Front-End Build Tools
- File Watcher
- Package Manager
- Dependency Manager
- Scaffold Generator
Yeoman is an open source scaffolding tool. Yeoman runs as a command-line interface combining several functions, such as generating a starter template, managing dependencies, running unit tests, providing a local development server, and optimizing production code for deployment.
Bower is an open-sourced package manager built on Node.js and npm. It tracks your packages in a single json file, takes care of dependencies, and stores the packages in a single flat directory. Bower runs as a CLI and provides hooks to integrate it into other tools and workflows.
npm is the default package manager for the Node.js environment. Like Bower, it tracks your packages in a single json file, takes care of dependencies, and stores the packages in a single flat directory. npm also has the ability to run scripts, install global packages, and publish your own packages.
Koala is a GUI application for Less, Sass, Compass and CoffeeScript compilation only. Koala can run in Windows, Linux and Mac. It's also free and open sourced.
Prepros is a GUI application for compiling SASS, LESS, and other languages with CSS prefixing built in. It has a built-in server for browser testing. It runs on all three operating systems, but is not free.
CodeKit is the current standard for GUI build tools. It handles compiling, dependency management, and browser reloading all through an easy-to-setup interface. But, it's not open sourced and only available for Macs.
Gnu Make is an old-school UNIX utility that gives you access to the world of Bash. Using a single file, you can use bash scripting to control the files like all the other task runners but without the overhead of all the wrapper plugins. You can go right to the source.
Intro to Front-End Build Tools
By zach fedor