A Gulp plugin to recursively flatten directories and concatenate the files within

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import gulpConcatFlatten from '';


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is a Gulp plugin that concatenates files based on their directory structure. Starting at a base directory of your choice, it recursively flattens out subdirectories and concatenates the files within these. Files in the base directory will get copied without concatenation.


To install gulp-concat-flatten as a development dependency, simply run:

npm install --save-dev gulp-concat-flatten


Add it to your gulpfile.js and use it like this:

const gulp      = require('gulp');
const concat    = require('gulp-concat-flatten');
const sort      = require('gulp-sort');

    .pipe(sort()) // Recommendation, see below
    .pipe(concat('path/to/assets', 'txt', {'newLine': '\n'}))

Running the shown task on a source file structure like this:

`-- to
    |-- 00_outside.txt
    `-- assets
        |-- 01_first.txt
        |-- 02_second
        |   |-- 01_second_first.txt
        |   |-- 02_second_second
        |   |   `-- second_second_first.txt
        |   `-- 03_second_third.txt
        `-- 03_third.txt

would result in:

|-- 01_first.txt
|-- 02_second.txt
`-- 03_third.txt

In detail,

  • the file path/to/00_outside.txt would be skipped as it's not contained in the base directory path/to/assets,
  • the files path/to/assets/01_first.txt and path/to/assets/03_third.txt would be copied over without concatenation,
  • the directory path/to/assets/02_second would be recursively concatenated and appended with the file extension ".txt".

Generally, I recommend sorting the source files via gulp-sort prior to piping them through concat(). This way you can reliably control their order for concatenation using file and directory names.

Dependencies / topological sorting

As of version 1.0, you can also let concat() control the resource order based on dependencies:

`-- to
    |-- .dependencies.json
    `-- assets
        |-- 01_first.txt
        |-- 02_second
        |   |-- .dependencies.json
        |   |-- 01_second_first.txt
        |   `-- 02_second_second.txt
        `-- 03_third.txt

When flattening the directory path/to/assets/02_second, concat() will read path/to/assets/02_second/.dependencies.json and build a dependency graph based on the instructions inside that file. It will also collect and merge all .dependecies.json files in parent directories. The format for .dependencies.json files is a follows:

    "*.txt": [

The example tells concat() the following:

Whenever the resulting filename of the flattened 02_second directory is going to match the glob pattern *.txt, then register the two dependencies path/to/assets/03_third.txt and path/to/another/asset for this resource . (The dependency path/to/another/asset will be ignored as no such resource exists in the example.)

Given the above file structure, concat() will result in the following resource order:

  • path/to/assets/03_third.txt: no dependency, but there is a dependent resources (02_second.txt), so this has to come before
  • path/to/assets/02_second.txt: concatenated folder; depends on 03_third.txt
  • path/to/assets/01_first.txt: no dependency, added at the end

By binding the dependency set to a glob pattern (*.txt) you can express multiple sets for different result file types (e.g. CSS and JavaScript files).


 * Concatenation by directory structure
 * @param {String} base    Base directory
 * @param {String} ext     Optional: File extension
 *                         Will be used as file extension for concatenated directories
 * @param {Object} opt     Optional: Options, defaulting to:
 *                         {
 *                             newLine: "\n" // Concatenation string, may be empty
 *                         }
concat(base, ext, opt);

NOTE that the base argument also accepts a glob pattern to match multiple base directories.


Please refer to the changelog for a complete release history.


Copyright © 2019 Joschi Kuphal / @jkphl.

gulp-concat-flatten is licensed under the terms of the MIT license.