Tasksfile

Minimalistic task runner for node.js
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Readme

tasksfile node version Build Status npm version

Minimalistic building tool

From version >= 5 RunJS was renamed to Tasksfile. Link to RunJS version: https://github.com/pawelgalazka/runjs/tree/runjs

Get started

Install tasksfile in your project

npm install tasksfile --save-dev

Create tasksfile.js in your root project directory:

const { sh, cli } = require('tasksfile')

function hello(options, name = 'Mysterious') {
  console.log(`Hello ${name}!`)
}

function makedir() {
  sh('mkdir somedir')
}

cli({
  hello,
  makedir
})

Create task entry in your scripts section in package.json:

{
  "scripts": {
    "task": "node ./tasksfile.js"
  }
}

Call in your terminal through npm scripts:

$ npm run task -- hello Tommy
$ npm run task -- makedir
$ yarn task hello Tommy
$ yarn task makedir

or through shorter npx task alias:

$ npx task hello Tommy
Hello Tommy!
$ npx task makedir
mkdir somedir

Why tasksfile ?

We have Grunt, Gulp, npm scripts, Makefile. Why another building tool ?

Gulp or Grunt files seem overly complex for what they do and the plugin ecosystem adds a layer of complexity towards the simple command line tools underneath. The documentation is not always up to date and the plugin does not always use the latest version of the tool. After a while customizing the process even with simple things, reconfiguring it becomes time consuming.

Npm scripts are simple but they get out of hand pretty quickly if we need more complex process which make them quite hard to read and manage.

Makefiles are simple, better for more complex processes but they depend on bash scripting. Within tasksfile you can use command line calls as well as JavaScript code and npm libraries which makes that approach much more flexible.

More

Features

Executing shell commands

Tasksfile gives an easy way to execute shell commands in your tasks by sh function in synchronous and asynchronous way:

const { sh, cli } = require('tasksfile')

function command () {
  sh('jest')
  sh(`webpack-dev-server --config webpack.config.js`, {
    async: true
  })
}

cli({
  command
})
$ npx task command

Because ./node_modules/.bin is included in PATH when calling shell commands by sh function, you can call "bins" from your local project in the same way as in npm scripts.

Handling arguments

Provided arguments in the command line are passed to the function:

function sayHello (options, who) {
  console.log(`Hello ${who}!`)
}

cli({
  sayHello
})
$ npx task sayHello world
Hello world!

You can also provide dash arguments like -a or --test. Order of them doesn't matter after task name. They will be always available by options helper from inside a function.

function sayHello (options, who) {
  console.log(`Hello ${who}!`)
  console.log('Given options:', options)
}

cli({
  sayHello
})
$ npx task sayHello -a --test=something world
Hello world!
Given options: { a: true, test: 'something' }

Documenting tasks

To display all available tasks for your tasksfile.js type task in your command line without any arguments:

$ npx task --help

Commands:

echo                    - echo task description
buildjs                 - Compile JS files

Use help utility function for your task to get additional description:

const { cli, help } = require('tasksfile')

function buildjs () {
  
}

help(buildjs, 'Compile JS files')

cli({
  buildjs
})
$ npx task buildjs --help
Usage: buildjs

Compile JS files

You can provide detailed annotation to give even more info about the task:

const dedent = require('dedent')
const { sh, help } = require('tasksfile')

function test (options, file) {
  
}

help(test, 'Run unit tests', {
  params: ['file'],
  options: {
    watch: 'run tests in a watch mode'
  },
  examples: dedent`
    task test dummyComponent.js
    task test dummyComponent.js --watch
  `
})

cli({
  test
})
$ npx task test --help
Usage: test [options] [file]

Run unit tests

Options:

  --watch       run tests in a watch mode
  
Examples:

task test dummyComponent.js
task test dummyComponent.js --watch

Namespacing

To better organise tasks, it is possible to call them from namespaces:

const test = {
  unit () {
    console.log('Doing unit testing!')
  }
}

cli({
  test
})
$ npx task test:unit
Doing unit testing!

