node package manager


Smashing Dev Tool

This is a WIP CLI for Smashing Boxes, focusing on frontend tooling and automation. By following the conventions this tool is built on, you can instantly add front end tooling and dev ops goodness to any Smashing Boxes project. Define which asset filetypes you want to include in your Smashfile and it will build a data model of your source code that can be manipulated and queried by other modules.

The goal of this project is to provide a general toolset for building optimized, well-tested client-side applications with or without backend integration. For this reason, no assumptions are made about 3rd-party libraries that might be used in a given project. Still, some assumptions must be made to maintain a relatively small set of all-purpose commands. Most of these assumptions are captured in src/config/ and can be overridden in the Smashfile for a given project.



smashing-dev-tool is available via the NPM registry. It currently depends on Bower and CoffeeScript globally.

  $ npm install -g coffee-script bower smashing-dev-tool

The smash command should now be available globally. Some commands are only available from inside a project with a valid

Available Commands


  • smash: show available commands and options. Same as smash help.
  • smash new <project-name>: generate a new smashing-dev-tool-compatible project in a folder called <project-name> and bower install dependencies for the chosen template


  • smash compile: compile the project source into unoptimized HTML, JS and CSS ready for the browser
  • smash serve: run a BrowserSync-based development server and re-compile on file changes
  • smash build: build the compiled source into a minified, otpimized set of files for deployment
  • smash docs: generate a static documentation site for this codebase
  • smash clean: remove all generated files (/compile, /build, /docs)
  • smash bump [patch|minor|major|prerelease]: bump the version by the specified importance level and tag the repo (reuqires a git init'd project repo)

smash-able Projects

Project Generation

Command: smash new <project-name>

Smashing Dev Tool borrows from the Slush project to allow for straight-forward, stream-based scaffolding from templates. A template consists of a list of questions contained in prompts.json, a bower.json manifest containing dependencies needed by the template, and a that contains configuration used by the tool. The remaining files in a template have no restrictions, but should conform to the default folder assumptions (/client, /compile, /build, /docs) unless they are overridden in the included

During project generation, user input is gathered from the commandline and inserted into the template files using gulp-template. Variables can be used in template files as follows:


    "name": "appName",
    "message": "What is the name of your project?",
    "default": "Sample Application"
    "name": "appDescription",
    "message": "What is the description?",
    "default": "A sample application."


doctype html
  title <%= appNameSlug %>
    h1 <%= appName %>
    p <%= appDescription %>

Files prefixed with _ will be copied to the destination as dotfiles (_bowerrc.bowerrc) in the generated project. All other files will be copied directly, preserving directory structure and replacing template tags with the appropriate values. After generation gulp-install will run bower install and/or npm install inside the project directory. gulp-conflict will prompt the user for action if the project directory contains file conflicts.

Note: at minimum, appName is required in prompts.json to create a project

Note: the variable appNameSlug is a hyphen-delimited version of appName automatically generated and available for use within your templates.

Compling Code

Command: smash compile

The compile phase transforms code located in /client into browser-ready code located in /compile. Preprocessors defined in the Smashfile are run against files with the appropriate extensions (.coffee, .jade, .styl, .scss, etc.). Other filetypes defined in the Smashfile are copied directly. The directory structure defined in the source folder (/client by default) is maintained in /compile.

Serving Code

Command: smash serve

Files are served from /compile for development using BrowserSync. Running smash serve will compile source files, start a BrowserSync server and open a browser to the server's URL. Changes to filetypes defined in the Smashfile will cause all connected browsers to refresh

Building Code

Command: smash build

The build phase will first compile the code, then optimize the contents of /compile into a production-ready package. Options such as the name of the output folder (/build by default) and whether to build all source into a single file are controlled via the Smashfile.

Documentation Generation

Command: smash docs

Smashing Dev Tool currently uses Groc to generate a static documentation site in /docs. A .groc.json file will be dynamically generated each time the command is run and contains settings required for Groc. These settings are based on the local bower.json and settings in

Example Smashfile

In each project the file contains local config used by smashing-dev-tool to compile/build/document client-side assets. Default assumptions made by the tool can be overridden here on a per-project basis. The following configuration overrides many of the default assumptions, but for basic projects only the assets array is really needed.

module.exports =
  # Global filetype settings. Specifies which files `smashing-dev-tool` cares about. 
  assets: [
  # Global directory assumption overrides 
    client: 'WebContent'
    server: 'src'
  # Global image asset settings 
    path: 'images'                   # override default image asset location (`/client/data/images`) 
  # Compile phase settings 
    copy: [                          # specify file glob patterns to copy directly 
      'client/**/*.data':''          # ex: '<file-pattern>':'<path/within/compile/directory>' 
  # Build phase settings 
    path:          'pkg'             # override default build path 
    html2js:       true              # compile HTML templates into a JS module 
    css2js:        true              # compile CSS styles into a JS module 
    includeIndex:  false             # include `index.{html,jade}` in built code 
    includeVendor: false             # include vendor libraries in built code 
    exclude: [                       # exclude glob patterns from built code 
      out: 'sample-app.min.css'      # override default concat'd styles filename (css2js) 
      order: [                       # re-order styles for injection and concatenation 
      out: 'sample-app.min.js'       # override default concat'd scripts filename 
      order: [                       # re-order scripts for injection and concatenation 
      out: 'sample-app-views.js'     # override default concat'd views filename (html2js) 
    alternates: [
        'client/',         # use `client/` during compile and serve 
        'client/'    # use `client/` when building for production 

Note: the Smashfile format changes frequently as we attempt to strike a balance between convention and configuration.


  • Automated testing of source code (unit, e2e)
  • Integration with the taperole provisioning/deployment tool
  • API mocking, test data generation
  • UI/UX deliverables generated from source code (style tiles, style guide, etc.)