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Crunching and Obfuscation

Not to be confused with compression, crunching (or crushing or packing) is a term programmers have adopted to describe removing excess to reduce code to a minimum size. Although you can manually crunch by removing whitespace, comments, and abbreviating, automated programs are a more practical option for larger projects. There are several JavaScript crunchers available, including these:

  • JavaScript Crunchinator from BrainJar's Mike Hall (http://www.brainjar.com/js/crunch/)— Removes whitespace and comments from JavaScript files and combines literal strings.

  • ESC (ECMAScript Cruncher) from Saltstorm (http://www.saltstorm.net/depo/esc/)— This free Windows program is an ECMAScript pre-processor written in JScript. In addition to removing whitespace and comments from JavaScript, it can optionally rename variables in JavaScript. For IE5.5+ Win.

  • JSCruncher from Hoard's DOMAPI project (http://www.domapi.com/)— Based on BrainJar's specifications, this free Windows application packs CSS and JavaScript files. Requires semicolons.

  • Script Squisher by Darren Semotiuk (http://batman.getmyip.com/projects/scriptsquisher/)— This updated 5K entry squishes JavaScript by removing whitespace and comments. Does not require semicolons.

  • SpaceAgent from Insider Software, Inc. (http://www.insidersoftware.com/)— This powerful Windows/Mac web site optimizer optimizes (X)HTML, XML, JavaScript, GIFs, and JPEGs. Server version also available.

  • VSE HTML Turbo from VSE Online (http://www.vse-online.com/)— Like SpaceAgent, this Mac application optimizes (X)HTML, JavaScript, GIFs, and JPEGs.


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