This is especially useful if tasksfile.js gets too large. We can move some tasks to external modules and import them back to a namespace:

./tasks/test.js:

function unit () {
  console.log('Doing unit testing!')
}

function integration () {
  console.log('Doing unit testing!')
}

function default() {
  unit()
  integration()
}

module.exports = {
  unit,
  integration,
  default
}

tasksfile.js

const test = require('./tasks/test')

cli({
  test
})
$ npx task test:unit
Doing unit testing!

$ npx task test
Doing unit testing!
Doing integration testing!

If we don't want to put imported tasks into a namespace, we can always use spread operator:

cli({
  ...test
})
$ npx task unit
Doing unit testing!

With ES6 modules import/export syntax this becomes even simpler:

// export with no namespace
export * from './tasks/test' // no namespace

// export with namespace
import * as test from './tasks/test'
export { test } // add namespace
$ npx task unit
$ npx task test:unit

Sharing tasks

Because tasksfile.js is just a node.js module and tasksfile just calls exported functions from that module based on cli arguments, nothing stops you to move some repetitive tasks across your projects to external npm package and just reuse it.

shared-tasksfile module:

function shared1 () {
  console.log('This task is shared!')
}

function shared2 () {
  console.log('This task is shared!')
}

module.exports = {
  shared1,
  shared2
}

Local tasksfile.js

const shared = require('shared-tasksfile')

function local () {
  console.log('This task is local!')
}

cli({
  ...shared,
  local
})
$ npx task shared1
$ npx task shared2
$ npx task local

TypeScript support

It's very easy to run your tasks in TypeScript if you have TypeScript already in your project. Just:

  • change your tasksfile.js to tasksfile.ts and adjust the code
  • install ts-node: npm install --save-dev ts-node
  • change command in your package.json:
{
  "scripts": {
    "task": "ts-node ./tasksfile.ts"
  }
}

Tasksfile project already has TypeScript declaration files in source files.

API

For inside tasksfile.js usage.

sh(cmd, options)

Run given command as a child process and log the call in the output. ./node_modules/.bin/ is included into PATH so you can call installed scripts directly.

Function will return output of executed command.

const { sh } = require('tasksfile')

Options:

interface IShellOptions {
  // current working directory
  cwd?: string

  // environment key-value pairs
  env?: NodeJS.ProcessEnv

  // timeout after which execution will be cancelled
  timeout?: number

  // default: false, if true it runs command asynchronously and returns a Promise
  async?: boolean

  // if true, it will send output directly to parent process (stdio="inherit"), it won't return the output though
  // usefull if default piping strips too much colours when printing to the terminal
  // if enabled, transform option won't work
  nopipe?: boolean

  // if true, it won't print anything to the terminal but it will still return the output as a string
  silent?: boolean

  // function which allows to transform the output, line by line
  // usefull for adding prefixes to async commands output
  transform?: (output: string) => string
}

prefixTransform(prefix)

Transform function which can be used as transform option of sh function. It allows to add prefixes to shell output.

Example:

const { cli, sh, prefixTransform } = require('tasksfile')

function test() {
  sh('echo "test"', { 
    transform: prefixTransform('[prefix]')
  })
}

cli({
  test
})
$ npx task test
echo "test"
[prefix] test

help(func, description, annotation)

Define help annotation for task function, so it will be printed out when calling task with --help option and when calling run without any arguments.

const { help } = require('tasksfile')
help(build, 'Generate JS bundle')

help(test, 'Run unit tests', {
  params: ['file'],
  options: {
    watch: 'run tests in a watch mode'
  },
  examples: `
    task test dummyComponent.js
    task test dummyComponent.js --watch
  `
})
$ npx task build --help
$ npx task test --help

rawArgs()

Returns arguments / options passed to task in a raw, unparsed format.

const { cli, rawArgs } = require('tasksfile')

function hello(options) {
  console.log('RAW ARGS', rawArgs())
}

cli({
  hello
})
$ npx task hello 1 2 3 --test
RAW ARGS ['1', '2', '3', '--test']
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