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    adhesive is a simple build tool that uses UglifyJS to concatenate your JavaScript and make you a nice source map.

    I expect this to be most useful for simple, front-end focused projects, particularly those that are already working with a traditional list of <script> tags in index.html (and where you may not want to rock the boat). There are more sophisticated versions of this out there, but adhesive has some advantages:

    • There is very little configuration, so it won't take you more than a few minutes to get it working.
    • It outputs source maps so you can easily debug the minified version of your code.
    • It's so simple that you can grab the repo and modify it to your heart's content — without spending very long learning how it works.

    adhesive doesn't bother with css. I usually have compass watching my scss files and combining them already.


    You need to install Node if you haven't already. Then:

    npm install adhesive -g

    Or you can clone this repository, cd into into it, and run npm install, then npm link. That's a good option if you want to try modifying adhesive.


    adhesive <config_path> [--debug | --dont-minify | --help]

    Your config file must have a .json extension. You may omit the extension when invoking adhesive. For example, if your configuration file is named build.json, the following are equivalent:

    adhesive build
    adhesive build.json



    • Compiles a source map and saves it alongside the built JavaScript (in previous versions you could put the source maps in a different folder, but it was very confusing to configure so I've removed it).


    • Will tell adhesive to only concatenate your code (no uglifying), which is useful if you need to debug something in a browser that doesn't support source maps.


    • Displays this information in the terminal.



    I recommend using nodemon with adhesive to recombine your code each time you make a change. Thanks to source maps, this allows you to have a nice workflow that is pretty much identical to using <script> tags:

    npm install nodemon -g
    nodemon adhesive build --debug

    Important: note that if you install adhesive from npm or use npm link, you'll need to use nodemon's --exec mode:

    nodemon --exec adhesive build --debug --watch src-js

    You'll notice that I used the --watch option to specify the watch folder. In this example I'm building to the 'js' folder, but all my constituent files are in 'src-js'.

    The reason is simple: if you use nodemon to execute adhesive and the latter saves its output to the same folder nodemon is watching (such as the project directory), you'll wind up with a crazy infinite loop because nodemon will detect adhesive's output as a change.

    IntelliJ Platform File Watchers

    IntelliJ File Watcher Configuration


    The configuration file is a JSON document (as noted above, you can name it anything, but I recommend build.json). It requires that you specify an array of source files and an output path, like so:


    It probably goes without saying that the sources are concatenated in the order listed, so if your site currently has a list of script tags, you'll want to maintain that same order in here.

    Optional Parameters


    You can set a sourceRoot path that will be prepended to the file paths in the sources array:



    You can define globals that will be injected during the Uglifying process (when the --debug option is not used). Find out why you might want to do this on my blog. Use a hash called uglifyGlobals:

        "uglifyGlobals": {

    Version History


    • Added configurable definition of globals for uglify (instead of always being DEBUG:false).
    • Moved some code to helpers.js to facilitate unit tests.
    • Added Jasmine specs.
    • Removed sourceMap configuration hash because it was confusing. Now uses sensible default of saving the source map with the built file.
    • Decided to call it 1.0, because I don't think there's much left to add at this point.


    • Fixed a bug thanks to Adrian Unger.


    • Initial release.



    Copyright (c) 2013, John Starr Dewar
    All rights reserved.
    Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
    modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met: 
    1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this
       list of conditions and the following disclaimer. 
    2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice,
       this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation
       and/or other materials provided with the distribution. 
    The views and conclusions contained in the software and documentation are those
    of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing official policies, 
    either expressed or implied, of the FreeBSD Project.




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