8.0.2 • Public • Published

bulbo v8.0.2

Generate your static site with gulp plugins!

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  • Compatible with gulp plugins - you can use any gulp plugins in bulbo
  • Server and Watcher included - you don't need to set up a dev server, bulbo does it for you
  • Flexible - bulbo doesn't assume any directory structure, you can configure anything
  • Easy syntax - see the getting started guide


npm install --save-dev bulbo

Getting started

First you need to set up bulbofile.js like the following.

const bulbo = require("bulbo");
const asset = bulbo.asset;

// copy css

The above means that 'source/**/*.css' is asset and which will be copied to the destination directory (default: build).

Change destination

If you want to change the destination you can do it with bulbo.dest method



If you need to bundle your scripts with browserify you can set up it like the following:

const bundler = require("bundle-through");

// build js
  • .base('source') means the base path of your glob pattern (source/page/*.js) is source.
  • .watch('source/**/*.js') means that this build process watches the files source/**/*.js, not only source/page/*.js
  • .pipe(bundler()) registers bundler() as the transform. bundler() transforms all files into the bundles using browserify. See the document for details.

Building html from layout and page source

To build html from layout tempate, set up it like the following:

const frontMatter = require('gulp-front-matter')
const wrap = require('gulp-wrap')

// html
.pipe(wrap(data => fs.readFileSync('source/layouts/' + data.file.frontMatter.layout).toString())))
  • .pipe(frontMatter()) means it extracts the frontmatter from the file.
  • .pipe(wrap(...)) means it renders its html using layour file under the source/layouts/.
    • The layout file name is specified by layout property of the frontmatter.

Excluding some patterns

To exclude some patterns, use ! operator.

// others
asset("source/**/*", "!source/**/*.{js,css,html,lodash}");

The above copies all assets under source except .js, .css, .html or .lodash files.

The resulting bulbofile.js looks like the following:

const bulbo = require('bulbo')
const asset = bulbo.asset

const bundler = require('bundle-through')
const frontMatter = require('gulp-front-matter')
const wrap = require('gulp-wrap')


// css

// js

// html
.pipe(wrap(data => fs.readFileSync('source/layouts/' + data.file.frontMatter.layout).toString())))

// others
asset('source/**/*', '!source/**/*.{js,css,html,lodash}')

And then bulbo serve command starts the server.

$ bulbo serve
bulbo [01:33:38] Using: /Users/kt3k/tmp/long-dream-core/bulbofile.js
bulbo [01:33:39] serving
bulbo [01:33:39] Reading: site/**/*.js
bulbo [01:33:39] Reading: src/infrastructure/infrastructure.js
bulbo [01:33:39] Reading: site/*.html
bulbo [01:33:39] Reading: site/data/**/*.*
bulbo [01:33:39] Reading: site/img/**/*.*
bulbo [01:33:39] Reading: site/css/**/*.*
bulbo [01:33:39] Server started at:
bulbo [01:33:39] See debug page is:
bulbo [01:33:39] Ready: site/**/*.js
bulbo [01:33:39] Ready: src/infrastructure/infrastructure.js
bulbo [01:33:39] Ready: site/*.html
bulbo [01:33:39] Ready: site/img/**/*.*
bulbo [01:33:39] Ready: site/css/**/*.*
bulbo [01:33:39] Ready: site/data/**/*.*

And the following builds all the given assets and saves them to build/ directory.

$ bulbo build
bulbo [12:04:19] Using: /Users/kt3k/tmp/long-dream-core/bulbofile.js
bulbo [12:04:20] building
bulbo [12:04:25] done

API reference

const bulbo = require("bulbo");


  • @param {string[]} paths The glob pattern(s)

This registers the glob pattern as the asset source.




bulbo.asset("src/feature1/*.html", "src/feature2/*.html");


  • @param {Object} [opts] The options

This passes the option to asset globing.


  .assetOptions({ read: false });

The above doesn't read actual file contents when being built. This is useful when you use the transform which doesn't require the file contents.


  • @param {string} path The base path of the asset glob

This sets the base path of the asset glob.

