Looking for a Windows (or cross-platform) JS builder that

  • minifies,
  • runs unit tests
  • runs jshint/jslint
  • can compare to a coding style guide
  • can download external sources
  • can combine multiple JS files into one combine minified file and adjust references to point to the minified file.

GUI or CLI fine. I presume most of those functions would need to be given hints in some make file like input. Open source preferred but certainly not required.

  • The Maven Javascript Extensions can do all of this, but sadly haven't been maintained in a while, and can be a bit of a steep learning curve. Feb 4, 2014 at 23:56
  • grunt is often used for these tasks. I don't know a good package that does all out-of-the-box, though.
    – Olli
    Feb 5, 2014 at 1:25
  • grunt looks great - feel free to do that as an answer. I really don't mind having to configure; yes that is harder for some but I figure if I can write a html/php/ajax/jQuery application I should be able to configure a tool to save me work. Feb 5, 2014 at 1:28
  • As of voting this as "primarily opinion-based" - that's the feature of recommendations. Almost always recommendations are opinion-based. With requirements listed on this question, it's easy to recommend a good tool for the task.
    – Olli
    Feb 9, 2014 at 15:34
  • Since no one has done an answer I guess I'll just have to right one up so that it can be not dragging down our answered perecentage... Aug 5, 2014 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


Grunt is a highly configurable build system. It runs via Node.js and has a multitude of plugins available to do a lot of specific tasks. Individual tasks are highly configurable and writing new tasks is also quite easy.

To go over the requirements:

  • minifies: Yes for JavaScript via the official uglify, for images via the official imagemin, for CSS via the official CSSMin and for HTML also has an official minifier plugin.
  • runs unit tests: Yes multiple different unit testing frameworks have grunt plugins - two popular and officially supported ones are NodeUnit and QUnit
  • runs jshint/jslint: Yes - there is an official jshint integration plugin.
  • can compare to a coding style guide: Yes - via the jscs it is very easy and that plugin also includes a whole ton of presets so is really great.
  • can download external sources: If set up right it can though I haven't ended up needing this.
  • can combine multiple JS files into one combine minified file and adjust the html's links to reference only that file: the Concat official plugin will do this if set up right or see also the UseMin plugin.

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