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There are already wrappers such as brunch that offer to watch and rebuild all your client side files, and optionally launch a server for you. I wanted to launch my server and have it watch my client files and rebuild them (as well as itself, see piping)

Piping-browser uses browserify to package up your client side modules using commonjs. Browserify also gives us sourcemaps and support for node modules for free!


npm install piping-browser


Piping-browser is not a binary, so you can continue using your current workflow for running your application ("wooo!"). Basic usage is as follows:



  • main (path): The path to the entry point of your application. this file is automatically executed on load. Relative to the file where piping-browser was required
  • out (path): The path to where you want your bundled code to be written to. Relative to the file where piping-browser was required
  • ignore (regex): Files/paths matching this regex will not be watched. Defaults to /(\/\.|~$)/
  • watch (boolean): Whether or not piping should rebuild on changes. Defaults to true, could be set to false for production
  • debug (boolean): Whether browserify should run in debug mode or not. Debug mode turns on source maps. Defaults to true
  • minify (boolean): Whether browserify should minify output with UglifyJS. Source maps for minified output are currently not working right, and are mostly disabled regardless of debug option.
  • vendor (object): Specify configuration for building vendor files. Vendor files are concatenated in order and then minified if minify is true, and written to the given path.
    • path (string): Directory where vendor files are located, relative to file where piping-browser was required
    • out (string): Path where vendor ouput should be written, relative to the file where piping-browser was required
    • files (array): Array of vendor files, relative to vendor path.
  • build (object): An object that maps file extensions, eg "coffee" to functions that take a filename and the files data and compiles it to javascript. By default can compile coffeescript files, with sourcemaps.

Piping-browser can also be used just by passing two strings. In this case, the strings are taken as the main and out options


piping-browser plays nice with piping. To use it, ensure piping-browser is required when piping returns false:

// application logic here