Development workflow upgrades

Alex Tselegidis

The upcoming Easy!Appointments 1.5 release is currently under active development and soon enough the first public test packages will become available for download. Just like with any other release of the past, the goal is not only to improve the ideal scheduling experience of the end users but also make the ecosystem as developer friendly as possible and provide the best tooling without compromising simplicity.

As such, the project is currently using a collection of Gulp tasks, that take care of all the tasks needed while programming on Easy!Appointments, including vendor handling, and building and allows the developers to manage their Git clones with the use of few commands.

An important addition to this workflow is that the pre-configured Gulp tasks got updated and they now support the use of the Sass preprocessor for the application stylesheets. Sass is a preprocessor scripting language that is interpreted or compiled into Cascading Style Sheets. This means that the original styling will be made in “.scss” files that support all the new features of Sass and will be compiled by Gulp tasks to plain “.css” files browsers can read. This upgrade is important because developers will now be able to write more efficient styling that can be quickly changed and the integration with the Bootstrap framework will also be better, as the code base will be able to override core Bootstrap variables and thus result in a custom look and feel much faster.

Gulp Tasks

In addition to Sass, Babel got added to the existing toolchain so that JS files can now easily be written in the new EcmaScript code style that is still not supported by all browsers. Babel is a free and open-source JavaScript transcompiler that is mainly used to convert ECMAScript 2015+ code into a backwards compatible version of JavaScript that can be run by older JavaScript engines. JavaScript files will now be smaller and cleaner and will now use the best features of the JavaScript language.

The new development workflow is already available on GitHub and can be tested in the “develop” branch. Feedback and suggestions may be given in the community group or the Discord channel.

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