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1.12.0 • Public • Published

Wigy's Chronicles of Grunt

Wigy's collection of useful utilities for Grunt. The focus of these utilities is to provide easy way to develop complete web-applications, that can be built as an install packages. The development itself happens directly in the browser, which loads entry point HTML-file of the application and works out of the box. To achieve this, certain conventions needs to be followed and this toolkit helps you to perform necessary steps in the development process.

Overall philosophy is configure once, use many times. That means that instead of configuring every Grunt-package separetly, you configure just one cog section, where you define files as per their purpose. After doing that, selected Grunt-packages are automatically using that configuration with the help of this tool.

Getting Started

You may install this plugin into your project with this command:

npm install chronicles_of_grunt --save-dev

Then you can get initial configuration and templates by

cp node_modules/chronicles_of_grunt/templates/init/Gruntfile.js .
cp node_modules/chronicles_of_grunt/templates/init/index.html .
cp node_modules/chronicles_of_grunt/templates/init/test.html .

Check that the installation is correct and try if you see basic info of your project

grunt info

Then you can start configuring your existing files into the project definition by running

grunt files

and adding all listed files into the some categories in the Gruntfile.js. Once Done you can generate list of files to include and add them to both index.html and test.html by running

grunt index


The configuration has few settings defining project information and how to find various files. Each source file specification can be either a file glob pattern as a string or an array of those.

For example, here is a simple complete Gruntfile.js:

module.exports = function(grunt) {
    cog: {
      options: {
          name: "my_project",
          title: "My Project",
          external: ['jquery']
          src: {
              code: 'src/**/*.js',
              css: 'css/*.css'
          media: {
              pics: ['pics/*.png' , 'pics/*.jpg']
          index: {
              app: 'index.html'
  grunt.registerTask('default', ['usage']);

In the end we load tasks from CoG-module and register usage-task as a default.

General information

The code name of the project is required and consisting of alphanumeric characters. Additionally a human readable title can be defined. Dependencies to other libraries are listed as an array in external. The following predefined constants are supported:

In addition, default locations of various paths can be changed (defaults given below):

    paths: {
        libs: 'lib/',                      // A directory, where libraries are kept, when collected with `libs` task.
        dist: 'dist/',                     // Build directory where compressed application is stored.
        docs: 'docs/',                     // Build directory for API docs.
        template: 'generated-template.js', // Name of the file, where pre-compiled templates are stored.

Source code

Source code files have various categories. The complete structure is here:

    src: {
        config: ['src/settings.js'],    // Configuration and other source code files that has to be included first.
        libs: ['lib/**/*.js'],          // Libraries written in this project to be included second.
        models: ['src/models/**/*.js'], // Data model source code files that are included second.
        data: ['data/**/*.js'],         // Data files to be included after models.
        code: ['src/**/*.js'],          // The rest of the source code files.
        css: ['css/*.css'],             // CSS files of the application.
        shell: ['tools/*'],             // Tools written as shell scripts.
        task: ['tasks/*.js'],           // Grunt-task definitions and their support files.
        otherjs: ['misc/*.js'],         // Any other Javascript-files that are not part of the distribution.
        other: ['misc/*.txt'],          // Any other (non-Javascript) files that are not part of the distribution.
    index: {
        app: 'index.html'               // The initial file launcing the application.


To generate API documentation with docs task, one can select either ngdocs or jsdoc, which is default.

    docs: {
        engine: 'ngdocs'


Unit-testing environment and files are specified as follows:

    test: {
        unit: {
            external: ['jasmine'],      // Testing frameworks and libs.
            tests: 'test/**/*_spec.js', // Actual tests.
            data: ['test/data/*']       // Additional data used in testing.
    index: {
        test: 'test.html'               // Visual presentation of the testing.

The unit-testing system supports the following libraries:

  • jasmine --- Unit-testing library Jasmine.
  • angular-mock --- Testing library for AngularJS.

For the Jasmine testing, the simple visual file can be made by creating a file

<!doctype html>
    <title>Unit Tests</title>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">

and then generating necessary CSS- and Javascript-inclusions by running grunt index.

