grunt-task-helper

Help with handling the files (e.g. check changed files) before other tasks, or adding something (e.g. replace text).

npm install grunt-task-helper
2 downloads in the last day
7 downloads in the last week
80 downloads in the last month

grunt-task-helper

taskHelper helps selecting files for other tasks.
For example, you want to minify only changed JS files. Then taskHelper selects files which are newer than dest from src (or newer than the time when this ran last time), and these files are passed to grunt-contrib-uglify task.

And, taskHelper helps you do something small to files (or file's contents).
For example, rename file, replace text, etc...
You can create your custom task to do something easily via grunt.registerTask(). Or, writing new plugin is easy too. Using taskHelper is more easy.

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt ~0.4.1

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-task-helper --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:

grunt.loadNpmTasks('grunt-task-helper');

The "taskHelper" task

taskHelper accepts standard Grunt files components (see Files) and handlers.
The handler is a JavaScript Function which you wrote, or a name of builtin handler. These handlers are called in some timings to select files or do something to files or file's contents. If you want, taskHelper creates standard Grunt files components which are new for other tasks.

Overview

In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named taskHelper to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig() (see Configuring tasks).
You specify the files and some handlers (e.g. options.handlerByFile). taskHelper accepts these all files, and some files are selected or done something via handler, and only selected files (filtered files) are passed to other tasks via options.filesArray.

Example: Copy only CSS files which are needed. This handler works like expanded Custom Filter Function.

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFileSrc: function(src, dest, options) {
          var pathElms = src.match(/^(.+)\.css$/), filepath;
          if (pathElms) {

            // CSS file from SCSS file is not needed.
            if (grunt.file.exists(pathElms[1] + '.scss'))
              { return false; }

            // Give priority to souces directory.
            filepath = src.replace(/^develop/, 'souces');
            if (grunt.file.exists(filepath)) { return filepath; }
          }
        },
        filesArray: []
      },
      src: 'develop/**/*.{css,scss}',
      dest: 'backup/'
    }
  },
  copy: {
    deploy: {
      // Copy files which are selected via taskHelper.
      files: '<%= taskHelper.deploy.options.filesArray %>'
    }
  }
});

Example: Minify only changed JS files. (see Builtin handler "newFile".)

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        // Select files which are newer than `dest`.
        handlerByFile: 'newFile',
        filesArray: []
      },
      expand: true,
      cwd: 'develop/',
      src: '**/*.js',
      dest: 'public_html/'
    }
  },
  uglify: {
    deploy: {
      // Minify files which are selected via taskHelper.
      files: '<%= taskHelper.deploy.options.filesArray %>'
    }
  }
});

Example: Insert menu navigation into HTML files.

Gruntfile.js

var htmlMenu = grunt.file.read('../menu.html');
grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByContent: function(contentSrc, options) {
          // Insert HTML content to placeholder.
          return contentSrc.replace(/<%MENU%>/, htmlMenu);
        }
      },
      expand: true,
      cwd: 'develop/',
      src: '**/*.html',
      dest: 'public_html/'
    }
  }
});

Example: Edit HTML files to refer to minified JS files (e.g. file.js to file.min.js).

Gruntfile.js

var jsFiles = [];
grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    // Get source JS files and minified JS files via globbing pattern.
    getJs: {
      options: {
        filesArray: jsFiles
      },
      expand: true,
      cwd: 'develop/',
      src: '**/*.js',
      dest: 'public_html/',
      ext: '.min.js'
    },
    // Edit HTML files. <script src="file.js"> to <script src="file.min.js">
    editHtml: {
      options: {
        handlerByContent: function(contentSrc, options) {
          jsFiles.forEach(function(f) {
            // Ignore directory path, but not doing it is better.
            var src = f.src[0].replace(/^.*\//, ''),
              dest = f.dest.replace(/^.*\//, ''),
              reSrc = new RegExp('(<script\\b[^>]+\\bsrc="[^"]*)' +
                src.replace(/(\W)/g, '\\$1') + '(")', 'ig');
              // Make these in every calling this function,
              // but keeping these is better.
            contentSrc = contentSrc.replace(reSrc, '$1' + dest + '$2');
          });
          return contentSrc;
        }
      },
      expand: true,
      cwd: 'develop/',
      src: '**/*.html',
      dest: 'public_html/'
    }
  },
  uglify: {
    minifyJs: {
      // Minify files which are selected via taskHelper:getJs.
      files: jsFiles
    }
  }
});

// taskHelper:getJs must be first.
grunt.registerTask('default',
  ['taskHelper:getJs', 'uglify:minifyJs', 'taskHelper:editHtml']);

Handlers

taskHelper parses files components, and calls handlers at some timings. The flow may be changed by return value of handlers.
You can specify JavaScript Function which you wrote, or a name of builtin handler. If you want, you can specify multiple handlers into a timing by specifying array of these.

