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Free Tool: Minify Text Files on the Fly with Chirpy

The faster you download your Web application's various text files (.CSS, .js), the faster your page appears to your users. One of the best things you can do is minify those files: remove whitespaces, tabs, meaningful names, and everything else that makes code easier for human beings to read. If you've upgraded to ASP.NET 4.5, you can use its bundling features. But if you haven't upgraded, minifying your files is a pain -- unless you have Chirpy.

Chirpy is a free Visual Studio add-in that you can download  and install to Visual Studio. With Chirpy installed, your JavaScript files will be minimized whenever you save them. All you have to do is to assign your file a new extension.

For instance, giving your file the extension .gct.js will cause your file to be minimized using the Google Closure Tools. The minimized version of your file appears as a "code behind file" in Solution Explorer. Similarly, changing the file extension on your CSS files will cause them to be automatically minimized.

There's more: Chirpy will also translate DotLess CSS files into plain old CSS files (and then minify them). If you're willing to work with Chirpy's config file, Chirpy will also combine files to reduce the number of files you need to download. It's cheaper and easier than upgrading to ASP.NET 4.5.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 05/29/2013 at 1:16 PM

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