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Default Tasks

Overview

The asset pipeline bundled in Sails is a set of Grunt tasks configured with conventional defaults designed to make your project more consistent and productive. The entire frontend asset workflow is completely customizable, while it provides some default tasks out of the box. Sails makes it easy to configure new tasks to fit your needs.

Here are a few things that the default Grunt configuration in Sails does to help you out:

  • Automatic LESS compilation
  • Automatic JST compilation
  • Automatic Coffeescript compilation
  • Optional automatic asset injection, minification, and concatenation
  • Creation of a web ready public directory
  • File watching and syncing
  • Optimization of assets in production

Default Grunt Task Behavior.

Below are the Grunt tasks that are included in your Sails project as well as a small description of exactly what each does in your project. Also included are a link to the usage docs for each task.

clean

This grunt task is configured to clean out the contents in the .tmp/public/ of your sails project.

usage docs

coffee

Compiles coffeeScript files from assets/js/ into Javascript and places them into .tmp/public/js/ directory.

usage docs

concat

Concatenates javascript and css files, and saves concatenated files in .tmp/public/concat/ directory.

usage docs

copy

dev task config Copies all directories and files, except coffeescript and less files, from the sails assets folder into the .tmp/public/ directory.

build task config Copies all directories and files from the .tmp/public directory into a www directory.

usage docs

cssmin

Minifies css files and places them into .tmp/public/min/ directory.

usage docs

jst

Precompiles Underscore templates to a .jst file. (i.e. it takes HTML template files and turns them into tiny javascript functions). This can speed up template rendering on the client, and reduce bandwidth usage.

usage docs

less

Compiles LESS files into CSS. Only the assets/styles/importer.less is compiled. This allows you to control the ordering yourself, i.e. import your dependencies, mixins, variables, resets, etc. before other stylesheets.

usage docs

sails-linker

Automatically inject <script> tags for javascript files and <link> tags for css files. Also automatically links an output file containing precompiled templates using a <script> tag. A much more detailed description of this task can be found here, but the big takeaway is that script and stylesheet injection is only done in files containing <!--SCRIPTS--><!--SCRIPTS END--> and/or <!--STYLES--><!--STYLES END--> tags. These are included in the default views/layout.ejs file in a new Sails project. If you don't want to use the linker for your project, you can simply remove those tags.

usage docs

sync

A grunt task to keep directories in sync. It is very similar to grunt-contrib-copy but tries to copy only those files that have actually changed. It specifically synchronizes files from the assets/ folder to .tmp/public/, overwriting anything that's already there.

usage docs

uglify

Minifies client-side javascript assets.

usage docs

watch

Runs predefined tasks whenever watched file patterns are added, changed or deleted. Watches for changes on files in the assets/ folder, and re-runs the appropriate tasks (e.g. less and jst compilation). This allows you to see changes to your assets reflected in your app without having to restart the Sails server.

usage docs

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