Use NPM or Github


Truck has an NPM module that you can install and use to make new Truck apps quickly.

Install NPM Module

To install the NPM module on Mac OS X, you'll need to run it with sudo. This will require you to provide your password to complete the installation:

sudo npm install truckjs -g

For Windows or Linux run:

npm install truckjs -g


  • name or n The name for your app. This is required. This will create a folder with this name, and, depending on the type of app, may also update app info to display it.
  • path or p The path where you want your project to be. If none is provided, it will be output to your desktop in a folder with your project's name.
  • os or o The operating system you wish to target. If none is provided it defaults to iOS. The expected values are: "ios", "android", "windows".
  • type or t The type of app that will be created. The default is a page with a simple list, no specific functionality. You can choose any of the following types: "navigation": a dynamic navigation list, "tabbar": a tabbar interface, "slideout": a dynamic slideout menu system.

When using names or paths that have spaces, you will need to quote those to get the correct result.


// Create a simple Android app in 
// the folder Fruits in ~/Documents/Dev:
truckjs --name Fruits --path ~/Documents/Dev/ --os android 

// or create iOS tabbar interface in Fruits on the desktop:
truckjs --name Fruits --os ios --type tabbar

// or create a slide out menu for Windows Phone in 
// Fruits on the desktop:
truckjs --name Fruits --os windows --type slideout

You can also use shortened versions of the command flags: n for name, p for path, o for os, and t for type. When using these, you can also use just a single hyphen:

// Create a simple Android app 
// in the folder Fruits in ~/Documents/Dev:
truckjs -n Fruits -p ~/Documents/Dev/ -o android 

// or create iOS tabbar interface in Fruits on the desktop:
truckjs -n Fruits -o ios -t tabbar

// or create a slide out menu for Windows Phone in 
// Fruits on the desktop:
truckjs -n Fruits -o windows -t slideout

Browserify, Babelify & LiveReload

You can also create a Browserify project with Livereload and Babelify. This allows you to write your app's code using ES6 that gets transpiled to ES5. We use this so you can take advantage of ES6 template literals when defining your app's views. You can also use comprehensions, classes and arrow functions in your code if you want to. To build your project with these features, just use the --browserify or -b flags with your command:

truckjs -n Fruits -o windows -t slideout --browserify

// or
truckjs -n Fruits -o windows -t slideout -b

This will create the following directory structure:

- data
- dev
- dist
- images

After creating your app, cd to the folder and run:

npm install

App.js, The Core of Your App

The dev folder holds a file called app.js. This is the development version of your app's JavaScript. Because this project also has Babelify. When you run a build or serve command, this file gets transpiled to ES5.

When the install is done, you have two options. You can run a build script or a server script. When you run the build script, it take the app.js file and converts it to valid ES5 an outputs it to the dist folder. Your index.html references it from the dist folder. When you run the server script, it first runs the build script and then starts up a server instance and opens your default browser. You can change which browser it opens by editing the browserSynch browser property in the gulpfile. Currently it is commented out:

// ,browser: ['chrome']

Uncomment it and put whatever browser you want to use (Chrome, IE, Edge, Safari, Firefox).

To build your project, run the following command in your project folder:

gulp build

To run a server instance with your project, run:

gulp server
// or just:

This will first build the project, then start up a server instance and load your project in your defaut browser. This also starts up a watch task for your index.html, app.js and data files. As soon as you edit any of these, your app will automatically reload in the browser without you needing to reload it yourself. Please be aware that if you do something that throws an exception in either the browser or the server instance, you will need to run the server command again. Sometimes when an error is throw, the server stays alive but can't respond. In that case, hold the command key and hit the C key. This will abort the server, allowing you to restart it.

Using Template Literals

Because this setup is using Babelify, you can use ES6 code styles in your app.js file. By default all templates in the app.js use ES6 template literals. These simplify how to write view templates. Just enclose the template between an opening and closing back tick, no need to escape new lines or quotes:

var MusicView = $.View({
  element: '#musicList',
  variable: "song",
  // Use template literal:
    <img src='{= song.image }'>
      <h3>{= song.title }</h3>
      <h4>{= song.album }</h4>
      <p>{= song.description }</p>

Project Structure

  • data
  • dev

The folder data holds the data that the project uses. For navigation, slideout and tabbar, the app.js file uses the fetch API to get the json data in the data folder. Once this data is retrieved, app.js renders the views.

