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A simple build system written in Dart. Tasks are declared in a regular Dart file.

Dartle #

Dartle CI pub package

A simple build system (or task runner, really) written in Dart.

Dartle is designed to integrate well with pub and Dart's own build system, but help with automation tasks not covered by other tools.

It is inspired by Gradle and, loosely, Make.

How to use #

Add dartle to your dev_dependencies:



Write a dartle build file


import 'package:dartle/dartle.dart';

final allTasks = [
  Task(hello, argsValidator: const ArgsCount.range(min: 0, max: 1)),
  Task(bye, dependsOn: const {'hello'}),

main(List<String> args) async =>
    run(args, tasks: allTasks.toSet(), defaultTasks: {allTasks[0]});

/// To pass an argument to a task, use a ':' prefix, e.g.:
/// dartle hello :joe
hello(List<String> args) =>
    print("Hello ${args.isEmpty ? 'World' : args[0]}!");

/// If no arguments are expected, use `_` as the function parameter.
bye(_) => print("Bye!");

clean(_) => deleteOutputs(allTasks);

Run your build!

In dev mode (while you're setting up your build), use dart to run the build file directly:

dart dartle.dart

Notice that all dev_dependencies can be used in your build! And all Dart tools work with it, including the Observatory and debugger, after all this is just plain Dart!

Once you're done with the basics of your build, compile it to a native executable called dartlex (the name is important for Dartle to detect when it's running in native mode - it's short for "Dartle executable"):

dart compile exe dartle.dart -o dartlex

Alternatively, you can install the dartle command with pub global activate dartle and then just run dartle on your project root directory. That will run the build and compile dartlex for you automatically.

Now, run your build with ./dartlex instead:


dartlex automatically re-compiles itself if the dartle.dart script or the pubsec file is changed, so you don't need to remember to re-compile it!

Selecting tasks #

In the examples above, the defaultTasks ran because no argument was provided to Dartle.

To run specific task(s), give them as arguments when invoking dartle:

./dartlex hello bye


2020-02-06 20:53:26.917795 - dartle[main] - INFO - Executing 2 tasks out of a total of 4 tasks: 2 tasks selected, 0 due to dependencies
2020-02-06 20:53:26.918155 - dartle[main] - INFO - Running task 'hello'
Hello World!
2020-02-06 20:53:26.918440 - dartle[main] - INFO - Running task 'bye'
✔ Build succeeded in 3 ms

Notice that the dartle executable will cache resources to make builds run faster. It uses the .dartle_tool/ directory, in the working directory, to manage the cache. You should not commit the .dartle_tool/ directory into source control.

To provide arguments to a task, provide the argument immediately following the task invocation, prefixing it with ::

./dartlex hello :Joe


2020-02-06 20:55:00.502056 - dartle[main] - INFO - Executing 1 task out of a total of 4 tasks: 1 task selected, 0 due to dependencies
2020-02-06 20:55:00.502270 - dartle[main] - INFO - Running task 'hello'
Hello Joe!
✔ Build succeeded in 1 ms

Declaring tasks #

The preferred way to declare a task is by wrapping a top-level function, as shown in the example above.


import 'package:dartle/dartle.dart';

final allTasks = {Task(hello)};

main(List<String> args) async => run(args, tasks: allTasks);

hello(_) => print("Hello Dartle!");

This allows the task to run in parallel with other tasks on different Isolates (potentially on different CPU cores).

If that's not important, a lambda can be used, but in such case the task's name must be provided explicitly (because lambdas have no name):

import 'package:dartle/dartle.dart';

final allTasks = {Task((_) => print("Hello Dartle!"), name: 'hello')};

main(List<String> args) async => run(args, tasks: allTasks);

A Task's function should only take arguments if it declares an ArgsValidator, as shown in the example:

Task(hello, argsValidator: const ArgsCount.range(min: 0, max: 1))


hello(List<String> args) => ...

A Task will not be executed if its argsValidator is not satisfied (Dartle will fail the build if that happens).

Task dependencies and run conditions #

A Task can depend on other task(s), so that whenever it runs, its dependencies also run (as long as they are not up-to-date).

In the example above, the bye task depends on the hello task:

Task(bye, dependsOn: const {'hello'})

This means that whenever bye runs, hello runs first.

Notice that tasks that have no dependencies between themselves can run at the same time - either on the same Isolate or in separate Isolates (use the -p flag to indicate that tasks may run in different Isolates when possible, i.e. when their action is a top-level function and there's no dependencies with the other tasks).

A task may be skipped if it's up-to-date according to its RunCondition. The example Dart file demonstrates that:

  description: 'Encodes input.txt in base64, writing to output.txt',
  runCondition: RunOnChanges(
    inputs: file('input.txt'),
    outputs: file('output.txt'),

The above task only runs if at least one of these conditions is true:

  • output.txt does not yet exist.
  • either input.txt or output.txt changed since last time this task ran.
  • the -f or --force-tasks flag is used.

If a RunCondition is not provided, the task is always considered out-of-date.

To force all tasks to run, use the -z or --reset-cache flag.

Help #

For more help, run dartle -h. Proper documentation is going to be available soon!

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A simple build system written in Dart. Tasks are declared in a regular Dart file.

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actors, args, clock, collection, crypto, file, io, logging, meta, path, test_report_parser


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