YUI Compressor

One of the things I love about programming is that you are always learning new things. You have to learn new things to keep up.

One of the benefits of using the Plotr Javascript library for the language popularity stats I did is that instead of having to download separate images for each statistic, a user just fetches the library once and then a few small bits of data for each chart, which is probably a net savings, especially when I start to add more statistics. However, Plotr, plus its various supporting libraries, is fairly hefty, so I needed to find a way to compress it. One of the helpful people on the freenode IRC network’s #javascript channel pointed me at Yahoo’s YUI Compressor, which is a nicely done project that squeezes quite a bit out of Javascript files. I would recommend it to anyone else who needs to pare down their production JS files to the bare minimum. Best of all, it’s available under a very liberal open source license!

Incidentally, over the course of the language stats project, I was surprised at how much helpful stuff Yahoo provides, first and foremost, a real API for their search engine, something that Google no longer has. Hopefully, it’s a sign of better things to come for them (if for no other reason than to keep Google on their toes!).

By the way, for those interested in the language stats project, I set up a forum with RSS feeds, where I will be posting updates, and accepting suggestions for further improvements.

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