Adding a Grunt Plugin to JET

So let’s say we’re cool with the whole Grunt-for-a-JET-project thing and now want to extend the scripts by adding a new plugin.

We’ll add something simple first. I like time-grunt because I’m always curious about the metrics. Adding it to our project will display the elapsed execution time of all of the tasks whenever we run Grunt.

First we need to download and install the plugin. Then we need to configure our Grunt scripts to fire it up.

Grunt plugins are installed via npm and registered in the package.json file in the root of your JET project. Execute this command to download and install time-grunt:

npm install time-grunt --save-dev

The npm install part pulls down the code needed for time-grunt and puts it in your node_modules folder. The --save-dev part adds an entry to your package.json file.

Now we need to add it to the Gruntfile so that it will run on every invocation of grunt. Because it’s watching over everything Grunt does and measuring the time it takes, time-grunt loads differently than normal task modules and we don’t use the load-grunt-config pattern of adding a scripts/grunt/config file like a task. Instead, we put it directly in the Gruntfile, despite the fact that the generated JET code leans on the load-grunt-config approach for all of its other plugins.


module.exports = function (grunt) 
  require("jit-grunt")(grunt, {});


  { ...

Now let’s run something with Grunt that takes a while and see the timing results printed out at the end:

$ grunt build:release
Running "build:release" (build) task

Running ...



Done, without errors.

Execution Time (2016-04-22 17:54:02 UTC)
loading tasks   118ms  ▇ 1%
clean:release   195ms  ▇ 2%
uglify:release  352ms  ▇▇ 3%
copy:release     2.9s  ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ 27%
requirejs:main   6.8s  ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ 65%
Total 10.5s

time-grunt is unique in how it runs globally instead of being called as a task. Next we’ll configure a plugin that only runs for certain targets instead of every time Grunt is called.

Written by
Dad to twin boys and twin girls; Retooling in my 40s around front-end dev and JavaScript; Oracle CX Apps Sales Consultant; all-around guy