Javascript Combiner/Builder

Apr 2010

Javascript Combiner/Builder

comment icon0 comment(s) |

We're at the point of trying to optimize LANDBOSS, and one of our first tasks was to combine our multitude of javascript files into a single one.  Many browsers do not handle a large amount of requests on a page load gracefully, and it can become a major bottleneck.  The problem we ran into was:

  • Javascript code can be difficult to maintain simply due to what the language encourages, developing in a single file would make a large application almost impossible to work with
  • Using multiple javascript files causes many HTTP requests on page load
  • Tools to combine multiple javascript files into a single one were all lacking

On the 3rd item I suppose I should explain what I mean by "lacking."  I tried out a couple tools already available to combine/build a single javascript file, but each tool exhibited one or more of the following:

  • Required a list of every single file to combine (meaning if you added a file you had to remember to update your list)
  • Was not able to place certain dependancy files before the files that used them
  • Was generally buggy and unreliable

So, to remedy this the LANDBOSS team and I decided to make our own.  And so the "InterWorks JS Build" program was wrought in the dimmly lit cubicle-forge of Runak'Dur.  It's a terribly named, but rather useful program.  It's a command-line (read: automatable) .NET executable that uses a simple XML project file to include/exclude specific files or entire directories in the order you specify.  It also uses the YUI Compressor for .NET to minify the results.  All the guts are in a separate dll in case you want to put a spiffy GUI on top of it or something.  We've integrated this application into 2 of our projects already with smashing success, and encourage you to try it on your own projects.  You can find a download link below, and the readme file documents how to make the XML file and run the program.  Enjoy!

InterWorks.JSBuild.zip201.92 KB

Subscribe to our Networks

Popular Tags by Blake

IW on Facebook