Simple build tool that combines your JS and outputs a source map, with JSON configuration.

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 (in case it causes side effects)
  • 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 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
  • defines a constant DEBUG=true which you can use to hide console.log from the production build. More info on my blog.


  • 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


The configuration file is a JSON document. 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 filenames in the sources array:


###Source Map Options The source map will automatically be saved alongside the built file. In the previous example if you called adhesive build.json --debug, you would get two files saved to your js folder:


You can customize this by adding a sourceMap object. It has two parameters: path and root. The source map will be saved at path, and root specifies where the source map will look for files. This gets a little confusing, because it's relative to the source map's path at runtime. If you set the source map path to maps/ and the root isn't set to anything, the source map will look for files in maps/js/, which is not what you want. When in doubt, don't set root. It will automatically be pointed to the current folder, which is usually the right choice.

Here's an example configuration with everything in it:


##License FreeBSD:

Copyright (c) 2013, John Starr Dewar
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