A TypeScript Grunt Boilerplate
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README.md

TypeScript Boilerplate

A Grunt TypeScript Boilerplate and Workflow. Checkout the TypeScript Boilerplate and Workflow Tutorial.

Be sure to check out all my TypeScript tutorials and examples.

###GruntJS - Getting Started

Have you ever used different tools to minify CSS and JavaScript? Wouldn't it be great if you could automatically do this without needing to install special OS applications or backend-specific tools? Wouldn't it be great if there was just one easy workflow and command to do this? The answer is grunt!

####What is Grunt

Grunt is a command line task runner that will run tasks/plugins that perform repetitive tasks like minification, compilation, unit testing, linting, etc. Grunt is dependent on having Node.js installed, but that is all you need to know about nodejs. You can check out the Install Grunt section below later.

####Grunt Setup

At bare minimum we need have a package.json file and a Gruntfile.js file.

  1. The package.json file will list what plugins we want to use.
  2. The Gruntfile.js file is where we will confingure those plugins that are mentioned in the package.json file.

Empty package.json File

{
  "name": "my-project-name",
  "version": "0.1.0",
  "devDependencies": {
    "grunt": "~0.4.1",
    
    // Add your plugins here
    
  }
}

Empty Gruntfile.js File

module.exports = function(grunt) {

	grunt.initConfig({
  		pkg: grunt.file.readJSON('package.json'),

		// Add configuration options for each of your plugins here
	
	});
	
};

####Adding Grunt Tasks You can find a lot of Grunt plugins at http://gruntjs.com/plugins, but for now let's add a RequireJS plugin which will help us create a minified version of our JavaScript code suitable for production use.

package.json with RequireJS Plugin

{
  "name": "my-project-name",
  "version": "0.1.0",
  "devDependencies": {
    "grunt": "~0.4.1",
    
    // Added plugin name with current plugin version.
    "grunt-contrib-requirejs": "~0.4.0",
    
  }
}

Before you can start using the plugins, we need to download them to our project folder.

First, with Terminal or the Command Line, navigate to the directory that has the package.json and Gruntfile.js files.

Next, type npm install for Windows or sudo npm install for Mac. This command will automatically download each of the plugins specified in your package.json file. The plugins will be downloaded into a new node_modules folder in the same directory.

Gruntfile.js with RequireJS Plugin

module.exports = function(grunt) {

	grunt.initConfig({
		pkg: grunt.file.readJSON('package.json'),

		// Add plugins configuration options.
		requirejs: {
			compile: {
    			options: {
    	  			baseUrl: "path/to/base",
    	  			mainConfigFile: "path/to/config.js",
    	  			out: "path/to/optimized.js"
    			}
    		}
  		}
  	
  		// Loads the RequireJS plugin so we have access to it into this file.
  		grunt.loadNpmTasks('grunt-contrib-requirejs');

  		// Registers the default task to run the RequireJS plugin. 
  		// In Terminal/Command Line you will be able to type 'grunt' and
  		// this will run the 'requirejs' plugin in this file.
  		grunt.registerTask('default', ['requirejs']);
	});
	
};

Like I said in the comments you can just type grunt and that will run the 'requirejs' plugin.

Create Other Tasks

We can do the following to create/register other shortcut command tasks:

  grunt.registerTask('default', ['requirejs']);
  
  grunt.registerTask('src', ['pluginName1', 'pluginName2', 'pluginName3']);
  grunt.registerTask('web', ['pluginName1', 'pluginName2', 'pluginName3', 'pluginName4'])

Above you would call grunt src or grunt web depending on what series of plugins you would want to run.

One thing to point out is most plugins allow you to have multiple sub tasks. For example checkout the 'grunt-env' plugin below.

env: {
	src: {
		NODE_ENV : '../src/'
	},
	web : {
		NODE_ENV : '../web/'
	}
}

You can call grunt env:src or grunt env:web to run each sub task. If you were to call grunt env it would run both sub tasks.

####Installing Grunt

  1. Install Node.js (This is required in order to run grunt).

  2. Install grunt command line interface (CLI)

    • On the command line, run the following command: npm install grunt-cli -g
  3. Install grunt packages

    • Change to the directory(where package.json is located
    • On the command line, run the following command: npm install
    • It take several minutes to completely download the dependencies.
    • If this works successfully, a node_modules directory will be created. These files do not need to be redistributed or committed into source control.

If you have issues installing, please see the following tutorials: