Things I love about Brunch, a less talked about build tool

January 11, 2018

From looking at Grunt's pages-long configuration (shudder) to writing a Gulp buildfile (exasperated sigh), Brunch felt like a much needed breath of fresh air.

Here are some things I love about this less talked about build tool.

Easy To Grasp

It takes approximately 15 minutes to get started with Brunch and dig straight into your project. Wait - wasn't that a selling point for React not so long ago? Let us certainly sell a build-tool, then.

Just Works

Plugins

npm install --save-dev uglifyjs-brunch cleancss-brunch html-pages-brunch imageoptmizer-brunch
npm run build

That is all it takes to minify and optimize all your source assets and get them ready for production. Of course, this is dependent on the plugin author having put in the effort to have that work out for you - I hope the community does not detract from this ideal! That said, some plugins may not work with zero config. I haven't found any.

Live Reload

A major headache in Gulp was getting a quick and easy live-reload setup going. Brunch does that for you out of the box!

Config Reload

If you have the server running, adding in an npm package doesn't require you to restart it - Brunch is smart enough to pick up the changes and reload on its own.

Skeletons

Lots of skeletons to help you get started even faster! Or just use plugins to cook your own meal.

Sassy Documentation

If your tagline is Seeing your build tool in nightmares? Try Brunch!, you've sold your product halfway within the first 5 seconds of your official pitch. The getting started guide is no less, mind you!

Deploying is Adventurous

Are you familiar with rsync? That's all I needed to know to deploy it to my VPS over SSH! Personally, I don't mind this bit of configuration at all - it's quite fun to do after having to do nothing anywhere else.

Here's a snapshot from my package.json:

{
    "scripts": {
        "deploy": "rsync -avH public/* -e ssh user@host.com:/path/to/www"
    }
}

Convinced? Head over to brunch.io and give it a try.

At the end of the day, remember to use the right tools for the job! Brunch may solve some of your headaches, perhaps not all.

Portrait

Ruppal Singh

Front-End Web Developer

I love building beautiful static websites, complex web-apps, and taking on interesting bits in between.