Minimus: The OS X JavaScript and CSS Minifier

Users like fast websites. That’s one of the universal rules of web development. To attain faster speeds, it’s common to use a process known as “minification” to compress the file size of JavaScript and CSS. Yahoo developed one of the most commonly-used tools for this, a command line program called the YUI Compressor. This open source project has become integrated into many other tools, including numerous websites that will minify any JavaScript or CSS you paste into a form field.

That’s rather inconvenient, though. Wouldn’t it be easier if you had a nice OS X application that would let you minify your code right from your Mac? Enter Minimus, the app I just finished.

Minimus is a handy GUI frontend for the YUI Compressor. All you have to do is drag one or more files onto the dock icon, hit a button, and in seconds you will have minified copies.

It’s a free download, but if you like it, feel free to send me $5 or so with the in-app PayPal form. ;)

  • Michael Martin

    Very cool idea for an app! Anything to make minifying is quicker and simpler is a great product!

    Will be trying it out now! Do you have any plans to submit to the Mac App Store btw? What are your thoughts on it? :)

    • Matt

      I’ve been thinking about putting it in the App Store, but I’d have to pay another $99/year for the Mac developer program (on top of the $99 for the iPhone one), so I don’t know if I’ll do it right away. I’ll probably do it sometime, but I’m going to hold off for a bit.

      I also want to wait and see how things shake out with Lion. It’s not going to have the Java runtime included on a fresh install, and the user will have to install it themselves. (Minimus has a Java dependency in that it’s basically a wrapper for YUI Compressor.) I want to see how that gets handled, especially among applications in the Mac App Store.

      Minimus has an updater built-in though, so I can push software updates to it even without the App Store in the meantime.

      • Michael Martin

        Ah, I didn’t think of the fee. I agree, that’s kind of expensive for something you’ve developed for free and can share here anyway.

        I didn’t realize Java was being removed until I got the popup after updating Lion. To be honest though, it wasn’t much of an issue. I just hit install and OS X took care of the rest.

        Your updated worked a charm too! Whole thing has been very painless, which not all new apps can say!

        • Matt

          My idea was to maybe sell it for $4.99 or so on the App Store and keep it free here or something. That way people just browsing the store would make me some money, while people who know about the site could get it for free. But that would mean having to maintain two versions of the app, one with the Sparkle updater framework and one without…

          So you got a Java installer screen not long after installing Lion? (I’m not sure if Apple plain isn’t bundling Java, or if they’re just expecting Sun/whoever-owns-Java-now to develop the Mac JVM, which is then bundled?)

          • Michael Martin

            That’s an interesting approach. Would it violate App Store TOS though? I can imagine a few annoyed people if they purchased the app and then found later that it’s free.

            $4.99 definitely isn’t much to pay for a useful app. But the jump from free to paid can make people very emotional online, regardless of how small the amount is.

            Only way to find out is to try I suppose. :D

          • Matt

            I don’t know, but apparently Java-based apps are banned from the App Store entirely. I assume a Cocoa app that leans on a Java command-line utility would fall under that umbrella.

            I’d have to find an Objective-C minifier class or…gasp…port the YUI one myself. I’m not too keen on that idea. :)

  • Michael Martin

    Sorry for the double-comment here, but just a thought; are there any plans to have somewhere on the window itself to drag and drop to?

    Other than that though, it’s perfect! Really love it. The fact it automatically renames files properly and saves to the same location is great, it’s a real timesaver.

    Great job :D

  • Matt

    Glad you like it. I was sort of making it for my own purposes too, since I was working on a jQuery plugin and was doing a bit of minifying. :)

    As for dragging onto the window, it’s something I might add. It was a bit more difficult to set up than dragging to the dock, so I decided to not bother with it right away. It’s something I could add in an update, though.

    • Michael Martin

      Thank you for adding this, I think it makes a really nice addition! It may just be my workflow, but I’m just used to dragging and dropping between windows on the Mac. When I first loaded up, that’s what I tried doing until I came back and re-read the post to see what I was doing wrong.

      Impressive you got it out so quickly too! Really nice job :D

      • Matt

        Yeah, it was just some light coding I did while watching a movie. I kind of wanted to make sure the updater feature was working properly, too. (Plus, the styling on the minification queue was bothering me, so I wanted to tweak that…)

  • high replica

    download it, thanks!

  • kobak

    What is the difference between Smaller app ( ) and minimus?

    • Matt

      Minimus is free. :)

      Smaller has a few additional options, but it appears to be pretty much the same if their website is anything to go by. I haven’t used Smaller, so I can’t say 100%. We’re both using the YUI Compressor in the backend, so the output should be the same.

      • kobak

        Thanks, I got Smaller for free in exchange for a review on my blog. :) But, I’ll advise to use minimus for those, who don’t want to pay for Smaller.

  • Ray

    Hi Matt, I like the app and I guess it deserves a better icon. I’d love to help if you’re going to keep it free.

    There is another one, similar and free: Only difference is it doesn’t offer the drop list.

    • Matt

      Well, it would be a bit of a hassle to try to sell the app. Its back-end Java dependency disqualifies it from the App Store (which is the easiest way to get actual sales from a small app) and I’m perfectly content with keeping it as donation-ware anyway.

      If you’d like to contribute a better icon, I could at least guarantee you that I will keep it free for as long as it’s using the icon.

  • TJ Eastmond

    Any chance you can add the functionality to combine the files also?

    • TJ Eastmond

      I’d tip for that ;)

  • Peter Do

    Yeah, download now. Thank you very much!