Media files

Binary files that are part of the application are defined under media. In addition, optionally their source files can be defined as well, if they are generated from some other data. For example, here we create png files from dia diagrams using simple shell commands.

    media: {
        pics: ['pics/**/*png'],       // All images for the application.
        sounds: ['sounds/**/*.mp3'],  // All sounds for the application.
        src: {
            pics: {
                files: 'dia/**/*.dia',                  // Source data files for the pictures.
                dst: 'pics/{{SUBDIR}}/{{BASENAME}}.png' // Destination file.
                convert: [
                    'dia -n -e "{{DST}}" -t cairo-alpha-png "{{SRC}}"'

The supported variables in double curly braces are:

  • SRC --- Complete path to the source file.
  • DST --- Complete path to the destination file.
  • NAME --- Name of the source file.
  • BASENAME --- Name of the source file without postfix after dot.
  • DIR --- Full path of the source file.
  • SUBDIR --- Path of the source file after removing the first directory.
  • SUBSUBDIR --- Path of the source file after removing two first directories.

In order to compile them, one can run build:pics or build:sounds task.


If the Javascript-framework listed in use can handle HTML-templates, they can be compiled together into a single file. The method of compiling depends on the system in use. The system is looked from the option external and if found, then the templates can be used. Currently supported systems for templates are

  • angular --- AngularJS templates are directly inserted into the template cache when module templates is added as dependecy.
    src: {
        templates: 'src/**/*.html',    // A list of HTML-file templates.

In order to compile templates, run build:templates task.


There are various flags implemented that are mainly used internally to change behaviour for different frameworks automatically. However, they can be used directly as well. See configuration template templates/init/Gruntfile.js for complete listing of configuration options.


Task: auto

Listen for file changes and automatically run tasks based on the files that have been changed. By default, all types of automated tasks are watched for changes. If given, the following argument can be given to follow only one kind of category:

  • docs to run task docs when any source code file changes
  • test to run task test when any Javascript-file or test file changes
  • js to run verify:js when any Javascript-file changes
  • css to run verify:css when any CSS-file changes
  • pics to run build:pics when any picture source file changes
  • sounds to run build:sounds when any sounds source file changes
  • templates to run build:templates when any template file changes
  • build to run all build-tasks defined when any of their respective source file changes

Task: build

Generate files that are created from the source files. By default, everything that can be found from the configuration, are generated.

If parameter is pics or sounds, then the corresponding media files are generated.

If parameter is templates, then the collection of templates is compiled.

Task: dist

Build functional minimized application into dist directory. Alternatively you can build uncompressed version with dist:debug.

Task: docs

Build API-documentation to docs-directory using JSDoc.

Task: files

Run complete scan of files in the repository and compare files found to the configuration. Report all files that does not belong to the configuration or are not commonly known files. Running files:die causes the script end with an error, if any unknown files are found. With files:show we can list all files and see categories how they are seen by the system.

Task: index

Based on the configuration, this builds a list of CSS and Javascript files and updates configured index-files to include all requirements.

Task: info

List summary of all existing application files according to the configuration.

Task: libs

After all requirements are installed with npm install --save, this task can be used to copy all needed files from node_modules to the lib directory of the project root.

Task: release

Run all checks for code and then update file and the version. You can disable some checks by adding them as separate arguments each: verify, todo, files, test. It is also possible to disable two other standard steps dist and docs.

Task: server:port:what

By default, this task launces two servers on ports 9000 and 9001. The first one serves project directory as static files and the second one as an autoreload server. Individiual servers are internally started with what parameter being either files or autoreload.

In addition, if an option api_data points to the local directory and api_url_regex contains a regular expression, the server simulates matching API calls by prefixing URL by api_data and adding a postfix .json. If the file is found, it is served as JSON-data.

Task: test

Run all unit-tests defined. Optional arguments are matched against test file names and if given, only files containing arguments as substrings are selected for running.

Task: todo

Display all remaining TODO-entries found from the source code. Additional argument todo:die causes the script end with an error, if any TODO-entries are found.

Task: usage

This task is recommended default. It displays configured tasks that are available for developer.

Task: verify

Run syntax checker for all project files having validation. Alternatively verify:js can be used to verify Javascript code, verify:python to run PEP8 on Python files or verify:css to verify CSS.

Task: version:version

This task can be used to change the version of the current code base. The version numbers supported have format x.y.z for public release or x.y.z-beta for development release. The change is made to the packages.json file. If version is not given, then the current version is given.


Copyright (c) 2015 Tommi Ronkainen Licensed under the GPL-2.0 license.

