1.0.10 • Public • Published


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Modular task runner for reusable build systems


Install Skivvy globally:

npm install -g skivvy

This will make the skivvy command globally available. See the list of available commands.

What is Skivvy?

Skivvy is a task runner. It comes with a simple command-line tool that lets you instantly launch your project's tasks without ever needing to write any plumbing code. Skivvy's task packages make it a piece of cake to add to your project's repertoire of available tasks, and allow you to create truly modular, reusable build systems.

Skivvy will only go as far as launching your tasks though: what you choose to do within the tasks themselves is completely up to you. You can write tasks that scaffold components, switch branches, file issues, deploy builds, send emails… the sky's the limit. Under the hood, Skivvy tasks are just plain functions, so you're free to implement them however you like.

The Skivvy workflow

There are 4 steps in the Skivvy workflow:

  1. Initialize a project: skivvy init
  2. Install task packages: skivvy install <package>
  3. Configure task packages: skivvy config [options]
  4. Run tasks from the installed packages: skivvy run <task>

...this gives you a robust and highly configurable task system, all without having to write a single line of code. Take a look at Skivvy in action:


How does it work?

  • Off-the-shelf task packages can be installed alongside your project-specific tasks
  • All tasks are automagically accessible from the command-line as soon as they are installed
  • Tasks can be configured with the command-line tool, or by hand-editing JSON if preferred
  • Custom tasks can easily be packaged into modules and shared across multiple projects

The killer feature: task packages

Skivvy tasks can be organized into modules, or packages. This allows all the heavy lifting to be handled by configurable helper packages whose internals are completely isolated from the main application – kind of like Docker, but for build systems. Packages are intended to be reused across many different projects, and range from generic utilities (e.g. skivvy-package-copy), to heavily opinionated build packs (e.g. a package to scaffold/test/build/deploy an HTML boilerplate app in your company's house style).

Within a Skivvy project, as soon as you install an off-the-shelf task package, all of its tasks are instantly accessible from the command-line, without you having to write any code whatsoever. Tasks can be configured either via the command-line tool or by hand-editing a simple JSON configuration file. This task configuration is loaded automatically on a per-task basis, so even a very intricate task system should only need a small amount of simple code to link packages together.

Packages can easily be combined into other packages, allowing you to compose elaborate task systems with as little code as possible. Using a modular task system ensures that your build setup won't sprawl out of control as a project grows over time, and allows you to mix and match task modules across different projects without any fuss.

How does Skivvy relate to gulp/Grunt/etc?

Check out the Skivvy for gulp/Grunt users guide to see what sets Skivvy apart from the other tools on offer.

Usage instructions: Hello World app

  1. Initialize a Skivvy project in a new folder:

    mkdir example-app && cd example-app
    skivvy init

    Seeing as this directory has not yet been initialized as an npm module, Skivvy will automatically run the npm init command and guide you through the process.

  2. Add the hello-world package to the current project:

    skivvy install hello-world
  3. List the tasks installed by the hello-world package:

    skivvy list

    This will output something like the following:

    └─┬ hello-world@1.0.0
      ├── greet - Greet the user
      └── welcome - Welcome the user

    This means that within our project we're now able to use the hello-world::greet and hello-world::welcome tasks, seeing as they were both included in the hello-world package.

  4. Configure the hello-world package:

    skivvy config set --package=hello-world --config.user=Skivvy

    This sets the user configuration variable within the hello-world package

  5. Run the hello-world::greet and hello-world::welcome tasks:

    skivvy run greet # Outputs: "Hello, Skivvy!" 
    skivvy run welcome # Outputs: "Welcome to Skivvy!" 

More information

Take a look at the Getting started with Skivvy guide and the list of available commands to get a thorough understand of how it all works. Once you've had a skim through that, you should be all set to dive in.

There are already a bunch of pre-built packages to suit most simple projects. All the same, if you want to go off-piste and roll your own tasks, luckily that's as easy as writing a single JavaScript function.

Good luck Skivvying!




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