Make is old, but still pretty relevant. Maybe some peoples' avoidances come from the association with autotools and the complexities involved in building portable C programs. Using make to manage something like a front-end codebase, which doesn't suffer that family of complexity, is pretty straightforward and kinda enjoyable.
I decided to switch to Grunt, though, to enable Windows developers to build my projects. This decision stems from the fact that Node does not run in Cygwin in Windows, so we weren't getting Windows build support 'for free'. The Grunt build files are much much more verbose, but I know that they work cross-platform as I no longer rely on CLI tools that may not be present, or may have different flags between the BSD and GNU variants.
If you don't care about Windows developer support, though, make is definitely worth investigating.
Also, I never said the Windows developers were 'okay' with Cygwin... just that it wouldn't solve the problem. ;)
And yet there are still requests on this project to switch over to grunt or gulp. I just do not get it in most cases. Big tools when not required create a sort of open source equivalent to "vendor lock in".
You might prefer to write your builds in Node because you write your app in Node as well. Your team might not know bash.
I think having options are healthy, as long as you pick the most reasonable one for your use case.
This is a good point. In the example I linked to, I am actually planning on switching it over to node specifically for windows users. The reason I have not yet is that I handle all the builds so it has not really come up.
"name": "hi there",
"gulp": "gulp build --require coffee-script",
Its called bild. So you can check that out on npm if you want.
Anyway I think using regular node scripts, maybe with a module like shelljs, would also be a decent solution.
Does git-bash run normal bash scripts OK in Windows?