16 Feb 2016

Broccoli and Angular.js


This post was initially written on 2014-05-28 and not published. Things might have changed.

Broccoli is a relatively new asset builder. It is based on doing operations on a trees of files.

Here is how I used it to concatenate front end dependencies installed via bower and an angular.js app.


First, let me show you the two files you need for bower.


Here is an example bower.json that lists the frontend dependencies. Note the resolutions property.

  "dependencies": {
    "angular-ui-router": "0.2.11",
  "resolutions": {
    "angular": "~1.3.0"


This is relative to your project and tells bower where to put the dependencies.

    "directory": "public/vendor"


Now we need to install broccoli. I’ve installed the broccoli-cli globally and as per the installation guide.

npm install --save-dev broccoli
npm install --global broccoli-cli

We also need to install plugins for broccoli;

npm install --saveDev broccoli-concat


Like all task runners broccoli has its own file format to define its operations, though its not really a task runner but rather a build tool.

Here is the brocfile.js to concatenate all of the above bower dependencies

var broccoli = require('broccoli');
var concat = require('broccoli-concat');

var concatenated = concat('public/',  {
  inputFiles: [
  outputFile: '/assets/app.js',
  separator: '\n', // (optional, defaults to \n)
  wrapInEval: false // (optional, defaults to false)

module.exports = concatenated;

We explicitly define the order of concatenation to the concat function. This way we have jQuery loading before angular, and angular loading before ui-router and our app code (which is assumed to exist in public/js).

Now running broccoli serve will start a http server on port 4200 and the concatenated Javascript will be available at http://localhost:4200/assets/app.js.

Hope that helps.