Getting started with Yeoman
The Yeoman workflow is comprised of three core tools for improving your productivity and satisfaction when building a web app. These tools are:
Each of these projects are independently maintained by their respective communities, but work well together as a part of a prescriptive workflow for keeping you effective. Let’s walk through what these binaries can do.
Yo is maintained by the Yeoman project and offers web application scaffolding, utilizing scaffolding templates we refer to as generators. You typically install yo and any generators you think you might use via npm.
Installing yo and some generators
First, you'll need to install
yo and other required tools:
npm install -g yo
npm is the package manager for Node.js and comes bundled with it.
If you are using npm 1.2.10 or above, this will also automatically install
bower for you. If you're on an older version of npm, you will need to install them manually:
# For npm versions < 1.2.10. npm install -g grunt-cli bower
If you have installed Grunt globally in the past, you will need to remove it first:
npm uninstall -g grunt
On Windows, we suggest you use an improved command line tool such as Console2 or PowerShell to improve the experience.
To scaffold a web application, you'll need to install the
npm install -g generator-webapp
This is the default web application generator that will scaffold out a project containing HTML5 Boilerplate, jQuery, Modernizr, and Bootstrap. You'll have a choice during the interactive prompts to not include many of these.
Now that the generator is installed, create a directory for your new project
mkdir my-yo-project cd my-yo-project
and then run:
Each project created with yo will also pull in relevant Grunt tasks which the community feels is needed or useful for your workflow.
The webapp generator is considered the simplest possible start for a web app. We also provide some framework generators which can be used to scaffold out a project and later views, models, controllers and so on.
Example: Scaffolding an AngularJS app
As always, before using a new generator, you must install it from npm first:
npm install -g generator-angular
After that, create a new directory for your application, then run:
Many generators allow you to customize your application by using flags from the initial command. As an example, with
generator-angular, you can enter:
yo angular --minsafe
Here, we are first generating the file structure for a basic web application and then writing a number of boilerplate files for a new AngularJS application on top of it. This includes boilerplate directives and controllers as well as scaffolded Karma unit tests.
Scaffolding out your Angular app’s pieces
Some generators can also be used to scaffold further pieces of your application - we call these sub-generators.
In the AngularJS framework, for example, your application is made up of a number of pieces including controllers, directives and filters. You can actually scaffold out any of these pieces (and more) during your development workflow as shown below:
yo angular:controller myController yo angular:directive myDirective yo angular:filter myFilter yo angular:service myService
Each framework generator has further documentation available noting what sub-generators it supports.
Creating your own generators
Managing packages using Bower can be done using the following commands:
# Search for a dependency in the Bower registry. bower search <dep> # Install one or more dependencies. bower install <dep>..<depN> # List out the dependencies you have installed for a project. bower list # Update a dependency to the latest version available. bower update <dep>
Using Bower with a project scaffolded using yo
To create a basic web app with a dependency on a jQuery plug-in:
# Scaffold a new application. yo webapp # Search Bower's registry for the plug-in we want. bower search jquery-pjax # Install it and save it to bower.json bower install jquery-pjax --save # If you're using RequireJS... # (be aware that currently the webapp generator does not include RequireJS and the following command only applies to generators that do) grunt bower > Injects your Bower dependencies into your RequireJS configuration. # If you're not using RequireJS... grunt bower-install > Injects your dependencies into your index.html file.
It’s as simple as that.
# Preview an app you have generated (with Livereload). grunt serve # Run the unit tests for an app. grunt test # Build an optimized, production-ready version of your app. grunt
These commands can be used together with the yo binary for a seamless development workflow:
yo webapp grunt serve grunt test grunt