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Bower

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Bower vs gulp: What are the differences?

What is Bower? A package manager for the web. Bower is a package manager for the web. It offers a generic, unopinionated solution to the problem of front-end package management, while exposing the package dependency model via an API that can be consumed by a more opinionated build stack. There are no system wide dependencies, no dependencies are shared between different apps, and the dependency tree is flat.

What is 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.

Bower can be classified as a tool in the "Front End Package Manager" category, while gulp is grouped under "JS Build Tools / JS Task Runners".

Some of the features offered by Bower are:

  • Bower operates at a lower level than previous attempts at client-side package management – such as Jam, Volo, or Ender. These managers could consume Bower as a dependency.
  • Bower's aim is simply to install packages, resolve dependencies from a bower.json, check versions, and then provide an API which reports on these things. Nothing more. This is a major diversion from past attempts at browser package management.
  • Bower offers a generic, unopinionated solution to the problem of package management, while exposing an API that can be consumed by a more opinionated build stack.

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.

"Package management", "Open source" and "Simple" are the key factors why developers consider Bower; whereas "Build speed", "Readable" and "Code-over-configuration" are the primary reasons why gulp is favored.

Bower and gulp are both open source tools. gulp with 31.3K GitHub stars and 4.41K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Bower with 15.2K GitHub stars and 1.97K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, gulp has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1163 company stacks & 706 developers stacks; compared to Bower, which is listed in 803 company stacks and 396 developer stacks.

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Pros of Bower
Pros of gulp
  • 483
    Package management
  • 214
    Open source
  • 142
    Simple
  • 53
    Great for for project dependencies injection
  • 27
    Web components with Meteor
  • 8
    Portable dependencies Management
  • 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

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Cons of Bower
Cons of gulp
  • 2
    Deprecated
  • 1
    Front end only
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What is Bower?

    Bower is a package manager for the web. It offers a generic, unopinionated solution to the problem of front-end package management, while exposing the package dependency model via an API that can be consumed by a more opinionated build stack. There are no system wide dependencies, no dependencies are shared between different apps, and the dependency tree is flat.

    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 Bower and gulp?
    npm
    npm is the command-line interface to the npm ecosystem. It is battle-tested, surprisingly flexible, and used by hundreds of thousands of JavaScript developers every day.
    Yarn
    Yarn caches every package it downloads so it never needs to again. It also parallelizes operations to maximize resource utilization so install times are faster than ever.
    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.
    NuGet
    A free and open-source package manager designed for the Microsoft development platform. It is also distributed as a Visual Studio extension.
    Composer
    It is a tool for dependency management in PHP. It allows you to declare the libraries your project depends on and it will manage (install/update) them for you.
    See all alternatives