Alternatives to Backpack logo

Alternatives to Backpack

Webpack, gulp, Grunt, rollup, and Parcel are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Backpack.
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What is Backpack and what are its top alternatives?

Backpack is minimalistic build system for Node.js. Inspired by Facebook's create-react-app, Zeit's Next.js, and Remy's Nodemon, Backpack lets you create modern Node.js apps and services with zero configuration. Backpack handles all the file-watching, live-reloading, transpiling, and bundling, so you don't have to.
Backpack is a tool in the JS Build Tools / JS Task Runners category of a tech stack.
Backpack is an open source tool with GitHub stars and GitHub forks. Here鈥檚 a link to Backpack's open source repository on GitHub

Top Alternatives to Backpack

  • Webpack
    Webpack

    A bundler for javascript and friends. Packs many modules into a few bundled assets. Code Splitting allows to load parts for the application on demand. Through "loaders" modules can be CommonJs, AMD, ES6 modules, CSS, Images, JSON, Coffeescript, LESS, ... and your custom stuff. ...

  • gulp
    gulp

    Build system automating tasks: minification and copying of all JavaScript files, static images. More capable of watching files to automatically rerun the task when a file changes. ...

  • Grunt
    Grunt

    The less work you have to do when performing repetitive tasks like minification, compilation, unit testing, linting, etc, the easier your job becomes. After you've configured it, a task runner can do most of that mundane work for you鈥攁nd your team鈥攚ith basically zero effort. ...

  • rollup
    rollup

    It is a module bundler for JavaScript which compiles small pieces of code into something larger and more complex, such as a library or application. It uses the new standardized format for code modules included in the ES6 revision of JavaScript, instead of previous idiosyncratic solutions such as CommonJS and AMD. ...

  • Parcel
    Parcel

    Parcel is a web application bundler, differentiated by its developer experience. It offers blazing fast performance utilizing multicore processing, and requires zero configuration. ...

  • Vite
    Vite

    It is an opinionated web dev build tool that serves your code via native ES Module imports during dev and bundles it with Rollup for production. ...

  • Webpacker
    Webpacker

    Webpacker makes it easy to use the JavaScript preprocessor and bundler Webpack to manage application-like JavaScript in Rails. It coexists with the asset pipeline, as the purpose is only to use Webpack for app-like JavaScript, not images, css, or even JavaScript Sprinkles (that all continues to live in app/assets). ...

  • Brunch
    Brunch

    Brunch is an assembler for HTML5 applications. It's agnostic to frameworks, libraries, programming, stylesheet & templating languages and backend technology. ...

Backpack alternatives & related posts

Webpack logo

Webpack

36K
24.4K
749
A bundler for javascript and friends
36K
24.4K
+ 1
749
PROS OF WEBPACK
  • 307
    Most powerful bundler
  • 182
    Built-in dev server with livereload
  • 142
    Can handle all types of assets
  • 87
    Easy configuration
  • 21
    Laravel-mix
  • 4
    Overengineered, Underdeveloped
  • 2
    Webpack-Encore
  • 2
    Makes it easy to bundle static assets
  • 1
    Better support in Browser Dev-Tools
  • 1
    Redundant
CONS OF WEBPACK
  • 13
    Hard to configure
  • 4
    No clear direction
  • 2
    Spaghetti-Code out of the box
  • 2
    SystemJS integration is quite lackluster
  • 2
    Loader architecture is quite a mess (unreliable/buggy)
  • 2
    Fire and Forget mentality of Core-Developers

related Webpack posts

Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect | 25 upvotes 路 2M views

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

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Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH | 22 upvotes 路 1.7M views

Our whole Vue.js frontend stack (incl. SSR) consists of the following tools:

  • Nuxt.js consisting of Vue CLI, Vue Router, vuex, Webpack and Sass (Bundler for HTML5, CSS 3), Babel (Transpiler for JavaScript),
  • Vue Styleguidist as our style guide and pool of developed Vue.js components
  • Vuetify as Material Component Framework (for fast app development)
  • TypeScript as programming language
  • Apollo / GraphQL (incl. GraphiQL) for data access layer (https://apollo.vuejs.org/)
  • ESLint, TSLint and Prettier for coding style and code analyzes
  • Jest as testing framework
  • Google Fonts and Font Awesome for typography and icon toolkit
  • NativeScript-Vue for mobile development

The main reason we have chosen Vue.js over React and AngularJS is related to the following artifacts:

