I found the reason. The process “quasar” does not use the proxy settings from the .npmrc file, it uses the environment variable “http_proxy” (I have only checked it under Windows). The syntax corresponds to the syntax of the .npmrc file.
One thing I have noticed though, is if you are missing the colon (:) completely, you get a warning and it keeps on trucking (instead of failing), but it gives you a message about no descripter so won’t be used. For the line number it gives you, look up 1 higher for the issue.
@peppered You are actually calling the global @quasar/cli, which in turn looks for @quasar/app in your node_modules, so it can pass project-oriented work to it. The global @quasar/cli is not finding the local @quasar/app, so you are getting that message. Another reason for getting that message, when you feel it is correct, if that node_modules has not been populated yet (like when you get your code from a repo, then forget to run yarn/npm on it).