While developing your app, you'll work on the app.js file in the dev folder. When you build or run the server, the task transpiles app.js into standard ES5 and places in the dist folder. The index.html file references app.js in dist.


If you want to enable editing of other files to trigger a reload, you'll need to watch them as well. You might do this, for example, with a separate CSS file, or with an images folder. To add a new watch, open the gulpfile.js and add a watch command towards the end of the file like this:'images/*.*', ['default']);


If for some reason your path isn't working, check that you are using the correct path delimiters for your platform (Mac or Windows). Check to see if a name in the path has a space. If it has any spaces, enclose the path in quotes, single or double.

If you are trying to create an app for Android or Windows and you keep getting iOS, check the os flag. It needs two hyphens: truckjs --os android, or truckjs --os windos. Similarly, if you are using the single letter flags, it should be: truckjs -o android, or truckjs -o windows.

If after running a command you get this error:

throw new TypeError('Arguments to path.join must be strings');

Check your hyphens. You're missing a double hyphen for an argument that needs them somewhere. Only single letter flags can use one hyphen. Two hyphens are required in all other cases.

Troubleshootng Babelify, etc.

If you are having trouble installing the Babelify module, this is probably due to node-gyp. Please read the installation requirements in their documentation for this module dependency.


You can get the source and code ready to build with from Github. When you download the source code from Github, everything you need to get going is in the folder "dist". You do not need to run a build script. Also the source code includes a folder called "examples". In it you will find working examples of layouts and widgets that Truck provides.

If you need to, you can build a specialized version of TruckJS. To do so, you first need to run npm install on the folder with the source code:

npm install

If you're on a Mac, you'll need to prefix that with sudo and enter you password.

Build Options

If you just run gulp this will build the default.

There are four build options:

  1. The complete package
  2. Just the selector engine
  3. Just the MVC components
  4. Everyting except the selector engine
  5. Minimum build
  6. Custom build - you pick what you want

These cover four uses cases:

  1. You want the complete package.

    run: gulp

  2. You just want a small and future-facing DOM library as an alternative to jQuery.

    run gulp --wheels

  3. You don't care about the widgets, etc. You just want the MVC parts. You'll be using this with jQuery. You might want to make a desktop web app instead of mobile.

    run: gulp --mvc

  4. You'd rather use jQuery because, well, we're not really sure why. But you can. This needs jQuery to make the other parts work.

    run gulp --engine

In fact, you can load jQuery before loading the default build of jQuery and Truck will use jQuery instead of its own DOM library.

Minimum and Custom Builds

You can create a minimum build of TruckJS. This gives you the DOM library, the MVC framework and the basics for a navigation app. The resulting minified file is just over 70kb, compared to 180kb for the complete build of JavaScript files. To create a minimum build, just run the following gulp task:

gulp --minimum

The files incluced in the minimum build are:

Truck Wheels Components

  • domstack.js
  • selectors.js
  • utils.js
  • types.js
  • strings.js
  • domstack.js
  • dom.js
  • data.js
  • serialize.js
  • events.js

Truck Engine Components

  • environment.js
  • event-aliases.js
  • gestures.js
  • plugins.js
  • stack.js
  • mediator.js
  • model.js
  • view.js
  • component.js
  • screens.js
  • router.js

Truck Body Components

  • navbar.js
  • setup.js
  • buttons.js
  • navigation.js
  • center.js


To add new features, you use the minimum flag with the extras flag and put the features you want after the extras flag in quotes with a space separating the terms:

gulp --minimum --extras 'select switch range popup'
// or
gulp --minimum --extras 'fetch box edititable slideout form'

Please Note When you add either fetch or box to your build, promises will autmomatically be included as a dependency. No need to add them unless you want promises without fetch or box. Similarly, if you include activityIndicator, popup or popover, the block module will be included automatically. Also if you add form then validators will be included.

Below is the complete list of modules you can add to your custom build:

  • promises
  • fetch
  • validators
  • box
  • anim
  • oop
  • tabbar
  • slideout
  • editable
  • form
  • select
  • multiselect
  • switch
  • popup
  • popover
  • segmented
  • range
  • sheets
  • paging
  • stepper
  • busy or activityIndicator