Even if you aren't doing anything that complex, if you are going to use Parcel a lot it makes sense to take some time and understand how it works.
Phases of Parcel#
At a high level Parcel runs through several phases:
The resolving and transforming phases work together in parallel to build a graph of all your assets.
The asset graph gets translated into bundles in the bundling phase. The output filename of each bundle is determined in the naming phase.
Then, the packaging, optimizing, and compressing phases work together to generate the final contents of every bundle, in parallel.
The packaging phase merges the assets in each bundle together into output files.
The optimizing phase transforms the contents of each bundle. When this is done, Parcel determines the content hashes of each bundle, which are applied to the final output filenames.
Finally, the compressing phase generates one or more encodings for each output file as they are being written to the file system.
During the resolving and transforming phases, Parcel discovers all the assets in your app or program. Every asset can have its own dependencies on other assets which Parcel will pull in.
The data structure that represents all of these assets and their dependencies on one another is called the "Asset Graph".
Once Parcel has built the entire Asset Graph, it begins turning it into "bundles". These bundles are groupings of assets that get placed together in a single file. Bundles will (generally) contain only assets in the same language.
Some assets are considered "entry" points into your app, and will stay as separate bundles. For example, if your
index.html file links to an
about.html file, they won't be merged together.
Complete List of Plugin Types#
- Transformer: Converts an asset (into another asset)
- Resolver: Turns dependency requests into absolute paths (or exclude them)
Example: add your own syntax for imports, e.g.
- Bundler: Turns an asset graph into a bundle graph
Example: create a bundler that does vendoring (splitting app and node_modules code)
- Namer: Generates a filename (or filepath) for a bundle
Example: place output bundles in a hierarchical file structure, omit hashes in bundle names
- Runtime: Programmatically inserts (synthetic) assets into bundles"
Example: add analytics to every bundle
- Packager: Turns a group of assets (bundle) into a bundle file"
Example: concatenate all input CSS files into a CSS bundle
- Optimizer: Applies modifications to the finished bundle (similar to a transformer)
Example: run a minifier or convert into a data-url for inline usage
- Compressor: Compresses or encodes bundles in one or more ways
Example: compress a bundle with Gzip
- Validator: Analyzes assets and emit warnings and errors
Example: do type-checking (TypeScript, Flow)
- Config: A reuseable '.parcelrc' package
Example: provide a tailor-made parcel config for your boilerplate
- Reporter: Listens to events of the build
Example: generate a bundle report, run a dev server