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What is the Tree object?


During the Angular Schematics tutorial, you may have noticed that the factory function returns a Rule function. This function accepts two parameters, but our focus here is on the first one: Tree.

The Tree represents a virtual file system. It consists of a base (the set of files that already exists) and a staging area (a collection of changes to be applied to the base). When you modify files, you don’t alter the base directly; instead, you queue modifications in the staging area.

In essence, the Tree object is your toolkit for any file operations within a schematic.

What does the Tree class offer?

The Tree object provides several methods for interacting with the file system:

Reading Files

  • read: Retrieves a file from the Tree.

  • readText: Reads a file from the Tree as UTF-8 encoded text, facilitating text manipulation.

const content = tree.readText('/path/to/file');
  • readJson: Fetches and parses a JSON file from the Tree as UTF-8 encoded text. It supports JavaScript-style comments and trailing commas.
const json = tree.readJson('/path/to/file.json');

Checking Files

  • exists: Checks if a file exists within the Tree.
const doesExist = tree.exists('/path/to/file');
  • get: Retrieves file details from the Tree.
  • getDir: Accesses a directory within the Tree, useful for iterating over files or subdirectories.
const dir = tree.getDir('/path/to/directory');

Visiting Files

  • visit: Allows iteration over all files in the Tree, enabling bulk operations or analyses.
tree.visit(filePath => {

Modifying Files

  • beginUpdate: Starts an update operation on a file, used in conjunction with commitUpdate.
  • commitUpdate: Commits changes started with beginUpdate.
  • overwrite: Replaces a file’s content.
tree.overwrite('/path/to/file', 'new content');

Structural Methods

  • create: Adds a new file to the Tree.
tree.create('/path/to/new/file', 'file content');
  • delete: Removes a file from the Tree.
  • rename: Changes the name or path of a file in the Tree.
tree.rename('/old/path', '/new/path');

Advanced Operations

  • apply: Applies a set of rules to the Tree, facilitating complex transformations.
  • branch: Creates a copy of the Tree, allowing for parallel modifications.
  • merge: Combines changes from multiple Tree branches or modifications.


By leveraging these methods, developers can efficiently manipulate the project’s file system within their schematics, from simple read and write operations to more complex structural changes.