  • Empowered HTML. Vue.js has many similar approaches with Angular. This helps to optimize HTML blocks handling with the use of different components.
  • Detailed documentation. Vue.js has very good documentation which can fasten learning curve for developers.
  • Adaptability. It provides a rapid switching period from other frameworks. It has similarities with Angular and React in terms of design and architecture.
  • Awesome integration. Vue.js can be used for both building single-page applications and more difficult web interfaces of apps. Smaller interactive parts can be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure with no negative effect on the entire system.
  • Large scaling. Vue.js can help to develop pretty large reusable templates.
  • Tiny size. Vue.js weights around 20KB keeping its speed and flexibility. It allows reaching much better performance in comparison to other frameworks.
See more
gulp logo

gulp

12.5K
8.5K
1.7K
The streaming build system
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8.5K
+ 1
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PROS OF GULP
  • 454
    Build speed
  • 277
    Readable
  • 244
    Code-over-configuration
  • 210
    Open source
  • 175
    Node streams
  • 107
    Intuitive
  • 84
    Lots of plugins
  • 66
    Works great with browserify
  • 45
    Easy to Learn
  • 17
    Laravel-elixir
  • 4
    build workflow
  • 3
    Great community
  • 3
    Simple & flexible
  • 2
    Stylus intergration
  • 2
    jade intergration
  • 0
    Well documented
  • 0
    Clean Code
CONS OF GULP
    Be the first to leave a con

    related gulp posts

    I use JavaScript these days and for few years I didn't have to use jQuery at all. I used to use it back in the days when IE8 and similar was a thing. But due to better browser support of native functions for DOM manipulation I could move to vanilla JavaScript. Most of the time, that's all I need to work with modals/accordions and similar. But I'm not saying that jQuery is bad. It was, and still is a great tool. Some of it's features are available in all browsers nowadays so it is not so important as it used to be. But jQuery has still advantage for example in it's selector engine, some DOM selections which are easy in jQuery are a bit more difficult in vanilla JS (you have to create some helper functions or use some 3rd party library to help you with that), but to be honest I needed this on very few occasions. So it really depends on your project (supported browses, plain JS or some bundling - gulp, Webpack, whether you plan to use modules etc.). Hope this helps.

    See more
    Shared insights
    on
    WebpackWebpackParcelParcelgulpgulp

    Hi, I am at a point when I discovered I need starter templates to kick off my web projects quickly and easily. I want to set-up my template code with the best or rather a packaging tool that is fast in compiling my Sass code and JS. Should I use gulp or Parcel or Webpack.

    I need help please, A.S.A.P

    See more
    Grunt logo

    Grunt

    7.1K
    5K
    697
    The JavaScript Task Runner
    7.1K
    5K
    + 1
    697
    PROS OF GRUNT
    • 288
      Configuration
    • 176
      Open source
    • 166
      Automation of minification and live reload
    • 60
      Great community
    • 7
      SASS compilation
    CONS OF GRUNT
    • 1
      Poor mindshare/community support

    related Grunt posts

    Gustavo Mu帽oz
    Senior Software Engineer at JOOR | 4 upvotes 路 819.2K views
    Shared insights
    on
    WebpackWebpackGruntGruntgulpgulpParcelParcel

    Using Webpack is one of the best decision ever. I have used to Grunt and gulp previously, but the experience is not the same, and despite I know there are other bundlers like Parcel, Webpack gives me the perfect balance between automatization and configuration. The ecosystem of tools and loaders is amazing, and with WebPack #merge, you can modularize your build and define standard pieces to assemble different build configurations. I don't like processes where you cannot see their guts, and you have to trust in magic a little bit too much for my taste. But also I don't want to reinvent the wheel and lose too much time configuring my build processes. And of course, I love #WebPackDevServer and hot reloading.

    See more
    rollup logo

    rollup

    817
    149
    16
    The next-generation JavaScript module bundler
    817
    149
    + 1
    16
    PROS OF ROLLUP
    • 3
      Makes it easy to publish packages
    • 3
      Easier configuration
    • 2
      Better tree shaking
    • 2
      Provides smaller bundle size
    • 1
      Produces very clean code
    • 1
      Very reliable
    • 1
      Very robust Plugin-API (years old Plugins still work)
    • 1
      Very flexible
    • 1
      Was built with ESM-Modules in mind
    • 1
      Integrates seamlessly with SystemJS
    CONS OF ROLLUP
    • 1
      No clear path for static assets
    • 1
      No Loader like Webpack (need to use sjs or ESM imports)
    • 1
      Almost everything needs to be a Plugin
    • 1
      Manual Chunking is a bit buggy

