node package manager


Library Grunt Dependency Status Build Status npm version

Library Grunt is a Node plugin which provides initial project scaffolding and common build tasks for creating JavaScript libraries. The plugin requires Grunt to be installed on the local system in order to build.


There are a couple of tools that you'll need to install before we can create our project. Please make sure the following items are available on your machine:

Getting Started

1. Create Project

Start by creating an empty project folder and changing the working directory to that folder.

mkdir MyProject && cd MyProject

2. Install Plugin

The installation of the plugin requires installing Grunt first and then the plugin. This will create an empty project template structure which you can start to customize.

npm install grunt library-grunt

3. Scaffolding Project

Create the initial project scaffolding needed to setup a project.

npm run-script library-grunt scaffold

4. Change Project Information

Edit the library.json file to update the project name, output file name, URL, description and list of files.

Adding Dependencies

Library Grunt is designed to easily include define dependencies for your library.

Modify the bower.json file to include additional libraries into your project. For more information about using Bower please visit the website. For instance, if you wanted to include CreateJS, bower.json might look like this. Note that the version and main fields are updated automatically from the library.json, no need to change these manually.

    "name": "MyLibrary",
    "version": "1.0.0",
    "main": "dist/my-library.min.js",
    "dependencies": {
        "jquery" : "~1",
        "normalize-css" : "*",
        "EaselJS" : "*",
        "TweenJS" : "*",
        "PreloadJS" : "*",
        "SoundJS" : "*"

Then, update library.json to list the files you'd like to include from the libraries.

    "name" : "MyLibrary",
    "version" : "1.0.0",
    "description": "My library does this",
    "output" : "my-library"
    "main" : [

Grunt Tasks

These are the list of grunt tasks for building the project.

Task Description
default Builds the minified and combined versions of the library
build Release build of the library
build-debug Build the combined version of the library
dev This watches source files and auto-rebuilds whenever there's a change
clean-all Delete all generated build files and delete components directory
docs Generate the documentation (recommended theme CloudKidTheme
docs-live Generate the documentation and commit it to gh-pages branch of this the current Git repository
test Run any tests in the test folder using QUnit and PhantomJS
test-live Run the test folder within a web-browser running a Node server
examples Run the examples folder within a web-browser running a Node server

Build File

The library.json file contains the list of all required JavaScript files in order to build the project. Below describes the different fields of this file.

Property Type Description
name string The name of the project or game
version string The semantic versioning number
description string Used for generating the documentation
output string The base output file name for the library
url string The URL homepage for the library, used by the documentation
main array The list of files to use to build the library. Note: the order of the files is how the output is built.
mainDebug (optional) array The same as main except that this file list is only used when building in dev task.

Conditional Compiling

The main JavaScript source building supports conditional compiling with global constants. These constants can be use to specify an inline block of code that should be use for development or release builds of the library. The booleans DEBUG and RELEASE are supported.


if (DEBUG)
    // This code is only visible when built using the 'dev' task 
    alert('Debug code here!');
    // This code is only visible when built using the 'default' task 

Project Structure

Structure Description
./dist/ Contains the distribution builds of the library
./examples/ The collection of examples
./node_modules/ The Node plugins required for the build process; this directory should be ignored by the versioning system
./src/ The source JavaScript needed to build the library
./bower.json The list of Bower dependencies
./library.json See above, the list of source files to build and meta information about the project
./Gruntfile.js Contains the Grunt automation tasks
./package.json The list of Node dependencies
./test/ The collection of QUnit tests

Plugin Options

The Library Grunt plugin can accept additional options. Here's an example to add additional arguments:

module.exports = function(grunt)
    var config = require('library-grunt')(grunt, {
        autoInit : false


A boolean defaults to true. If grunt.initConfig() is automatically called.


string defaults to "docs" The path to the docs output folder.


string defaults to "examples" The folder which contains the library examples.


string defaults to "src" The path to the source file for documentation.


boolean defaults to false Generate sourcemaps for the built libraries.


string defaults to "test" The folder which contains the QUnit tests.


string defaults to "../CloudKidTheme" The path to the YUI docs theme.


string defaults to "components" The default path for the Bower components