Ahmed El Gabri

Making the default gulp task useful

I have been using gulp for a couple of months now & I like how simple it is compared to Grunt also that I'm actually writing code not configurations & it's easier to understand.

When I was converting the project I'm working on now from Grunt to Gulp I had this idea, why not make the default task as TOC to list all available tasks? instead of using it for a real task. How many times you cloned/forked/collaborated on a project & had to open Gruntfile.js or Gulpfile.js to check which task you should run or open README.md to check this? So I decided to make the default task as TOC of all the tasks available in the Gulpfile.js and this is what I came up with.

// This is (optional) if you don't want colored output
// you can ditch this if you are not using it for anything else.
var utils = require('gulp-util')

gulp.task('default', function () {
  var tasks = Object.keys(gulp.tasks).sort()
  utils.log(utils.colors.yellow('You have the following tasks to run:'))
  tasks.forEach(function (t) {
    if (t === 'default') return
    utils.log(utils.colors.yellow('• gulp ' + t))

I'm getting the task names as an array using Object.keys(), sorting them alphabetically, then looping through the array & printing out each task name excluding the default task.

Of course this is so raw now, as it currently lists all the tasks available, maybe you don't want to do this or you want to list just the main/important tasks. I think this is very useful especially in teams & open source projects.

What do you think about this? I'd like to get feedback & ideas on how to improve this.

You can tweet this post or reach out directly to me @ahmedelgabri.

© 2024 Ahmed El Gabri