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A build tool for writing awesome multiplatform apps in Javascript and HTML
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README.md

mott

This is still a very early release as we"re still doing some housekeeping but have a look at the example for usage. In the mean time, more info is available on the Phonegap Blog

huh? what is it good for?

getting started

# install mott from npm
npm install -g mott
 
# initialize a new project
mott new my-app
 
cd my-app;
# starts a local development server on localhost:8080
npm start
 
# setup repo
git init
git remote add origin https://github.com/your-username/my-app.git
git add package.json
git commit -m "Initial commit."
 
# deploy to github pages
npm run-script deploy

to add to an existing project, create or add this to package.json

"dependencies": {
    "mott": "0.1.x",
    "mott-starter": "0.0.x"
},
"mott": {
    "recipe": {
        "use": "mott-starter",
        "metadata": {}
    }
}

package.json

so how does mott find out about all of this stuff? the world doesnt need another configuration file or format. we already have a package.json file and so mott just uses that.

{
    "name": "my-app",
    "version": "0.0.0",
    "scripts": {
        "start": "DEBUG=mott:* ./node_modules/.bin/mott run",
        "deploy": "DEBUG=mott:* ./node_modules/.bin/mott deploy"
    }
    "dependencies": {
        "mott": "0.1.0",
        "mott-starter": "0.0.1"
    },
    "mott": {
        "recipe": {
            "use": "mott-starter"
        }
    }
}

all keys specified in mott.recipe above are specific to your application. the special key mott.recipe.metadata contains your setup, described in more detail below. another special key is use, which allows you to specify one of more recipes to inherit from. all other keys of mott.recipe.* are task declarations, which again you can find more about below.

all keys specified in mott.*, excluding mott.recipe, are environments you can create. for example

...
"mott": {
    "recipe": {
        "use": "mott-starter"
    },
    "production": {
       "url": "http://ex.fm",
       "deploy": "s3://myaccessid:secretkey@bucketname/subkey"
    }
}
...

so when you specify NODE_ENV or --env from the command line, these values will override values in mott.recipe.metadata.

package-local.json

sometimes you have values you don't want to be checked in to your repository; for example, AWS API credentials. for those types of cases, mott supports a package-local.json file you can use to specify those values.

{
    "mott": {
        "production": {
            "deploy": "s3://myaccessid:secretkey@bucketname/subkey"
        }
    }
}

deploying with wercker

set up your repo as a wercker application and use the below as your wercker.yml

# mott wercker.yml
box: wercker/nodejs
build:
  steps:
    - npm-install
deploy:
  steps:
    -  script:
        name: mott-deploy
        code: |-
          npm run-script deploy

versioning with sterno

sterno provides a simple way to manage versioning for mobile deployments. if appcache worked, sterno wouldn't need to exist. mott has a built-in step for generating sterno bootstrap files.

...
"mott": {
    "recipe": {
        "use": "mott-starter",
        "build": ["write bootstrap"]
    }
}
...

adhoc steps

a step does not have to be defined in a recipe to be used by your app. you can just include a path to a script like this site does

...
"mott": {
    "recipe": {
        "use": "mott-starter",
        "build": ["./mott/fix-bootstrap-img-paths.js"]
    }
}
...

cordova

mott was built specifically for working with phonegap/cordova apps so it has pretty extensive integration out of the box. wouldn't it be nice if you could run one command, build your app, create a binary distribution and a manifest to install it, create a nice looking install page to send users to and upload it all to S3? mott can do this for cordvoa.

  • simple add on to build step for copying to www in your native directory
  • generate PLIST and IPA files for adhoc distribution
  • launch app in the emulator

ipa

build for ipa

deploying

mott drops all of the output created by your app in the ./build/ directory. this makes deploying your app after a build pretty simple

github

add the deploy step with deploy to github

...
"mott": {
    "recipe": {
        "use": "mott-starter",
        "deploy": ["build", "deploy to github"]
    }
}
...

s3

do incremental deploys to an S3 bucket with the deploy to s3 step and the deploy metadata key.

