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Grunt has a core file selection abstraction. Adding mtime source/destination checks and removing files from the list as needed should let them add this without issue. When I looked at the file internals for a bug I encountered I didn't see why it wasn't added but I was/am in the middle of a different project so I didn't take the time to figure out why.

The lack is not a great reason to write yet another build system.

If it doesn't already have an source/destination check than it doesn't seem correct to call it a build tool. Or at least not a mature one.

I'd agree. It's more like a composable set of shell scripts at the moment. How things fit together differs quite a bit from other build systems I've used (make, rake, ant) and after a significant amount of cursing, I've come around to it.

I believe the lack of conditional execution as a result of the kind of tasks javascript programmers encounter. I'm currently building a 125k sloc js app and the most expensive step (minification) takes less time than firing up the jvm on my machine and a clean build is 4s total. There are potentially more expensive things a build system could do but I think that's fairly representative and can see how saving a second or two off a build wouldn't be a priority.

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