All About Grunt and Grunt.js

What is Grunt for developers?

Grunt is a command line build tool designed for JavaScript projects. There are many built-in tasks in the software that can help you do a lot. You can develop your own scripts and plugins and extend its basic functions.

Why do people use it?

The Grunt community is already huge and it is growing at a fast pace. Hundreds of plugins are available, making it possible to automate almost anything without the need to spend lots of time or efforts. It is quite easy to create and publish your own Grunt plugin.

Another important reason for the growing popularity of grunt.js is that almost all the tasks you will need are already available as plugins. Besides, new plugins are being created almost every day. Some of the most popular plugins on Grunt include:

  • CoffeeScript
  • handlebars
  • JSHint
  • Sass
  • jade
  • stylus

Another encouraging reason for using grunt.js is that already many companies and projects have embraced it. Some of the leading names in this list include Adobe, Twitter, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, Opera, WordPress, jQuery, Mozilla and Bootstrap.

What are the advantages of using Grunt or grunt.js?

When working on a JavaScript project, you will have to take a set of repetitive steps. This can include concatenating files, minifying scripts, running JSHint and running tests. When you paste your JavaScript into a plugin, you will note that it can be done in a better way. It will be best to have just one, unified set of commands for all the additional tasks that could work for each script. This is where you will find Grunt to be of great use.

Grunt.js has many built-in tasks and you can build your own scripts and plugins. It is itself developed on Node.js and you can get it through the Node package manager. It can be installed globally using a simple command.

Grunt can do much more than setting up the project. You can break open the grunt.js file for extensive amount of configuration. It may be a new project, but it is almost complete. It has almost everything you will need for a large project, and it is highly extendable. It is strongly expected to become a community standard, and could have lots of templates, plugins and tasks in the future. If you haven’t tested it yet, it is time you gave this powerful tool a try.

Do you use Grunt? How has your experience been with using it? Has it improved your workflow & efficiency? I would love to hear about your experiences. Please share them in the comments section below.