Below are timings which call handlers, and how to specify each handlers.

handlerByTask

The handlers which were specified via options.handlerByTask are called per a task(target) before files components are parsed. This may be a handler, or an array which includes multiple handlers. (see Cycle of handlers.)
If JavaScript Function is specified, following arguments are assigned, and return value is the following meaning.

handlerByTask(options)
  • options Type: Object
    Copy of options which is passed to grunt.initConfig().

  • Return value
    If the handler returns false, exit current task immediately, and the remaining handlers are not called.
    NOTE: Any value except false (e.g. undefined or returns with no value) is ignored. i.e. it means the same as return true.

Example:

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  // Configuring httpd.
  concat: {
    setup: {
      src: ['/lib/httpd/common.conf', 'httpd/project.conf'],
      dest: '/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf'
    }
  },
  taskHelper: {
    setup: {
      options: {
        handlerByTask: function(options) {
          // Restart httpd.
          var exec = require('child_process').exec;
          exec('service node-httpd restart',
            function (error, stdout, stderr) {
              console.log('stdout: ' + stdout);
              console.log('stderr: ' + stderr);
              if (error !== null)
                { console.log('exec error: ' + error); }
            }
          );
        }
      }
    }
  }
});

handlerByFileSrc

The handlers which were specified via options.handlerByFileSrc are called per a src file in specified files components (and parsed by Grunt). This may be a handler, or an array which includes multiple handlers. (see Cycle of handlers.)
If JavaScript Function is specified, following arguments are assigned, and return value is the following meaning.

handlerByFileSrc(src, dest, options)
  • src Type: String
    The file path of a src file in specified files components. This was parsed by Grunt, therefore Globbing patterns (e.g. foo/*.js) which was specified to src became real path that was found (e.g. foo/file-1.js).
    If src includes multiple files (e.g. array of files, or files file-1.js and file-2.js which was found via globbing pattern *.js), all handlers in handlerByFileSrc are called with an assigned first file in src, and these handlers are called with an assigned second file, and continue next. (see Cycle of handlers.) Note that this flow may be changed by handler. (see Return value below.)

  • dest Type: String
    The file path of a dest file in specified files components.

  • options Type: Object
    Copy of options which is passed to grunt.initConfig().

  • Return value
    If the handler returns false, remove current file path from src, and the remaining handlers in handlerByFileSrc are not called. This is like a filter (see Custom Filter Function). If other tasks will take these selected files (filtered files), an Array must be specified to options.filesArray. taskHelper adds files components to this array, and you let other task refer to this array.
    NOTE: Any value except false (e.g. undefined or returns with no value) is ignored. i.e. it means the same as return true.
    If the handler returns String, the current src file path is replaced with this String. Note that other task may ignore the src file which doesn't exist.

Example:

Gruntfile.js

var cssFiles = [ {
    src: 'theme-base/css/base.css',
    dest: 'public_html/css/base.css'
  } ],
  path = require('path');
grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFileSrc: function(src, dest, options) {
          var pathElms = path.basename(src).match(/^(.+?)\.test(\.css)$/), newSrc;
          if (pathElms) {
            newSrc = 'theme-dark/css/' + pathElms[1] + pathElms[2];
            return grunt.file.exists(newSrc) ?
              newSrc :  // Change theme to dark.
              false;    // Exclude this.
          }
        },
        filesArray: cssFiles
      },
      expand: true,
      cwd: 'develop/',
      src: '**/*.css',
      dest: 'public_html/'
    }
  },
  cssmin: {
    deploy: {
      files: cssFiles
    }
  }
});

handlerByFile

The handlers which were specified via options.handlerByFile are called per an element in specified files components (and parsed by Grunt, and might have changed by handlerByFileSrc). This may be a handler, or an array which includes multiple handlers. (see Cycle of handlers.)
If JavaScript Function is specified, following arguments are assigned, and return value is the following meaning.

handlerByFile(srcArray, dest, options)
  • srcArray Type: Array
    The array which includes the file path of src files in specified files components. This was parsed by Grunt, therefore Globbing patterns (e.g. foo/*.js) which was specified to src became real path that was found (e.g. foo/file-1.js). And, these might have changed by handlers in handlerByFileSrc. (see above.)
    If src is a file path (e.g. String 'foo/file.js'), this array includes an element (e.g. Array ['foo/file.js']). If src files were all not found, array is empty.

