Dan Hough

How to use Gulp, Browserify and Ripple in harmony for your PhoneGap app

Published 02/02/2014 in Chamonix, France

Just like every other front-end developer who likes to changes their mind about the best build tools at a moment’s notice, yesterday I decided that Gulp and Browserify were for me. However, I am currently working on a PhoneGap project and the workflow can be a little different. When developing PhoneGap applications some people like to use Ripple, a little browser-based emulator for the various devices on which you might run your PhoneGap application.

I initially started with Martin Genev’s gulpfile which included a LiveReload server, but soon found that making this work with the Ripple emulator is a bit of a faff and involves some unnecessary proxying. So, I created one which works better for Ripple. It’s very simple, and this is what it looks like.

var gulp = require('gulp');
var browserify = require('gulp-browserify');
var concat = require('gulp-concat');
var styl = require('gulp-styl');
var path = require('path');
var o = require('open');
var ripple = require('ripple-emulator');
var webPath = function (p) { return path.join('./www/', p); };

// Builds the scripts based on a single entry point using browserify
gulp.task('scripts', function() {
            transform: ['hbsfy'],
            insertGlobals: true

// Concatenates all the CSS files together.
gulp.task('styles', function() {
            compress: true

// The default task
gulp.task('default', function() {
    // Watch the JS directory for changes and re-run scripts task when it changes
    gulp.watch(webPath('js/**'), function(evt) {

    // Watch the CSS directory for changes and re-run styles task when it changes
    gulp.watch(webPath('css/**'), function(evt) {

    // Run scripts and styles tasks for the first time

    var options = {
        keepAlive: false,
        open: true,
        port: 4400

    // Start the ripple server

    if (options.open) {
        o('http://localhost:' + options.port + '?enableripple=cordova-3.0.0');

Quite simply, the scripts and styles tasks are re-run whenever their files change and the ripple server starts when the default task is run. It even opens the browser to show you Ripple just like the globally-installed Ripple would. Any suggestions feel free to leave them in this gist. I hope this helps a few people out there.

Oh, and don’t forget to keep your devDependencies in package.json nice and organised:

  "devDependencies": {
    "gulp": "~3.5.2",
    "gulp-browserify": "~0.4.4",
    "open": "0.0.4",
    "gulp-concat": "~2.1.7",
    "gulp-styl": "~0.2.0",
    "ripple-emulator": "~0.9.19",
    "handlebars": "~1.3.0",
    "hbsfy": "~1.3.1"

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