Release History

  • v1.12.0
    • Arbitrary prefix like / for Ember, when adding included files.
    • API simulation by serving the content of the configured directory as JSON-data.
    • Move all paths-variables under options.
  • v1.11.9
    • Create initial Gruntfile.js, index.html and test.html.
    • Support Ember.
    • Fix a bug causing directories to be listed in explicit file patterns.
    • New file categories: other media files, unit test helper, python, compiled python.
    • Support framework specific options to change behaviour.
    • Support for compiled files, i.e. ignored in most cases.
    • Support for Python files, which can be verified with pep8.
  • v1.11.8
    • Add version test for Node before running any task.
    • Live reload support.
    • Support for custom library directory.
    • Remove all external library files from source code files if they happen to overlap.
    • Fix template test.
    • Add tags to mark CoG-specific additions in the header.
  • v1.11.7
    • Support compressed neat-dump, Mingo and Underscore.
    • Add templates correctly to the dist-files.
  • v1.11.6
    • Support neat-dump.
  • v1.11.5
    • Fix banner for compressed Javascript in dist.
  • v1.11.4
    • Fix dist:debug.
  • v1.11.3
    • Ability to build uncompressed library with dist:debug.
  • v1.11.2
    • Include also generated files when running tests.
  • v1.11.1
    • Change correct generated templates file name.
    • Fix task 'release' building distribution before changing the version.
  • v1.11.0
    • Move non-task files from tasks-directory to lib-directory.
    • Split actual tasks to separate files.
    • Test for usage-task.
  • v1.10.0
    • Template builder.
    • Configurable path for distribution, templates and API-docs.
    • After generating docs the files task automatically recognizes them.
    • Combine test.unit.css and test.unit.lib parts to test.unit.external.
    • Auto-task for template, pics and sound building.
    • Separate categoroes for other files: Javascript and non-Javascript.
  • v1.9.0
    • Configurable documentation system and support now both jsdoc or ngdocs.
    • Test for docs task.
    • Fix dist task to produce correct Javascript- and CSS-paths to index file.
    • Include unit-test files to the verify checking.
    • Show title in the info task.
  • v1.8.0
    • Reorganize testing code so that we use new strucutre for testing: {unit: {data: 'test/data/**', lib: 'jasmine', css: 'jasmine'}}.
    • Reorganize media files to structure {media: {pics: '.png', sounds: '.pm3'}, and add source file concept for media.
    • Add category for Grunt-task files.
    • Support for media building from source files by configured commands.
    • Check for tabs in verify.
  • v1.7.0
    • Do not include libraries to the compressed distribution version.
    • Remove uncompressed Javascript-file from the dist-folder after compiling.
    • Task auto to use grunt-watch to build docs or running tests or syntax checking.
    • Ability to run just a single test at time.
    • Test for libs task.
    • Test for dist task.
    • Show Not Yet Done section from with todo.
    • Pre-defined libraries can now have 'needs' attributes, which inserts listed libs before itself to the resolved file list.
    • Simplified handling for external, where list like ['jquery', 'bootstrap', 'jasmine'] will automatically added to correct categories.
    • A task files to find every file that does not belong to any recognized category in the repository.
    • Test for files task.
    • File category
  • v1.6.0
    • Fix file lookup failing to find files.
    • Do not create empty dist-files if there are no source files.
    • New task docs to build API-documentation.
    • Test for version task.
    • Test for release task.
    • Show version in info-task.
    • Display unit-test libraries and css with info-task.
    • Support for Angular mock unit-test library.
  • v1.5.0
    • Test for index task.
    • Task release to run all checks before updating release history in and updating version.
  • v1.4.0
    • Configurable task output that can be written to a file.
    • Functional testing system and a sample project for unit-testing.
    • Unit-test for index task.
    • Unit-test for todo task.
    • Unit-test for verify task.
    • Add CSS checking to verify task.
  • v1.3.0
    • Support for test task in order to run unit-tests.
    • Support new other-category for work files.
    • Scan more files when checking for TODO-notes. - New task todo to display TODO-notes from source code.
  • v1.0.0
    • Basic tasks info, dist, index, verify, usage and version.

Next Version


Not Yet Done

Future Ideas

  • Move all configuration related stuff to the separate module with framework specific defaults.
  • Configuration managenent for application.
  • Automatically check files node_modules/foo/foo.min.js when looking for libs.




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