The base path is automatically chosen from your glob pattern. If you want change the default base path you can change it calling this method.


bulbo.asset("src/img/**/*.*"); // `src/img/foo.png` is copied to `build/foo.png` because the base path of this glob is `src/img` by default.

bulbo.asset("src/img/**/*.*").base("src"); // but in this case, copied to `build/img/foo.png`


  • @param {string|string[]} glob The path(s) to watch

This sets the watch path(s) of the asset. If no watch paths are set, the bulbo watches the same paths as the asset's source paths.


  .watch("src/js/**/*.js") // Watches all js files under `src/js`, though build entry poits are only js files under `src/js/pages`.
  .pipe(through2.obj((file, enc, callback) => {
    file.contents = browserify(file.path).bundle();
    callback(null, file);


  • @param {object} opts The options to pass to chokidar (the watcher library)

This options is passed to chokidar's watch option. You can modify the behaviour of the internal chokidar as you want.


  • @param {String} path

This sets the build destination. (The default is build)




  • @param {Number} port

This sets the port number of the asset server. (The default is 7100.)




  • @param {string} base

This sets the default base path for all the assets.





The above assets build to build/news/**/*.md and build/events/**/*.md respectively.


  • @param {string} title The title of the logger

This sets the logger title.


Then the console looks like the below:

$ bulbo serve
bulbo [21:22:38] Using: /Users/kt3k/t/bulbo/demo/bulbofile.js
myapp [21:22:38] serving
myapp [21:22:38] Reading: ../test/fixture/**/*.js
myapp [21:22:38] Reading: ../test/fixture/**/*.css
myapp [21:22:38] Server started at: http://localhost:7100/
myapp [21:22:38] See debug info at: http://localhost:7100/__bulbo__
myapp [21:22:38] Ready: ../test/fixture/**/*.css
myapp [21:22:44] Ready: ../test/fixture/**/*.js


  • @param {Function} middleware

Adds the connect compiliant middleware to the server.


const livereload = require("connect-livereload");

bulbo.addMiddleware(() => livereload());


npm install -g bulbo installs command bulbo. Which supports 2 subcommands build and serve.

bulbo build

This builds all the registered assets into the destination directory. The defualt destination is build. The path is configurable by bulbo.dest(path) in bulbofile.

bulbo serve

This starts the local server which serves all the registered assets on it. The default port is 7100. The number is configurable by bulbo.port(number) in bulbofile.

bulbo command without arguments also does the same as bulbo serve. You can just simply call bulbo to start bulbo server.

The bulbo server has builtin debug url at You can find there all the available paths (assets) on the server. It's useful for debugging the asset stream.


Use es6 in bulbofile

You can enable es2015 syntax by renaming bulbofile.js to bulbofile.babel.js and adding babel-register as dependency.

npm install --save-dev babel-register babel-preset-es2015

You also need to set up .babelrc as follows:

  "presets": [

Use CoffeeScript in bulbofile

You need to rename bulbofile.js to bulbofile.coffee and install coffeescript dependency:

npm install --save-dev coffee-script

And your bulbofile.coffee looks like the following:

asset = require('bulbo').asset

through2 = require 'through2'
browserify = require 'browserify'
frontMatter = require 'gulp-front-matter'
wrap = require 'gulp-wrap'

asset 'source/**/*.css'
asset 'source/**/*'
asset '!source/**/*.{js,css,html,lodash}'

asset 'source/page/*.js'
.watch 'source/**/*.js'
.pipe through2.obj (file, enc, callback) ->

  file.contents = browserify(file.path).bundle()
  callback null, file

asset 'source/*.html'
.pipe frontMatter()
.pipe wrap (data) =>
  fs.readFileSync("source/layouts/#{ data.file.frontMatter.layout }").toString()

Uglify scripts only when it's production build

Use gulp-if:

const gulpif = require('gulp-if')
const uglify = require('gulp-uglify')

const PRODUCTION_BUILD = process.NODE_ENV === 'production'

.pipe(gulpif(PRODUCTION_BUILD, uglify())

This uglifies the scripts only when the variable NODE_ENV is 'production'.

Or alternatively use through2:

const through2 = require("through2");
const uglify = require("gulp-uglify");

const PRODUCTION_BUILD = process.NODE_ENV === "production";

  .pipe(PRODUCTION_BUILD ? uglify() : through2.obj());

Want to render my contents with template engine XXXX

Use gulp-wrap and the engine option:

const wrap = require("gulp-wrap");
const frontMatter = require("gulp-front-matter");

  .pipe(wrap({ src: "source/layout.nunjucks" }, null, { engine: "nunjucks" }));

Note You need to npm install nunjucks in this case.

