Control Add-ins Supercharged: Automating gulp.watch

Yesterday you’ve seen how to use gulp to make it do something truly useful: bundling your JavaScript and CSS files. Introducing gulp for the purpose of bundling your files allows you to split your functionality into as many files as you want, but use only a single script and a single stylesheet file from your control add-in. That way you not only optimized how your browser loads the files, but you also eliminated the need to maintain your controladdin object file every single time a new JavaScript or CSS file is added (or an existing one is removed).

However, you still need to run gulp build every single time you want to build your bundles. If you forget that, your controladdin will not be updated with your changes.

Thankfully, gulp has an answer to this: the gulp.watch feature. That’s the topic of my next demo, that I’ve explained in the 05-gulp-watch branch of my supercharged-01 repository.

The Readme.md file of that branch explains how to configure the watch task in the gulpfile.js file, and how to configure VS Code to automatically run the watch task every time you open the workspace. Once you follow those instructions, you can work on individual JavaScript or CSS files without the need to run gulp build or to maintain your controladdin object file. The former is taken care of by gulp, and the latter is taken care by… well, gulp too. Gulp is cool, really 😎

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