Interesting JavaScript development resources.

Eli Cochran eli at media.berkeley.edu
Tue Feb 5 21:19:13 UTC 2008


I sent an email about this to Sakai-Dev recently, entitled  
"Javascript minified vs. packed (and gzipped)".

Here's what I said"

I just noticed that Sakai is using the packed version of jQuery, as  
opposed to minified. (packed JS has been run through a redundancy  
reduction algorithm but has to be run (eval) on the browser side in  
order to be instantiated, while minified simply removes redundant  
returns, whitespace and comments).

General consensus right now in the JS community is that packing was a  
great idea but in real world practice takes more time to eval than  
the time savings to download and that minified is better route,  
usually coming with in 15%, or so, of the packed version, especially  
when combined with gzip.

I've linked to one of the shorter articles on this subject (there are  
many others): http://www.ericmmartin.com/comparison-of-javascript- 
compression-methods/

I don't think that we're using gzip right now on our JS source, I  
might be wrong. It's worth looking into if folks are worried about  
making small performance increases in download times. I would suspect  
that there are a lot of other things that we could do first that  
would have a greater impact on improving the speed of Sakai.

- Eli


On Feb 5, 2008, at 12:56 PM, Jonathan Hung wrote:

> Hi everyone.
>
> I have been researching ways of minifying / packing the Fluid code  
> and came across some interesting resources in the process.
>
> CompressorRater (http://compressorrater.thruhere.net/)
> - takes your javascript source code and compresses it using the top  
> 4 JS compressors (JSMin, Dojo ShrinkSafe, Packer, and YUI  
> Compressor) and gives you a comparison of the results.
>
> YSlow (http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/)
> - a FireBug plugin that allows you to examine a website and  
> determine why it is slow. It will report "violations" like poor  
> CSS, too many HTTP requests, and un-minified JavaScript.
> - YSlow also has JSLint built in to validate your JavaScript.
>
> Ant Script to JSMinify, Compress, and JSLint (http://henke.ws/ 
> machblog/index.cfm? 
> event=showEntry&entryId=FF861D0D-188B-4E84-15F0F8C8EBBF61FD)
> - an ant script that runs JSLint, JSMin, and YUI Compressor
> - interesting that they run BOTH JSMin and YUI Compressor. YUI  
> Compressor is supposed to be "as safe as JSMin, but better  
> compression", so I wonder about the motivation for using both  
> minifiers?
>
> Just thought I'd share some of these resources. Please feel free to  
> share your own resources as well. If there's enough interest, then  
> perhaps this can make it into the Wiki.
>
> - Jonathan.
>
> -- 
> Jonathan Hung / jonathan.hung at utoronto.ca
> University of Toronto - ATRC
> Tel: (416) 946-3002
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. . . . . . . . . . .  .  .   .    .      .         .              .     
                  .

Eli Cochran
user interaction developer
ETS, UC Berkeley


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