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simple, fun, static-file builder for jade, stylus, and javascript


Simple static-file build system for jade, stylus, and JavaScript.

  • Express plugin for easily rendering built-or-debug HTML, CSS, and JS.
  • Command-line mason executable for easily building projects.
  • JavaScript API for building from within your own code.


You have a dozen site-wide platform dependencies that you want to package in platform.js. You have per-page JS assets that you want to package in page-name.js files. During development, you need all of these assets to be included as separate, uncompiled files with line numbers. During production, you need to flip a switch to minify all these files and include them in the right places. You want to easily generate static html and css from jade and stylus.

Install mason

  $ npm install -g mason

or use package.json's devDependencies:


Build static files

use the settings in mason.json:

  $ mason build

or using devDependencies:

  $ node_modules/.bin/mason build

Watch your files

  $ mason watch

(mason is smart about recompiling - it performs the minimum possible build for each file change)

  $ mason watch -j debug

Render a mason asset within a view

!!! 5
    != mason('platform.js')

By default, mason build injects compressed (uglified) script tags via the != mason() local.

To inject individual scripts for debugging, use:

  $ mason build -j debug


base: Tells where to put your compiled files

src: Used by mason.locals() to render URLs (eg, /compiled/platform.js instead of /work/project/public/compiled/platform.js)

renderer: Specify the default renderer for this asset

javascript:" Specify the default renderer for this type of asset

  "views": {
    "type": "jade",
    "sourceRoot": "views",
    "sourcePaths": ["test.jade"],
    "destRoot": "public",
    "destPath": "test.html"
  "platform.js": {
    "type": "javascript",
    "sourceRoot": "public",
    "sourcePaths": [
    "destRoot": "public",
    "destPath": "compiled/platform.js"
  "page.js": {
    "type": "javascript",
    "sourceRoot": "public",
    "sourcePaths": [
    "destRoot": "public",
    "destPath": "compiled/page.js"
  "global.css": {
    "type": "stylus",
    "sourceRoot": "styles",
    "sourcePaths": [ "global.styl" ],
    "destRoot": "public",
    "destPath": "compiled/global.css"

JavaScript API

Build static files

  var mason = require('mason');, {
    'page.js': 'uglify'

(mason.json resides in __dirname)

Use mason in an express app

  var app = express();

By default, mason.locals will inject a compressed (uglified) script into your view.

To control how specific assets are injected, use:

  var app = express(),
      config = {
        'platform.js': 'uglify',
        'page.js': 'debug'
  app.locals(mason.locals(__dirname, config));