Gulp v/s Grunt – Which is Better?

Grunt and Gulp are two of the most popular task / build runners for JavaScript developers. Before Gulp came along Grunt was widely accepted to be the best among the many tools that developers used to streamline repetitive tasks while writing code. grunt vs gulp - which is better But ever since Gulp came on the scene, the spunky upstart has rapidly gained popularity in the developer community as the better option. While that still remains more of an opinion than fact, there is no denying that the introduction of Gulp has launched a vigorous debate over which is better – Gulp or Grunt? As battle lines are drawn and volleys fired in quick succession, we take a quick look at the differences between the two and the possible advantage that one might offer over the other.  

Similarities and Differences

Before we get to the differences and the possible advantages of Gulp and Grunt, let’s take a look at the similarities. Both Grunt and Gulp are JavaScript task runners that need Node and npm to work. Both of them are pretty good at automating repetitive tasks; tasks that run a high risk of leading to human errors, thus slowing down the process. Tasks such as:
  • Code Minification
  • Image Optimization
  • Unit testing
  • Code quality analysis etc.
  But that’s about where the similarities end we step into murkier waters. The main differences between the two build runners stem from the way they are designed to configure the tasks that they automate and the way that they run those same tasks. Grunt is designed to automate tasks on the basis of configuration while Gulp uses stream based automation. Grunt uses Temp files. Gulp makes use of node streams. When it comes to running the tasks Grunt proceeds in a sequential manner and Gulp runs maximum  tasks concurrently. Currently, by virtue of its different approach to automation, Gulp possesses a distinct advantage in speed but the difference is relatively small. So much so, that in small projects the difference in speed is almost negligible. However, an advantage that  Grunt has over Gulp is that it is supported by a much larger community of developers as compared to Gulp. This  is to be expected though, seeing as Grunt has been around a lot longer than Gulp. But more and more developers, attracted by its faster speed and a cleaner API, are switching over to Gulp.  

So, who is the winner?

The correct answer would be – Both. It all comes down to the individual preferences of the developer and the approach they personally use to create and organize their code. Either Grunt or Gulp can be best suited for a particular project depending upon the specific demands of the project. For now, sporadic skirmishes apart, the communities around both Gulp and Grunt enjoy very synergetic exchanges.

Have a project in mind?

Tell us about it. We'll reach out to discuss your needs.

Get In Touch