Craig Jennings

Posts by Craig Jennings:


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January 5, 2016

There were some posts a while back that talked about using npm scripts to handle most of your mundane tasks over using a task manager. I only recently got around to diving into this concept and wanted to share some of my discoveries.

Why use task runners at all?

This is an easy one. In development, there are things that have to get run and rerun constantly. Make a change to your javascript? Recompile (if you’re using webpack, browserify, babel, etc.). Make a change to your sass/less? Recompile. Want to release your code? Bundle, minify, copy assets, distribute. Lint your code? Run eslint or jshint or jscs.

For example, to compile some code via webpack for development could look like webpack -d –progress –colors. Granted, it could be just webpack -d but I like the extra niceties. More


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June 25, 2015

With the release of Agent 6, we hit a lot of milestones in our app. Agent became a true Single-page Application, we implemented a global Nav Menu that could be accessed anywhere, we upgraded the infrastructure to the latest version, and many more things. Along with this update, one goal we had was to rethink our frontend automation.

At the time, we used a tool called Grunt. This is a node-based task runner. It allows you to define and run tasks that are often repeated in the development process such as compilations, optimizations, file copying, and others. Gulp is also a task automation tool but implemented differently with different objectives that we’ll discuss later in this post.

The Problem

We saw that our gruntfile was getting out of control. It had grown to over 17 separate tasks with some


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