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0.3.0 • Public • Published

mmake - modern make

mmake takes the best ideas from make and pulls them into the 21st century. mmake does away with the archaic syntax and hacky workarounds required for modern Makefile-based workflows.

make mmake
❌ dummy files ✅ directory targets and prerequisites
PHONY targets ✅ register commands like any other target
❌ terse, limited syntax ✅ familiar RegExp and callback functions
❌ magic ✅ explicit and discoverable
❌ no rebuild on source file deletion ✅ rebuild on source file deletion (future release)
❌ println debugging ✅ advanced observability tools (future release)


npm install --save-dev mmake # or yarn add --dev mmake


Define and invoke build rules

Here is an example rule that writes the md5 checksum of a JSON file to a sibling text file.

import { invoke, register } from 'mmake';

   * The first argument is a RegExp that will match the intended target.
   * Capture groups are allowed and can be used to calculate prerequisites.
   * The second argument is a callback function that takes the RegExp matches
   * array (if applicable) from the target and should return a list of string
   * prerequisites. Optionally asynchronous.
  async ([_, fooOrBar]) => [`${fooOrBar}.json`],
   * The third argument is an asynchronous function that will run if the target
   * is non-existent or older than any prerequisites. It is passed the string
   * target as its first argument, and the array of string prerequisites as its
   * second argument.
  async (targetPath, [sourcePath]) => {
     * If targetPath is hash-foo.txt, then sourcePath will be foo.json.
     * (Otherwise: hash-bar.txt and bar.json, respectively.)
    const hash = await calculateHash(sourcePath);
    await writeFile(targetPath, hash);

 * After registering the rules, targets can be built using the invoke method.
await invoke('hash-foo.txt');

Directories can be used as targets or prerequisites, too. In the case of a directory target, mmake will recurse the directory to find the oldest file's timestamp, which will be used to determine whether or not the recipe needs to be run (and for directory prerequisites: the newest file).

Any JavaScript can be run as part of a target's recipe. The recipe doesn't have to create the target file, either; this can be useful for executing commands that should always run each time they are requested (like PHONY targets in a traditional Makefile).

Build targets using a command-line interface

A simple CLI can be fashioned by making the rule script executable and passing command-line arguments to invoke():

#!/usr/bin/env node
import { invoke, register } from 'mmake';


for (const requisite of process.argv.slice(2)) {
  await invoke(requisite);




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  • mjswensen