Getting Started with GulpJS

This repository contains Getting started guild with GulpJS.

Now a days, a JavaScript task runner is getting very famous. Yes, its name is Gulp. Many of us get confused between Gulp and Grunt. But why did I choose Gulp?

Gulp is faster and simpler then Grunt. And I prefer Gulp, because we write Gulp tasks in JavaScript language, and as I am JavaScript lover + developer so I feel pretty happy and confident to write Gulp tasks. Trust me. if you are JavaScript developer/lover then you are going to love Gulp task runner.

We are not going to discuss Gulp vs Grunt in details. You will find loads of materials, which discuss Gulp vs Grunt. Here we will learn how to write Gulp tasks.

Lets first install Gulp into the system:

  1. Install Gulp globally with command npm install -g gulp. If you face permission error, run same command with sudo as sudo npm install -g gulp.

  2. Install Gulp into your project with command npm install --save-dev gulp. If you face permission error, run same command with sudo as sudo npm install --save-dev gulp.

NOTE: In your project directory, a node_modules named directory will be created after running the above command npm install --save-dev gulp.

Now gulp will tell us what we have to do next, execute simply gulp command, it will print error No gulpfile found. Yup, that is our next step. Create an empty gulpfile.js file. Now again run gulp command, it will print error Task 'default' is not in your gulpfile. Lets create a default task in gulpfile.js as below:


//  Requiring gulp
var gulp = require('gulp');
// Defining default task, which will execute when we simply type gulp.
gulp.task('default', function () {
    console.log("Hello from default gulp task.");

Gulp provides gulp.task() api to create custom tasks, first argument is name of task, and second argument can be task function or array of task functions which will be execute when that task will be executed.

When we type gulp command, then Gulp will execute task, which is followed by gulp command. e.g. gulp t1 will execute t1 named task. And if we do not provide any task name after gulp command then by default it executes default task. So when we were typing only gulp, it was showing error message Task 'default' is not in your gulpfile.

Now type gulp or gulp default it will execute default task and will print our console.log.

Using gulpfile ~/Projects/Getting-Started-With-Gulp/gulpfile.js
Starting 'default'...
Hello from default gulp task.
Finished 'default' after 100 μs

Lets write a custom task, which will first minify/compress all the .js files from js directory then store all minified/compressed files to build/js directive, and will watch all the js files which are present in js directory, if any change happens in those .js files, then it will re-minify/re-compress all the .js files, and overwrite all old minified/compressed files with latest minified/compressed files in build/js directory.

Updated gulpfile.js

var gulp = require('gulp'),
    uglify = require('gulp-uglify');
function errorLog(error) {
// Scripts Task
// Uglify
gulp.task('scripts', function () {
        .on('error', errorLog)
// Watch Task
// Watches JS
gulp.task('watch', function () {'js/*.js', ['scripts']);
gulp.task('default', ['scripts', 'watch']);

NOTE We are using uglify npm module for minifying/compressing .js files. And it remove all comments and unused code from source JavaScript files.

In the above gulpfile.js, we have write 3 tasks:

  1. scripts: This task is for minifying all the .js files from js directory, and store into build/js directory. We are handing error event and printing error on console, so Gulp does not stops, otherwise if there will be any error while minifying the .js files, gulp will give error and will get stopped.
  2. watch: This task watches all the .js files from js directory, and any of the .js files get changed, it will execute scripts task.
  3. default: This is our default task, which first executes scripts task and then watch task.

Note: If you want execute only watch task or scripts task, then type gulp watch or gulp scripts respectively.

You can read the next part of the series here.

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