Modern web development workflows – Yeoman

yeoman-logo.a053As I’ve been playing around with JavaScript lately, I came across a rather lovely piece of software called Yeoman. This is used at the start of a project, and helps automate setting up of folder, software, dependencies etc., as well as allowing you to share your own environments with others. Yeoman contains three main elements: yo (the scaffolding tool), grunt (the build tool) and bower (for package management).

Using these, you can very quickly create and maintain a projects structure – so with very little effort, for instance, you can have an entire web application setup and ready for development and testing. Yo handles the ‘scaffolding’ – setting up the project folders, software and dependencies. Grunt handles building – you can use grunt to build, serve and update your application automatically whenever you make a code change, instantly. Bower handles dependencies and scripts – if the other tools need something and you don’t have it, bower sorts it out.

After a few days playing with it, I’m impressed. You can get all sorts of projects up and running very quickly – different generators can handle different software stacks and scenarios. You can even define your own generator, and share it back to the community. The fact that I can develop, test and make final builds quickly and easily means my focus can remain on learning the software, and not the tools.

Try it out!

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