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Live reload integration

For most JavaScript dependencies, installing them in your Ember app can be as quick as npm install <some package name>. However, there are some libraries within the JavaScript ecosystem that have additional tooling that needs to integrate with Ember's live-reload features for the best developer-experience. In this guide, you will learn how to install and configure libraries to integrate with Ember's live-reload.

In short, any tool that can output or change files automatically can be used to add live-reload behavior.

The process is:

  • emit some file to either the public or app tree
  • link or import the file from existing ember code


An example of this behavior and integration can be shown with a CSS authoring tool, Tailwind.

Tailwind is a popular way to use utility-first CSS classes in an app. It can be used within many frontend frameworks, including Ember.

To use Tailwind JIT with Ember, this guide follows the Tailwind Getting Started guide, with some minor tweaks to file names and their locations.

To get started, install the following dependencies:

npm install tailwindcss

Then, from your project's root directory, add the following files:

  • tailwind.config.js

    'use strict';
    module.exports = {
    content: [`./app/**/*.{html,js,ts,hbs}`],
    theme: {
      extend: {  },
    plugins: [],
  • tailwind-input.css

    @tailwind base;
    @tailwind components;
    @tailwind utilities;

Now we need to add some scripts to the package.json to make interacting with the tailwind CLI a little easier.

+ "tailwind:build": "npx tailwindcss -i ./tailwind-input.css -o ./public/assets/tailwind.css --minify",
+ "tailwind:watch": "npx tailwindcss -i ./tailwind-input.css -o ./public/assets/tailwind.css --watch",
+ "build": "npm run tailwind:build && ember build --environment=production",
- "build": "ember build --environment=production",

In addition to the two new scripts, tailwind:build and tailwind:watch, the build script, which was preexisting for production builds, has been prefixed with a call to tailwind:build so that the tailwind assets are prepped for shipping to production (useful for C.I.)

The above scripts expect that an input file, ./tailwind-input.css will exist, and the tailwind CLI will output the compiled styles at public/assets/tailwind.css. Since this tailwind.css output file is in the public folder, changes to it will cause the ember s command to rebuild.

A couple notes though:

  • npm run tailwind:watch must be run in a separate terminal for development
  • it may be beneficial to add public/assets/tailwind.css to the .gitignore

Lastly, we need to edit the app/index.html file to include the tailwind.css file:

<link integrity="" rel="stylesheet" href="{{rootURL}}assets/tailwind.css">

With these things in place, you'll be able to use all of Tailwind's capabilities, including JIT compilation.