- December 4, 2021
- Posted by: Aelius Venture
- Categories: Coding, Information Technology
It is not the same code used in development that is used in production. Packages that run quickly, manage dependencies, automate activities, load other modules, and perform other functions are all necessary for production. A build tool is a piece of software that facilitates the transition from development to production code. Front-end developers typically use the following tools for web development:
- package managers
- task runners
- module loaders
- module bundlers
We’ve compiled a list of the top build tools for frontend development in this article. Remember that all of these programs are command-line-based, and as a result, they don’t have a user interface.
Node Package Manager
As the name suggests, npm stands for Node Package Manager, which is the default package manager for the Node.js platform. Installing Node.js on your system immediately includes npm, which you can use from the command-line interface to do many tasks. You can install any Node.js package with a single command when using the npm package manager.
A search bar on top of the npm site provides access to all the Node.js packages currently available in the registry. Just enter the name of a specific postcss package into the search bar, and you will be taken to the package page, which includes all of its information, such as how to install the postcss package, as well as any other dependencies it may require.
Features of NPM
- The installation method is simple.
- Software that runs on several platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS, SmarOS, and more).
- There are so many packages.
- Dependency management made simple with the package.
- JSON file.
- There are numerous setup choices available (through the command line).
- A lot of documentation and a friendly community.
You can use Yarn instead of NPM as a front-end package manager for your project. Before you can use Yarn, you’ll need to install Node.js on your computer. To use it to manage your frontend dependencies, you simply must follow the installation instructions.
You may find that generating packages with npm takes a significant amount of time, despite the fact that it is an excellent tool. You don’t have to worry about this if you don’t have a lot of dependencies or don’t use package management very often. Regular users may want to use Yarn, which boasts lightning-fast build times.
You don’t have to download your dependencies several times because Yarn caches every package. Parallel processes are also performed to further reduce build time.
Features of YARN
- All three operating systems (Windows, Linux, and macOS) can be used with the same application.
- All Node.js packages are supported.
- Build times are short.
- An additional layer of protection is provided by using checksums.
- To avoid duplicates, use flat mode.
Frontend Task Runner Grunt
Minification, linting, and testing can all be automated with Grunt, a frontend task runner. Due to the fact that task runners cannot manage dependencies, they are different from package managers. If you wish to run the same task(s) over and over again during each build process, you don’t require them.
To install Grunt, you can use the Node.js package management Yarn or npm to get it up and running on your system. The package.json file contains the custom dependencies Grunt requires to complete your pre-defined tasks. The Gruntfile (see an example) can be used to define your jobs, which are automatically performed during the build process.
Features of Grunt
- CLI command-line tool that can be used across multiple platforms at once.
- Simple to set up.
- A large ecosystem with hundreds of plugins to accomplish pre-configured tasks.
- If necessary, asynchronous tasks can be used.
- There is a lot of documentation.
- It is widely used.
Task Runner GULP
Another automated task runner, Gulp is also the strongest contender to Grunt in terms of popularity. To automate common front-end activities like CSS preprocessing, automatic prefixing, image optimization, and other similar ones, Gulp is similar to Grunt in that it may be used. Both npm and Yarn can be used to install the package. The Gulpfile and package.json files can be used to define tasks and configure dependencies for those tasks.
Most importantly, Gulp offers a more efficient automation method that results in speedier build times. Gulp, on the other hand, doesn’t use any temporary files to execute its duties, unlike Grunt, which does. Node streams are in-memory operations that can save you a lot of time, especially if you wish to execute numerous jobs at the same time.
Features of GULP
- js task runner that can be installed like any other Node.js package.
- Operation is sped up by utilizing Node streams.
- Thousands of plugins make up a massive ecosystem.
- High-quality Node.js code that follows industry best practices.
- Documentation that is simple to understand.
- Adoption is made easier by having a minimal API.
Node.js Module Loader/Bundler Browserify
Features of Browserify
- js dependencies are packaged into a single executable file.
- Modular apps that rely on many Node.js modules can benefit from this feature.
- In order to use this feature, you must use the <script> tag.
- For those times when bundles must be divided, this feature makes it possible.
- Functionalities should be excluded, ignored, and transformed.
- Browserify comes with extensive documentation and a handy manual.
If you want to load all of your dependencies as static assets in the user’s browser, you can use Webpack. When compared to Browserify, Webpack can handle any type of front-end files, including HTML, CSS, and JS files, as well as pictures.
The npm or Yarn package managers can be used to install Webpack because it is also a Node.js module itself.
Many choices for fine-tuning your project make Webpack project configuration time-consuming by default. The zero-configuration option in Webpack 4 allows you to completely automate the build process, with the exception of defining an entry file.
Features of Webpack
- There are numerous setup choices available.
- Splitting the code into smaller sections that can load asynchronously is a good idea.
- Elimination of all dead codes.
- Module replacement in a hurry.
- Source maps are supported.
- Option with no configuration (since Webpack 4).
- An intense ecosystem with a well-developed plug-in interface.
Make your development code into production-ready code that runs on any device or platform without a problem. Here is a compilation of the most widely used build tools for web projects, including package managers, task runners, and module loaders/bundlers, that you can use in your web development project.
As an alternative to the widely-used tools, there are a number of (relatively) newer tools on the market that are gaining momentum all the time, such as the (relatively) newer pnpm package manager, the Parcel module bundler, and the Rollup ES module bundler (similar to Browserify but bundles ECMAScript modules instead of CommonJS ones). If you are open to trying out new solutions, these more recent technologies are also worth exploring. You may take your development process to a whole new level by adding additional tools to your workflow.