Local Task Mode

Some features are ongoing experiments and not part of the supported feature set, this section will call them out.

Local Task Mode

While it’s nice to have a formal machine-wide command that behaves like a normal Unix CLI command I found I would like to use this same framework to build project specific helpers.

Version Hint

This is available since version 0.6.2 and GA since 0.9.0.

Imagine you have a development project and have utility commands to update dependencies, serve the documentation in preview mode, run tests or build custom binaries. This is a lot of different commands and tools to learn, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single command you can run in any of your projects to get a project specific custom app?

$ abt
usage: abt [<flags>] <command> [<args> ...]

App Builder Task

Help: https://choria-io.github.io/appbuilder

  help [<command>...]
    update [<flags>]
  test [<dir>]
    serve [<flags>]
    binary [<flags>]

Here I run abt in this project directory, if I ran it elsewhere or in my home directory I would get a different command.

This isn’t targeting general build pipelines but rather a way to make per project/directory utilities.

The full capabilities of the core App Builder definitions are available, the only thing that really change is how definitions and configurations are found.

App Definition Locations

The abt command will search from the current directory upward until it finds one of these files:

  • ABTaskFile.dist.yaml
  • ABTaskFile.dist.yml
  • ABTaskFile.yaml
  • ABTaskFile.yml
  • ABTaskFile

In this manner a project can ship a default task file and users can provide local overrides.

It’s common that a task file will want to run something in a known directory relative to its location, to facilitate this the exec command has some new template behaviors that can be used with the new dir property to achieve this regardless of the working directory the user is in.

  • {{ UserWorkingDir }} - the directory the user ran the command in
  • {{ AppDir }} or {{ TaskDir }} - the directory the task file is located in

An example can be found in the source repository for this project.


Configuration is looked for in the local directory in the .abtenv file. At present this is not searched for in parent directories.