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What does it do?

AssemBot is a simple asset assembler for use in developing JS web apps. It's designed for my own preferred way of development, so YMMV.

It's rather like stitch, but not exactly. It can compile an entire directory into a single, commonjs moduled, javascript file. It can also create a single .css file from all the styles in a single directory, recursively. It will also transpile where appropriate (CoffeeScript, eco, less, stylus, etc). You can enable pruning to excise modules you don't require in your code.

If you don't like the default conventions, you can configure it in your package.json file. You can also extend AssemBot with plugins to add processor, or packages types. See the docs for more.


npm install -g assembot

You don't have to install it globally, but it comes with a pre-configured binfile to make it quick to use on projects. (It defaults to compiling ./source into public/app.js and public/app.css)


At it's simplest:

cd my_project
assembot build

If you want to configure it via package.json, just add an assembot section to your package and run assembot.

  ... Other node/npm stuff ...
  "assembot": {
    "targets": {
      "output/my_file.js": {
        "source": "./source"
        "minify": 1

If you've not installed it globally, then you'll need to add it as a dependency to your project, then:

npm install assembot --save
./node_modules/.bin/assembot --build

AssemBot can give you a head start by creating a assembot configuration block for you:

assembot init

Transpiler Support

AssemBot initially enables support for transpiling .coffee, .litcoffee, .eco, .dot, .ejs, .less, and .styl files. When using stylus, it will attempt to enable Nib by default as well.

There's a start on some others as well. Plus, you can always add your own.

Token Replacement

In your sources files you can reference data defined in your package.json file by using a special token syntax: {%- -%}

AssemBot will attempt to replace all tokens in your sources files. To disable this behavior, set replaceTokens to false.

Embedded CSS

It also supports compiling CSS into the JS package. Use .ecss (or .estyl or .eless) file extension. Generates a module you can use like this:

# EmbeddCSS API: 
#  .activate()   - Appends a generated <style> tag to HEAD, BODY, or document 
#  .deactivate() - Removes the generated <style> tag 
#  .isActive()   - Boolean  

Dev Server

AssemBot comes with a dev server, to use it:

assembot serve

Default Configuration

Following are the default AssemBot configuration values, when creating your own configuration, you don't need to specify all on these -- only those you wish to override:

  "assembot": {
    "options": {
      "header": "/* Assembled by AssemBot {%- assembot.version -%} */",
      "addHeader": true,
      "minify": 0,
      "ident": "require",
      "autoload": false,
      "main": null,
      "prune": false,
      "replaceTokens": true,
      "plugins": [],
      "coffee": {
        "bare": true
      "http": {
        "port": 8080,
        "paths": {
          "/": "./public",
          "/components": "./components"
    "targets": {
      "public/app.js": {
        "source": "./source"
      "public/app.css": {
        "source": "./source"


One thing I like to do is instead of adding configuration info in cumbersome JSON, I put it in a coffeescript file (usually


  • v0.3+ = Make it better. Look into SourceMap support.