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Usage: yeoman build, yeoman build:<target>

Constructs an optimized version of your application that's ready to deploy.

Yeoman makes use of Grunt behind the scenes to tackle much of the hard work for this, with some useful additions that assist with compression, optimization and testing.

These include:

  • Linting all JavaScript files against JSHint
  • Recompiling all CoffeeScript and SASS files for production
  • Using r.js to compile and optimize any AMD modules
  • Concatenation and minification of scripts and stylesheets
  • Compressing your images using OptiPNG for PNG files and JPEGtran-turbo for JPEGs
  • Running any unit tests written against a headless WebKit browser (via PhantomJS)
  • Creating an Application Cache manifest via Confess.js
  • Using revision filenames or oldernames

Much of the build configuration information for a project is placed inside 'Gruntfile.js', a file which we automatically create when you generate a new project using Yeoman. This file can be fully customized to support which paths you wish to watch, have compiled (should they contain Compass or CoffeeScript files) and so on.

When you run yeoman server, we generate an intermediate build directory called temp, containing compiled versions of your Compass and CoffeeScript files as well as all of the other files needed to preview your application. Running yeoman build creates a dist directory which has completely optimized version of your application that can be deployed to staging.

Build targets

Yeoman supports a number of build targets to be used with yeoman build. To implicitly pass the default target one would run yeoman build:default for example. The complete list of supported build targets can be found below:

  • default: Runs concat css min img rev usemin manifest
  • text: Runs concat css min rev usemin manifest
  • buildkit: Runs concat css min img rev usemin manifest html:buildkit
  • basics: Runs concat css min img rev usemin manifest html:basics
  • minify: Runs concat css min img rev usemin manifest html:compress


Each build target above runs a number of different build tasks. The supported tasks included with Yeoman out of the box are:

  • clean: Wipe the previous build dirs
  • copy: Copies the whole staging(intermediate/) folder to output (publish/) one
  • css: Concatenates, replaces @imports and minifies the CSS files
  • dom: DOM-based build system
  • html: Basic to aggressive HTML minification
  • img: Optimizes .png/.jpg images using OptiPNG/JPEGtran
  • mkdirs: Prepares the build dirs
  • rev: Automate the hash renames of assets filename
  • usemin: Replaces references to non-minified scripts / stylesheets

Require.js / r.js configuration

Yeoman has a special task that automatically handles the optimization of Require.js/AMD projects using the r.js optimizer. Configuration for this optimization (i.e your r.js configuration) should be done within the rjs section of the Gruntfile for a project.

You can either do this at a project level by editing your projects Gruntfile or do this at a generator level if you would rather avoid editing the Gruntfile outside of the default setup each time.

The following is the relevant block to edit within your Gruntfile:

{% highlight javascript %} // rjs configuration. You don't necessarily need to specify the typical // path configuration, the rjs task will parse these values from your // main module, using // // name / out / mainConfig file should be used. You can let it blank if // you're using usemin-handler to parse rjs config from markup (default // setup) rjs: { // no minification, is done by the min task optimize: 'none', baseUrl: './scripts', wrap: true } {% endhighlight %}

See the official project repo for more information on the options supported by r.js.

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