Gulp is a tool that helps you out with several tasks when it comes to web development. It’s often used to do front end tasks like: Spinning up a web server. Reloading the browser automatically whenever a file is saved
Gulp.js 3.x has been the default for around half a decade. Until recently,
npm install gulp would have installed 3.9.1 — the version referenced in the tutorials above.
Gulp.js 4.0 has been available throughout that time, but had to be explicitly installed with
npm install gulp@next. This was partly owing to ongoing development and because Gulp.js 4
gulpfile.js configuration files are not compatible with those developed for version 3.
The task system was rewritten from the ground-up, allowing task composition using series() and parallel() methods
The watcher was updated, now using chokidar (no more need for gulp-watch!), with feature parity to our task system
First-class support was added for incremental builds using lastRun()
A symlink() method was exposed to create symlinks instead of copying files
Built-in support for sourcemaps was added — the gulp-sourcemaps plugin is no longer necessary!
Task registration of exported functions — using node or ES exports — is now recommended
Custom registries were designed, allowing for shared tasks or augmented functionality
Stream implementations were improved, allowing for better conditional and phased builds