back to blog
However, some tasks are very important in the development process, such as minification, unit testing, web page refreshing. These tasks are not just very boring, but stressful and demoralizing as well. Despite this, these tasks still have to be done.
Let’s get into the thick of things, and see how these technologies help improve the development workflow.
34 304 GitHub ★
One should be able to give a good shot as to what this does, according to its name. Webpack is used for bundling many web packages and different dependencies, including CSS files and images, then creates modules for them before bundling them into manageable output files. This helps increase productivity and reusability, as it reduces the load time of development packages by splitting the dependency tree into chunks and loads them on demand, meaning that it consumes less of memory.
Webpack can be installed using the npm command:
npm install --save-dev webpack
And with Yarn
yarn add webpack --dev
Webpack is a pretty complex tool. However, you could learn it easily over time by going over some online tutorials. Tutorials on the tool can easily be found. It is very popular. You can get to find out more about this package on the website.
11 653 GitHub ★
6 315 Plugins
You would agree that such a tool like this would make your work easier and faster as the projects get to roll in. Grunt.js is a pretty large library and offers about 6000 plugins including popular plugins such as CoffeeScript, Less, RequireJS, JSHint, Sass, Stylus and a whole lot more to “make the easy task of automation easier than ever”.
Grunt doesn’t only stop at the automation of your tasks. You can also get to manage your image file sizes and quality on your web pages after development. This would go a long way in helping you improve the load speed of your websites without compromising quality. Truly, Grunt is built on Node. But you do not have to be proficient in using Node.js to be able to make use of this library. Just like Webpack, it is very popular and wouldn’t take a long time before you are able to find your way around the tool.
Grunt can be installed using the npm command:
npm install -g grunt
It also has its own command line tool. This and much more can be explored on the official website.
28 066 GitHub ★
Gulp is a task or builds runner for project development. It allows for an easy and smooth development workflow. With Gulp, you find that one tool that gives you the much needed opportunity to spend more time on your code and not on configuration processes.
It can also be installed using the npm command:
npm install -g gulp
With Gulp, you don’t have to spend so much time learning how the API’s work, as it provides four simple API’s which include:
Gulp has a large ecosystem of users, so it is a pretty popular tool. You can learn more from the official website.
11 555 GitHub ★
Browserify can simply be installed using npm:
npm install -g browserify
You can find out more about this awesome tool on the official website.
6 255 GitHub ★
Brunch is a node package, and can also easily be installed using:
npm install -g brunch
With Brunch, you do not have to start your projects from scratch anymore, as it has very efficient skeleton installers which make starting a project easy. It is a pure build tool without the need for any configurations, allowing for seamless configuration and compilation, allowing for rapid development of projects. You can find out more from the official website.
8 806 GitHub ★
7 024 Plugins
You can easily install Yeoman using the npm command as:
npm install -g yo
After the installation of Yeoman, you can then install the needed generator using:
npm install -g generator-webapp
Then you can easily create an application using the Yeoman tool.
This saves you the time of having to go through the process of navigating directories in the command line before creating these applications. Yeoman is not dependent on language, which means it is also used for the creation of applications in other languages. This also means that you can get solutions to any issues you come across while trying to make use of this great tool. Just in case you are yet to wrap your head around the “generator” concept, it is beyond the scope of this article. You can easily find tutorials online and also on the official website.
WRAPPING IT UP
Getting to choose the best build tool for you could be a very tasking process, but it could be very instrumental in dictating how easy development would be for you.
All the tools talked about in this article are very similar. However, they have their differences, with the edge over one another in different areas.
- Grunt is best if a lot of repetitive work would be done configuring independent tasks requiring different files.
- Gulp is best if a lot of repetitive work would be done on Node streams and involves opening and closing of the same files using pipe chains.
- Browserify is great at packaging node.js modules for browsers.
- Brunch is best for setting up new large projects from scratch, as it needs near zero configuration requirements due to the availability of skeletons.
- Yeoman is best if you already have a basic setup and would like to remake something similar, you can easily scaffold another one.
All in all, all these tools can complement one another and would create high efficiency when used together.