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dullard

Dullard NPM Version NPM License

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"I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter." - Blaise Pascal

Dullard is a simple NodeJS-powered task runner. It exists because doing the same thing repeatedly is boring. Much better to let the computer do it instead.

Table of Contents

Usage

$ dullard --help
    
  Let the computers do the boring stuff.
 
  Usage
      $ dullard <options> <task>, ..., <taskN>
 
  Options
      --help         Show this help
      --dirs,    -d  Specify directories to load tasks from
      --list,    -l  Show a list of available tasks
      --config,  -c  Output final assembled config for debugging
      --silent,  -s  No output
      --verbose, -v  Verbose logging
      --silly,   -y  REALLY verbose logging
      --log,     -g  Specify log level, one of silly, verbose, info, warn, error, & silent

Config

Dullard will look for a file named .dullfile in the current directory or any parent directories & merge it with the CLI options. It will merge all found results in the current branch of the directory tree with precedence being: CLI > Local > Parent > ... > Root.

Examples

JSON

{
    "dirs" : [
        "../../../tasks-a"
    ],
    
    "steps" : [
        "fooga"
    ]
}

Javascript

module.exports = {
    "dirs" : [
        "../../tasks-a"
    ],
    
    "steps" : {
        main : [
            "fooga"
        ],
        
        finish : [
            "wooga"
        ],
        
        default : [
            "main",
            "finish"
        ]
    }
};

Properties

dirs

dirs is an array of directories to load tasks from. Paths are relative to the .dullfile.

steps

steps defines the order of build steps to run. It supports two different formats.

  • an array of strings/functions
  • an object containing named step collections that are each an array of strings/functions.

Task names are the names of files in the task directories stripped of their extension or the name of a step collection.

includes

includes is an array of paths to other .dullfiles that will be included & merged into the existing config. Paths are relative to the .dullfile.

{
    ...
    "includes" : [
        "../fooga/wooga/.dullfile"
    ]
}

Customizing Config Values

Dullard tries hard to accept whatever & turn it into something useful. To this end the results of parsing the CLI with optimist are merged into the config object after all the .dullfiles. This allows you to run builds with environment-specific settings easily, as you can override any settings via CLI args.

For example, given the following .dullfile and CLI args

{
    "env" : "dev",
    ...
}

invoking dullard using the command dullard --env=live will set the env value to "live" instead of "dev".

Thanks to optimist's ability to handle dot-notation for arguments you can also set nested object arguments.

dullard --env=live --cdn.static=http://www.cdn.com with the same .dullfile as above gives you a config object like this

{
    "env" : "dev",
    "cdn" : {
        "static" : "http://www.cdn.com"
    }
    ...
}

Warning

This only works for values that are not one of Dullard's CLI options.

Tasks

Tasks are modules that export a single function. There's no wrapper around fs, no streams support baked-in, they're a function that can do some stuff. Every task will be passed a shared config object that represents the state of dullard & the tasks to be run. For async tasks you can also accept a second argument that can be used as a callback function following the normal node-style error-first pattern.

Sync Tasks

// Passing tasks 
function exampleTaskSync(config) {
    // ... 
}
 
function exampleTaskSync(config) {
    // ... 
    
    return undefined;
}
 
// Failing tasks 
function exampleTaskFailureSync(config) {
    throw new Error("Task failed");
}

Async tasks

Tasks can do async work in two different ways. Either by accepting a second callback argument, or returning a promise.

// Passing task 
function exampleTaskAsyncCallback(config, done) {
    setTimeout(done, 10);
}
 
function exampleTaskAsyncPromise(config) {
    return new Promise(function(reject, resolve) {
        // ... 
        resolve();
    });
}
 
// Failing task 
function exampleTaskFailureAsync(config, done) {
    done("Task Failed");
}
 
function exampleTaskFailureAsyncPromise(config) {
    return new Promise(function(reject, resolve) {
        // ... 
        reject();
    });
}

Logging in a task

Dullard makes a log function available to tasks via config.log, this is a reference to npmlog.log() and you may use it accordingly. It respects loglevel values passed via the CLI, either via --loglevel=<level> or the shorthand --verbose argument.

Install

  1. npm i -g dullard

Develop

  1. git clone git://github.com/tivac/dullard.git
  2. npm i
  3. Make changes
  4. npm test