Run Gulp Tasks in a Predefined Order

Gulp is build automation tool which runs on top of Node. In my current project I had to execute set of tasks in a predefined order, in which some of the tasks can be run in parallel to improve the efficiency.

By default Gulp runs all the tasks at the same time, so after googling I saw this official article. In this approach every task will takes a callback function so that Gulp knows when that task is completed. Then other task add this as a dependency

E.g. from the official article

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var gulp = require('gulp');
// takes in a callback so the engine knows when it'll be done
gulp.task('one', function(cb) {
// do stuff -- async or otherwise
// if err is not null and not undefined, the orchestration will stop, and 'two' will not run
cb(err);
});
// identifies a dependent task must be complete before this one begins
gulp.task('two', ['one'], function() {
// task 'one' is done now
});
gulp.task('default', ['one', 'two']);
// alternatively: gulp.task('default', ['two']);

Here task two is depends on task one, so Gulp ensures that task one is completed before running task two.One drawback with this approach is tasks are tightly coupled to each other which reduces the flexibility if you want to change the order.

So I came across a plugin called run-sequence, this plugin allows you to order the tasks much easy. We can re-write the first example like this

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var gulp = require('gulp'),
runSequence = require('run-sequence');
gulp.task('one', function() {
// Returning the stream is improtant
return gulp.src(....)
.pipe(gulp.dest(....);
});
gulp.task('two',function() {
// Returning the stream is improtant
return gulp.src(....)
.pipe(gulp.dest(....);
});
gulp.task('default', function(){
runsSequence('one', 'two');
});

Caution
Make sure each of the tasks returns a stream

Running tasks in parallel

run-sequence can do much more, like running in parallel

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gulp.task('default', function(){
runsSequence(
'task-1',
'task-2',
['task-3', 'task-4', 'task-5'],
['task-7', 'task-8']
);
});

The above one ensures that task-1 and task-2 will be running in series, after that task-3, task-4, task-5 will run in parallel, then task-7 and task-8 are run in parallel as well.

Main advantage I see when compared to official documentation is - tasks are independent and orchestration is done by someone else.