...
"mott": {
    "recipe": {
        "use": "mott-starter",
        "deploy": ["build", "deploy to s3"],
        "metadata": {
            "deploy": "s3://accessKeyId:secret@bucket/optionalSubKey"
        }
    }
}
...

this will take a files written in the current context, hash them and upload cannonical and versioned keys to S3 if the current hash is different from the cannonical key on S3 or its a new file.

opsworks stack

create a new deployment with the deploy opsworks stack step and the opsworks stack metadata key.

...
"mott": {
    "recipe": {
        "use": "mott-starter",
        "deploy": ["build", "deploy opsworks stack"],
        "metadata": {
            "opsworks stack": "api-stack"
        }
    }
}
...

you can optionally provide opsworks comment and/or opsworks data that will also be sent to the create deployment call.

about

mott was originally created to help build the exfm phonegap app. it started out as a dozen or so grunt.js tasks. after open sourcing it, i realized there was a lot about that code that stunk; too fragile, too coupled to the exfm architecture, not reusable. It could do more.

originally i didn't want mott. i justed wanted something that fit my work flow. after months of bending other tools, i took some time to tear the original code down and figure out what it was i actually wanted.

  • reuse amazing modules
  • make the configuration as reusable as any other module
  • composable configuration

the features i originally wanted

  • browserify to simplify dependecy management
  • robust client side templating
  • lang.json support
  • compress design assets
  • incremental deploys to S3
  • smoke test before deploying with PhantomJS
  • helpers for debugging, particularly on mobile (weinre, chrome debugger)
  • rebuild/reload on change

the point here is not just to create make in javascript. there are plenty of solutions that already do that. the raison d'etre of mott is to modularize the boilerplate and the configuration of that boilerplate. mott works great when used with make, grunt, jake, or any of the other make improvements. i've actually added a few things already and removed them because they're just better in make or bash.

the works

so, how does it all work? it may sound like a lot, but it's really not. the amount of code here is really reall tiny. it just provides an environment to play in. almost all of the action happens in steps. the basic unit is a step, say run browserify on some js files. each step is assumed to be async and is as simple as a name and a callback. the callback gets two arguments: a context, more on that later, and a done callback.

i've already written some, in lib/steps to take care of my workflow. these should probably be moved out of the main package but i digress. steps can then be bundled up into tasks. tasks and steps can be packaged up into nice little recipes; use requirejs and sass for this client, less and browserify and dust.js for this other guy, this one should be a phonegap app, etc, etc.

recipe.metadata

metadata is the runtime configuration for a recipe. your metadata is what specifies the tooling configuration for project. for example, to tell mott copy these png's from node_modules (node_modules/my-app-design-aseets/*/.png) and put them in /images/$1/$2.png (see what i did there?), run js/main.js through browserify and spit that out as app.js you would want metadata like

{
    ...
    "mott": {
        "recipe": {
            "metadata": {
                "js": {
                    "./main.js": "./app.js"
                },
                "includes": {
                    "node_modules/bootstrap/img/*.png": "img/$1.png"
                }
            }
        }
    }
    ...
}

recipe.environments

you can also specify different environments that override config values (deploy to this S3 bucket for production, and this one for staging). steps can also as expected easily do different things for different environments; add sourcemaps to browserify'd files in development, minfiy css for production.

recipe.cookbook

cookbooks bring it all together and are an api for working with your project (note: a project could have many recipes, ie mobile web and phonegap ios and chrome package app. i like modularization a lot, but you shouldn't have to use it for all your recipes. a common folder is the best sometimes.) cookbook.exec() will run a task with some options, cookbook.cli() will run as a cli.

the cookbook prepares your metadata and environment to create a context and takes care of things like expanding globs you specify in your metadata.

recipe.ctx

environments override metadata to create a context. the context is like a request object in express or the env object if your coming from fabric and python. ctx can be decorated with functions by recipes and steps.

ctx also contains a few helper functions that make writing steps much easier. you can find more on that in the Context documentation.

compare

app assemblers

  • brunch — A lightweight approach to building HTML5 applications with an emphasis on elegance and simplicity
  • recipe.js — Web Component Recipe Helpers
  • assemble — Grunt.js plugin. Assemble makes it dead simple to build modular sites, documentation and components from reusable templates and data
  • mimosa — A modern browser development toolkit

api

@todo

examples

blog posts

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