you like to use and share you can extend it or build your own package set. I know that Aviate Labs have done that for their collection of Motoko libraries: GitHub - aviate-labs/package-set: Aviate Labs' package set for Vessel
Here’s a cool example of a library that uses both
dfinity/vessel-package-set and combines it with
aviate-labs/package-set to collect all the dependencies it needs.
Having more active maintenance of vessel-package-set would certainly be nice, but my priorities have shifted around a bit, so it would require involvement of the community. There’s certainly nothing particularly hard about it, it’s just work.