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When to use a task runner?

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I recently came across http://robo.li/, a PHP task runner...


Task runner, what the heck is that?


Then I found two JavaScript task runners: http://gulpjs.com/ and https://gruntjs.com/.


The purpose of all three appear to be to automate repetitive tasks.


At first I thought that Gulp and Grunt were client based and Robo was server based, but now believe they are all server based.  Agree?


I am still struggling to see the value of a task runner.  Can anyone help provide examples and/or reasons why one would want to use one?





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They are not really client or server based, they are just development tools.


For example I use gulp to combine and minify JS/CSS files and copy over libraries when preparing a site/app for release.


You could consider them as being similar to make and Makefile's from the C/C++ world.

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