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Why Pinion?

We have maintained CLI tooling for large internal projects and well-used open-source projects for many years. During that time, we tried all of the generators, looking for a flexible option to handle both internal projects and npm-published CLIs.

Since a tool that covered all our requirements did not exist, we built Pinion to be

  • Typesafe - Generators and templates should be typesafe. Type safety helps avoid runtime errors.
  • Functional - A generator should just be a function that performs its steps and returns with the information from those steps. This approach keeps everything robust yet flexible. It's React, but for generating code.
  • Scalable - Generator logic and templates should be kept together but flexible enough to organize in a way that best suits your needs. Get started with a single file and scale as your project grows.
  • Flexible - Start with Pinions small API and go from there. By using just plain TypeScript you get full flexibility over what your generators can do.
  • Composable - Calling another generator is just calling another function. This makes them testable, composable and reusable.
  • Fast - Generators can be pre-compiled to ship e.g. as an npm package or your project's CLI tool. Pre-compiling templates means there's no interpreting templates at runtime or loading additional libraries. Only what you import into your generators will be loaded.

Below is a short and somewhat biased comparison between Pinion, PlopJS, Yeoman and Hygen:

Template LanguageTypeScriptHandlebarsHandlebars, EJS, JadeEJS
PatternFunctionalImperativeObject OrientedYaml/EJS
Local templates