  • dest Type: String
    The file path of a dest file in specified files components.

  • options Type: Object
    Copy of options which is passed to grunt.initConfig().

  • Return value
    If the handler returns false, remove current element from files components, and the remaining handlers in handlerByFile are not called. If other tasks will take these selected files (filtered files), an Array must be specified to options.filesArray. taskHelper adds files components to this array, and you let other task refer to this array.
    NOTE: Any value except false (e.g. undefined or returns with no value) is ignored. i.e. it means the same as return true.
    If the handler returns String, the current dest file path is replaced with this String.

Example:

Gruntfile.js

var path = require('path');
grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFile: function(srcArray, dest, options) {
          if (!srcArray.length) {
            // Exclude this.
            return false;
          } else if (srcArray.length > 1) {
            // Multiple photos in a page.
            return path.dirname(dest) + '/thumbnails.html';
          }
        },
        filesArray: []
      },
      files: [
        {
          src: 'public_html/jon/photos/*.jpg',
          dest: 'public_html/jon/photos/photo.html'
        },
        {
          src: 'public_html/kim/photos/*.jpg',
          dest: 'public_html/kim/photos/photo.html'
        }
      ]
    }
  },
  makeGallery: {
    deploy: {
      files: '<%= taskHelper.deploy.options.filesArray %>'
    }
  }
});

handlerByContent

The handlers which were specified via options.handlerByContent are called per a dest file in specified files components (and parsed by Grunt, and might have changed by handlerByFileSrc). This may be a handler, or an array which includes multiple handlers. (see Cycle of handlers.)
These are handlers to edit (or check) the content that should be written to dest file.
If JavaScript Function is specified, following arguments are assigned, and return value is the following meaning.

handlerByContent(contentSrc, options)
  • contentSrc Type: String
    The current src file's contents to first handler. To remaining handlers, the text which returned by previous handler.
    All current src files (which were parsed by Grunt, and might have changed by handlerByFileSrc) are loaded, and these concatenated contents is passed to first handler. The text which was returned via the end handler is written to dest file.

  • options Type: Object
    Copy of options which is passed to grunt.initConfig().

  • Return value
    This value is passed to next handler. The end handler returns value to write to dest file.
    If the handler returns false, the remaining handlers in handlerByContent are not called, and dest file is done nothing.
    NOTE: Any value except false (e.g. undefined or returns with no value) is content. i.e. if nothing was returned, empty text is written to dest file.

options.separator

All contents of current src files are concatenated with options.separator. For example, line-break-character \n can be specified.
If this option was not specified, taskHelper uses line-break-character which was found first in current src file's contents. If that was not found, grunt.util.linefeed is used.

Priority Order:

  1. options.separator
  2. line-break-character in src file's contents (found first)
  3. grunt.util.linefeed

NOTE: grunt.util.linefeed is chosen via operating system which executes this task. Not operating system which uses the generated files. If this task is executed on Windows, \n for others will be specified to options.separator or src files may include this.

Example:

Gruntfile.js

var htmlMenu = grunt.file.read('../menu.html');
grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByContent: [
          // 1st handler
          function(contentSrc, options) {
            // Insert HTML content to placeholder.
            return contentSrc.replace(/<%MENU%>/, htmlMenu);
          },
          // End handler
          function(contentSrc, options) {
            var pathElms = contentSrc.match(/<h2\b.*?>(.+?)<\/h2>/), pageTitle;
            if (pathElms) {
              // Content title
              pageTitle = pathElms[1];
              // Style menu item of current page.
              // (a part of HTML inserted by 1st handler)
              return contentSrc.replace(
                new RegExp('<li class="menu-item">(?=' + pageTitle + ')'),
                '<li class="menu-item current">');
            } else return contentSrc;
          }
        ]
      },
      expand: true,
      cwd: 'develop/',
      src: '**/*.html',
      dest: 'public_html/'
    }
  }
});

handlerByAllFiles

The handlers which were specified via options.handlerByAllFiles are called per a task(target) after files components are parsed (and might have changed by handlerByFileSrc and handlerByFile). This may be a handler, or an array which includes multiple handlers. (see Cycle of handlers.)
If JavaScript Function is specified, following arguments are assigned, and return value is the following meaning.

handlerByAllFiles(files, options)
  • files Type: Array
    This is specified files components. This was parsed by Grunt, therefore Globbing patterns (e.g. foo/*.js) which was specified to src became real path that was found (e.g. foo/file-1.js). And, these might have changed by handlers in handlerByFileSrc and handlerByFile. (see above.)
    If the files were all not found or these were all removed by handlerByFileSrc and handlerByFile, array is empty.
    This array may be different from options.filesArray. This array includes only files which were selected in current task(target), but the options.filesArray may include files which were added by other tasks(targets) too.

