CSS Organizer and Minifier

A specification for developing a functional CSS Organization and Minification tool that can be used to manage CSS files.

Posted in on October 10, 2008

The Problem

During the development process I may have several CSS files containing all sorts of rules. These names may be based by page or the general rules contained in each file. However, in production, from both a maintainability and performance perspective, the last thing you want is several files. Ideally, you would like a single, compact CSS file for production. If usings themes, you may want more. So between development and production, you want two very different things.

The Proposed Solution

Normally, when one needs to go from a raw material to a finished products, a tool is used. In this case, I need something that can process my CSS files between development and production. Maybe it can also do some additional items during processing, like code formatting, file organization, or minification. I did not find such a tool that existed. So I have undertaken this project to develop such a tool.

With any tool there are guidelines or a practice. You wouldn’t use a chainsaw while building a dollhouse. So even though this will not fit the need, my hope is that this tool will nonetheless help.

Project Specification

I know we are all different, which makes this project near impossible. I have done the best to accommodate that into this spec. Nonetheless, with every tool there are guidelines. I mean you wouldn’t use a chainsaw while building a dollhouse. My hope is that by adopting a few industry conventions, and drawing some lines, this tool will help a maximum audience.

  • Accept CSS files
    • files can be within directories
    • ability to provide file cascade manually or automatically from convention
  • Process CSS files
    • categorize declarations into three groups: layout, typography, and style
    • output categorized CSS into repectively named files
  • Miscellaneous
    • validation
    • simple formatting options
    • simple minification options: whitespace, shorthands, duplication

In Closing

I have begun an alpha version following the above spec in Java. My goal is to create a proof of concept and use it during a project before releasing a web version on this site. However, you requests are required. So please, post comments or send me feedback directly.

Find this interesting? Continue the conversation on Twitter or in a comment.

Need more? Let's team up!

Schedule 1-on-1 coaching or hire me for your project.


comments powered by Disqus