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Bazel vs gulp: What are the differences?

Bazel: Correct, reproducible, fast builds for everyone. Bazel is a build tool that builds code quickly and reliably. It is used to build the majority of Google's software, and thus it has been designed to handle build problems present in Google's development environment; gulp: The streaming build system. 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.

Bazel and gulp are primarily classified as "Java Build" and "JS Build Tools / JS Task Runners" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Bazel are:

  • Multi-language support: Bazel supports Java, Objective-C and C++ out of the box, and can be extended to support arbitrary programming languages.
  • High-level build language: Projects are described in the BUILD language, a concise text format that describes a project as sets of small interconnected libraries, binaries and tests. By contrast, with tools like Make you have to describe individual files and compiler invocations.
  • Multi-platform support: The same tool and the same BUILD files can be used to build software for different architectures, and even different platforms. At Google, we use Bazel to build both server applications running on systems in our data centers and client apps running on mobile phones.

On the other hand, gulp provides the following key features:

  • By preferring code over configuration, gulp keeps simple things simple and makes complex tasks manageable.
  • By harnessing the power of node's streams you get fast builds that don't write intermediary files to disk.
  • gulp's strict plugin guidelines assure plugins stay simple and work the way you expect.

"Fast" is the top reason why over 18 developers like Bazel, while over 454 developers mention "Build speed" as the leading cause for choosing gulp.

Bazel and gulp are both open source tools. It seems that gulp with 31.3K GitHub stars and 4.4K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Bazel with 12.2K GitHub stars and 2K GitHub forks.

PedidosYa, Mailgun, and Sellsuki are some of the popular companies that use gulp, whereas Bazel is used by Square, Asana, and Google. gulp has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1158 company stacks & 689 developers stacks; compared to Bazel, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.

What is Bazel?

Bazel is a build tool that builds code quickly and reliably. It is used to build the majority of Google's software, and thus it has been designed to handle build problems present in Google's development environment.

What is 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.
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    What are some alternatives to Bazel and gulp?
    Pants
    Pants is a build system for Java, Scala and Python. It works particularly well for a source code repository that contains many distinct projects.
    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.
    Buck
    Buck encourages the creation of small, reusable modules consisting of code and resources, and supports a variety of languages on many platforms.
    Ansible
    Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
    CMake
    It is used to control the software compilation process using simple platform and compiler independent configuration files, and generate native makefiles and workspaces that can be used in the compiler environment of the user's choice.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Bazel and gulp
    Webpack
    Webpack
    gulp
    gulp
    jQuery
    jQuery
    JavaScript
    JavaScript

    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
    Gustavo Muñoz
    Gustavo Muñoz
    Web UI Developer at Globant · | 4 upvotes · 15.4K views
    Parcel
    Parcel
    gulp
    gulp
    Grunt
    Grunt
    Webpack
    Webpack
    #WebPackDevServer
    #Merge

    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
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Bazel and gulp
    Avatar of gdi2290
    Co-Founder and CTO at Tipe
    Review ofgulpgulp

    Gulp is a new build system which shows a lot of promise. The use of streams and code-over-configuration makes for a simpler and more intuitive build. There isn't much boilerplate code so you're able to roll your own asset pipeline. Even if you don't know node.js streams, gulp is pretty readable and easier to understand.

    PS: It's worth saying if you know Grunt then you can learn Gulp in a day.

    Avatar of longgge
    pm at 36kr
    Review ofgulpgulp

    love it!l like gulp‘s logo!

    How developers use Bazel and gulp
    Avatar of Cloudcraft
    Cloudcraft uses gulpgulp

    Gulp is used as the build system for Cloudcraft.co with a lot of custom targets: vendoring dependencies, transpiling ES2015 to Ecmascript5 (with Babel), incremental compilation of multiple watched modules, minification, creation of app distribution packages etc. Having previously used Grunt, I've come to greatly prefer Gulp due to the ability to easily write my own tasks using plain JS without necessarily relying on plugins for everything.

    Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
    Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses gulpgulp

    gulp is used to package our plugins for the WSC (Woltlab Suite Core) in a fast, convenient and code-driven way. We enjoy the comfort it offers with stuff like the gzip-plugin or tar-packing.

    Avatar of Refractal
    Refractal uses gulpgulp

    For all our frontend site builds, Grunt allows us to do one-click builds for SASS, Coffeescript and other tools, with minifying and general restructuring built right in.

    Avatar of IVS
    IVS uses gulpgulp

    gulp is a fancy alternative to grunt (that we don't use anymore). Just use async/await instead of "stream" everything (which is a nonsens). We don't use gulp.

    Avatar of Tinker Travel
    Tinker Travel uses gulpgulp

    If a project has a more complex build, gulp allows us to build a flexible build pipeline and automatically rebuild on files changes. Speeds up JS development.

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