This example wraps your html in the nunjucks template. The contents of each html file is refereced by contents and the front matter by file.frontMatter.

Watch different paths from source path.

Use watch option in the asset options.


This is useful when the entrypoints of the asset and the actual source files are different. For example, if you use browserify to bunble your scripts, your entrypoints are bundle's entrypoint files but you need to watch all of your source files which form the bundles.

Extension API

bulbo can be used as internal engine of your own static site generator.

The example looks like the following:


const bulbo = require('bulbo')

bulbo.asset(...).pipe(...) // Some preset settings are here.

module.exports = bulbo


const bulbo = require("bulbo");

bulbo.cli.liftoff("mycommand", { configIsOptional: true }).then((bulbo) => {

and bin/index.js works as static site generator cli with some asset building preset.

$ node bin/index.js

This builds preset assets without your configuration. This is useful if you want to share the same bulbo setting across the projects.

bulbo.cli.liftoff(name, options)

  • @param {string} name The command (module) name
  • @param {object} options The options
  • @param {boolean} [options.configIsOptional] True iff the config is optional. Default is false.
  • @return {Promise}

This set up your module using liftoff. This returns a promise which is resolved by the your own module. Your module needs to implement setLogger method. It is recommended you expose bulbo module instance as your module interface.

This does not take care of cli options. It is recommended to use with option parsers like minimist, minimisted etc.



Release history

  • 2022-03-14 v8.0.1 Remove minirocket dependency.
  • 2022-03-14 v8.0.0 Clean up. Support only Node >=14.
  • 2018-06-09 v7.0.1 Add middleware support. Drop Node 4 support.
  • 2017-04-26 v6.13.0 Update debug page design.
  • 2017-04-26 v6.11.0 Add config extension types.
  • 2017-04-26 v6.10.0 Update cli.liftoff util.
  • 2017-04-25 v6.9.0 loggerTitle method.
  • 2017-04-23 v6.8.0 Serve index.html.
  • 2017-04-12 v6.7.0 Improve error logging.
  • 2016-12-29 v6.5.0 Fix windows issues.
  • 2016-12-28 v6.4.0 Update vinyl-serve.
  • 2016-10-28 v6.3.0 Add base method.
  • 2016-10-11 v6.2.4 Update minirocket.
  • 2016-09-18 v6.2.1 Update vinyl-serve.
  • 2016-09-05 v6.2.0 Add extension API.
  • 2016-09-05 v6.1.5 Refactoring (use minirocket).
  • 2016-05-08 v6.1.0 Better error handling.
  • 2016-05-01 v6.0.0 Remove asset().build() DSL verb.
  • 2016-04-29 v5.1.1 Change the architecture. Use the same transform for an asset while watching.
  • 2016-04-19 v4.2.3 Auto cloning feature of piped transform
  • 2016-04-18 v4.1.0 Update vinyl-serve to v2.0.0 (fixed bug of serving data)
  • 2016-04-17 v4.0.3 Update vinyl-serve to v1.3.4 (fixed bug of binary data handling)
  • 2016-04-16 v4.0.2 Fix loading bug.
  • 2016-04-14 v4.0.0 Update DSL.
  • 2016-04-13 v3.0.0 Update DSL.
  • 2016-01-09 v1.0.2 Improved server start time.
  • 2016-01-08 v1.0.1 Fixed build file number limit bug.
  • 2016-01-03 v1.0.0 Initial release.

Dev info


Bulbo = vinyl-fs + js-liftoff + stream-splicer + vinyl-serve + Bulbo DSL

  • vinyl-fs is the same as gulp.src() and gulp.dest(). Bulbo uses it for creating file streams and saving them.
  • js-liftoff is a magical tool for creating CLI tool which is configurable by its DSL script, in this case like bulbofile.js.
  • stream-splicer is used for creating a linear pipeline of transforms of the assets.
  • vinyl-serve is a simple server which consumes readable vinyl streams and serves the files in them.


Bulbo has the only one model Asset which represents a group of assets and its transform.

Application layer

Bulbo has 3 application layer classes, AssetServer AssetBuilder and AssetService

Bulbo DSL

Bulbo DSL is implemented in bulbo.js (the module interface) and AssetFacade class.



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  • kt3k