  • options Type: Object
    Copy of options which is passed to grunt.initConfig().

  • Return value
    If the handler returns false, exit current task immediately, and the remaining handlers are not called.
    NOTE: Any value except false (e.g. undefined or returns with no value) is ignored. i.e. it means the same as return true.

Example:

Gruntfile.js

var path = require('path');
grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    pack: {
      options: {
        // Concatenate all CSS into all.css, and all JS into all.js
        handlerByContent: function(content) { return content; },
        // Pack concatenated files into assets.zip
        handlerByAllFiles: function(files, options){
          var exec = require('child_process').exec;
          exec('zip assets.zip ' +
            files.map(function(f) { return f.dest; }).join(' '),
            function (error) {
              if (error !== null)
                { console.log('exec error: ' + error); }
            }
          );
        },
      },
      files: [
        {
          src: 'css/*.css',
          dest: 'assets/all.css'
        },
        {
          src: 'js/*.js',
          dest: 'assets/all.js'
        }
      ]
    }
  }
});

Cycle of handlers

The handlers are called at some timings as follows unless it is aborted by returning false.

---------------------------------- <Task 1>
|  CALL handlerByTask 1
|  CALL handlerByTask 2
|    :
|
|  ------------------------------- <Element 1 of files>
|  |
|  |  ---------------------------- <src file 1>
|  |  |  CALL handlerByFileSrc 1
|  |  |  CALL handlerByFileSrc 2
|  |  |    :
|  |  ----------------------------
|  |
|  |  ---------------------------- <src file 2>
|  |  |  CALL handlerByFileSrc 1
|  |  |  CALL handlerByFileSrc 2
|  |  |    :
|  |  ----------------------------
|  |    :
|  |
|  |  CALL handlerByFile 1
|  |  CALL handlerByFile 2
|  |    :
|  |
|  |  CALL handlerByContent 1
|  |  CALL handlerByContent 2
|  |    :
|  -------------------------------
|
|  ------------------------------- <Element 2 of files>
|  |  (Same as <Element 1 of files>)
|  -------------------------------
|    :
|
|  CALL handlerByAllFiles 1
|  CALL handlerByAllFiles 2
|    :
----------------------------------

---------------------------------- <Task 2>
|  (Same as <Task 1>)
----------------------------------
  :

Builtin handlers

You can specify name of builtin handler instead of JavaScript Function.
Now, taskHelper has following builtin handlers.

newFile

This is a handler for handlerByFile to select files which are newer than dest from src (or newer than the time when this ran last time).

  • In the basic case, srcArray includes a file path and a dest file path was specified. The modification times of both files are compared, and if src file is newer than dest file, return true.
    One src file : One dest file

Example: Minify only changed JS files.

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFile: 'newFile',
        filesArray: []
      },
      files: [
        {
          src: 'develop/js/a.js',
          dest: 'public_html/js/a.min.js'
        },
        {
          src: 'develop/js/b.js',
          dest: 'public_html/js/b.min.js'
        }
      ]
    }
  },
  uglify: {
    deploy: {
      files: '<%= taskHelper.deploy.options.filesArray %>'
    }
  }
});
  • When the srcArray includes multiple files path and a dest file path was specified, if there is any src file in which is newer than dest file, return true.
    Some src files : One dest file

Example: Concatenate files if one or more source files were updated. (More better way in Tips)

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFile: 'newFile',
        filesArray: []
      },
      src: 'develop/css/*.css',
      dest: 'public_html/css/all.css'
    }
  },
  concat: {
    deploy: {
      files: '<%= taskHelper.deploy.options.filesArray %>'
    }
  }
});
  • When the file to compare was not specified (e.g. dest was not specified, or dest is same file as src), if src file is newer than the time when this ran last time, return true.
    taskHelper saves log file .grunt/grunt-task-helper/fileUpdates.json for compare.
    One or more src files : No dest file

Example: You don't need to keep PNG files that is source of minifying, because you have PSD files which is editable always and outputable to PNG.

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFile: 'newFile',
        filesArray: []
      },
      expand: true,
      src: 'public_html/img/*.png'
    }
  },
  imagemin: {
    deploy: {
      files: '<%= taskHelper.deploy.options.filesArray %>'
    }
  }
});

NOTE: Logging the modification time of the file after task is best way, but current Grunt can't do it. Therefore the time is got via using options.mtimeOffset. (see source code.)

size

This is a handler for handlerByFileSrc to select files which match specified size.
You can specify minimum file size to options.minSize, and maximum file size to options.maxSize. One or both of these must be specified.