    related rollup posts

    Parcel logo

    Parcel

    548
    232
    18
    馃摝馃殌 A fast, zero configuration web application bundler
    548
    232
    + 1
    18
    PROS OF PARCEL
    • 10
      Zero configuration
    • 8
      Built-in dev server with livereload
    CONS OF PARCEL
    • 3
      Lack of documentation

    related Parcel posts

    Shared insights
    on
    WebpackWebpackParcelParcelgulpgulp

    Hi, I am at a point when I discovered I need starter templates to kick off my web projects quickly and easily. I want to set-up my template code with the best or rather a packaging tool that is fast in compiling my Sass code and JS. Should I use gulp or Parcel or Webpack.

    I need help please, A.S.A.P

    See more
    Gustavo Mu帽oz
    Senior Software Engineer at JOOR | 4 upvotes 路 819.2K views
    Shared insights
    on
    WebpackWebpackGruntGruntgulpgulpParcelParcel

    Using Webpack is one of the best decision ever. I have used to Grunt and gulp previously, but the experience is not the same, and despite I know there are other bundlers like Parcel, Webpack gives me the perfect balance between automatization and configuration. The ecosystem of tools and loaders is amazing, and with WebPack #merge, you can modularize your build and define standard pieces to assemble different build configurations. I don't like processes where you cannot see their guts, and you have to trust in magic a little bit too much for my taste. But also I don't want to reinvent the wheel and lose too much time configuring my build processes. And of course, I love #WebPackDevServer and hot reloading.

    See more
    Vite logo

    Vite

    344
    208
    6
    Native-ESM powered web dev build tool
    344
    208
    + 1
    6
    PROS OF VITE
    • 3
      Easy configuration
    • 3
      Simple
    • 0
      Livereload
    CONS OF VITE
    • 1
      Cannot be use with Angular

    related Vite posts

    Giordanna De Gregoriis
    Jr Fullstack Developer at Stefanini Inspiring | 8 upvotes 路 258.6K views

    TL;DR: Shall I keep developing with Nuxt.js 2 and wait for a migration guide to Nuxt 3? Or start developing with Vue.js 3 using Vite, and then migrate to Nuxt 3 when it comes out?

    Long version: We have an old web application running on AngularJS and Bootstrap for frontend. It is mostly a user interface to easily read and post data to our engine.

    We want to redo this web application. Started from scratch using the newest version of Angular 2+ and Material Design for frontend. We haven't even finished rewriting half of the application and it is becoming dreadful to work on.

    • The cold start takes too much time
    • Every little change reload the whole page. Seconds to minutes of development lost looking at a loading blank page just changing css
    • Code maintainability is getting worse... again... as the application grows, since we must create everytime 5 files for a new page (html, component.ts, module.ts, scss, routing.ts)

    I'm currently trying to code a Proof of Concept using Nuxt.js and Tailwind CSS. But the thing is, Vue.js 3 is out and has interesting features such as the composition API, teleport and fragments. Also we wish to use the Vite frontend tooling, to improve our time developing regardless of our application size. It feels like a better alternative to Webpack, which is what Nuxt 2 uses.

    I'm already trying Nuxt.js with the nuxt-vite experimental module, but many nuxt modules are still incompatible from the time I'm posting this. It is also becoming cumbersome not being able to use teleport or fragments, but that can be circumvented with good components.

    What I'm asking is, what should be the wisest decision: keep developing with Nuxt 2 and wait for a migration guide to Nuxt 3? Or start developing with Vue.js 3 using Vite, and then migrate to Nuxt 3 when it comes out?

    See more
    Webpacker logo

    Webpacker

    145
    46
    0
    Use Webpack to manage app-like JavaScript modules in Rails (by Rails)
    145
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    + 1
    0
    PROS OF WEBPACKER
      Be the first to leave a pro
      CONS OF WEBPACKER
        Be the first to leave a con

        related Webpacker posts

        Brunch logo

        Brunch

        94
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        40
        Ultra-fast HTML5 build tool
        94
        124
        + 1
        40
        PROS OF BRUNCH
        • 13
          Easy and awesome
        • 9
          Ultra Fast
        • 9
          Light Configuration
        • 4
          Built-in dev server with live reload
        • 3
          Simple to use
        • 2
          Has many pre-configurable framework "skeletons"
        CONS OF BRUNCH
          Be the first to leave a con

          related Brunch posts