Example: Compress only big files.

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFileSrc: 'size',
        minSize: 1024 * 64,
        filesArray: []
      },
      expand: true,
      src: 'public_html/download/*.csv',
    }
  },
  compress: {
    options: {
      mode: 'gzip'
    },
    deploy: {
      files: '<%= taskHelper.deploy.options.filesArray %>'
    }
  }
});

Tips

Task efficiency

Some grunt plugins are wrapper of something which provide a method. And the method accepts src file's contents and returns contents to write to dest file.
If you want to give selected files by taskHelper to the plugin, specifying the method into handlerByContent instead of the using the plugin is better. Because grunt parses files components in every tasks(targets). handlerByContent can be included to one task with other handlers.

Example: Minify CSS files if one or more source files were updated.
clean-css is wrapped by grunt-contrib-cssmin plugin.

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    cssmin: {
      options: {
        handlerByFile: 'newFile',
        handlerByContent: (new require('clean-css')({relativeTo: 'public_html/css'})).minify,
      },
      src: 'develop/css/*.css',
      dest: 'public_html/css/all.css'
    }
  }
});

Example: Minify only changed HTML files.
htmlclean is wrapped by grunt-htmlclean plugin.

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFile: 'newFile',
        handlerByContent: require('htmlclean')
      },
      expand: true,
      cwd: 'develop/',
      src: '**/*.html',
      dest: 'public_html/'
    }
  }
});

Example: Concatenate files if one or more source files were updated.
handlerByContent works like grunt-contrib-concat plugin. (Another plugin or module is unneeded.)

Gruntfile.js

grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    deploy: {
      options: {
        handlerByFile: 'newFile',
        handlerByContent: function(content) { return content; }, // Do nothing.
        separator: ';'
      },
      src: 'develop/js/*.js',
      dest: 'public_html/js/all.js'
    }
  }
});

Log messages

Grunt outputs log to STDOUT. Handlers can output messages.

Example: When there are a lot of targets, handlers output messages outstanding more than message Running "..." task by Grunt.

Gruntfile.js

var head = '==================================== ';
grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    options: {
      handlerByTask: function()
        { grunt.log.writeln((head + grunt.task.current.target.bold).cyan); }
    },
    // Even if there is not work, a {} is necessary.
    html: { /* Do something if needed */ },
    css:  { /* Do something if needed */ },
    js:   { /* Do something if needed */ },
    img:  { /* Do something if needed */ }
  },
  fooTask: {
    html: { /* Do something */ },
    css:  { /* Do something */ },
    js:   { /* Do something */ },
    img:  { /* Do something */ }
  },
  barTask: {
    html: { /* Do something */ },
    css:  { /* Do something */ },
    //js:   { /* Do something */ },
    img:  { /* Do something */ }
  }
});
grunt.registerTask('default', [
  'taskHelper:html', 'fooTask:html', 'barTask:html',
  'taskHelper:css', 'fooTask:css', 'barTask:css',
  'taskHelper:js', 'fooTask:js',
  'taskHelper:img', 'fooTask:img', 'barTask:img'
]);

"Continue?", "Overwrite?" - Wizard style

The handlers work via user's response for interactively running.

Example: Interactively running via readlineSync.
Install readlineSync.

npm install -g readline-sync

Gruntfile.js

var readlineSync = require('readline-sync');
grunt.initConfig({
  taskHelper: {
    confirm: {
      options: {
        handlerByTask: function() {
          // Abort the task if user don't want.
          return readlineSync.question('The HTML files are copied. Continue? :')
            .toLowerCase() === 'y';
          // Or process.exit()
        },
        handlerByFile: function(srcArray, dest) {
          if (grunt.file.exists(dest)) {
            // Exclude this file if user want to keep it.
            return readlineSync.question('This file already exists.\n' + dest + '\n' +
              'Overwrite this file? :').toLowerCase() === 'y';
          }
        },
        filesArray: []
      },
      expand: true,
      cwd: 'develop/',
      src: '**/*.html',
      dest: 'public_html/'
    }
  },
  copy: {
    confirm: {
      files: '<%= taskHelper.confirm.options.filesArray %>'
    }
  }
});

Release History

  • 2013-12-30 v0.3.5 Added: options.handlerByAllFiles
  • 2013-08-24 v0.3.0 Allow the task which has no handlers.
  • 2013-08-18 v0.2.0 Added: options.separator
  • 2013-08-02 v0.1.0 Initial release.
npm loves you