Skip to main content

Command line tool for minification of css and javascript files

Project description


Shrink is a command for concatenating and compressing css stylesheets and javascript files making them smaller. Shrinking (or minifying) these files reduces the number of request that are made after a page load and also the size of these requests.

This command depends on YUI Compressor for compression, and runs with Python 2.5 and above, including Python 3.


Shrink can be easily installed from pypi by running:

$ pip install shrink

After install is good to display script information and options:

$ shrink -h

Config file

INI style files are used to know which files will be minified, set some global options and also to know which files will be joined before minification.

A good starting point to get familiar with Shrink config file format is to read the example shrink config file. To create an example file run:

$ shrink --example-cfg

This command creates a file called example_shrink.cfg in current folder.

Config file format

Config file has a section for each individual file that can be generated, and on top it also has a special section called DEFAULT where global options are defined.

Global DEFAULT options:

  • base_dir defines a base directory used as prefix to find static files. This value can be referenced in any other section using the python variable notation %(base_dir)s.

  • hash_dir defines a folder where shrink.sha1 file is stored. See Shrink hash file for more info. By default, this file is stored in the same folder where shrink config file is located.

  • arg.* defines default values for some command line argumens. Supported arguments are arg.java_bin and arg.yui_jar. The values given here are overriden by the ones given during runtime as command line arguments.

Each file section has some options that are used during join, compression and hashing of a file. These file section options are:

  • source_directory value defines the folder where file(s) listed in source_files are located.

  • source_files value can be a single file name, or a list of file names. When a list of names is given, each file in list is concatenated (from top to down) into a single file before compression.

  • destination_directory value sets output directory for the minified file By default minified file is generated in source directory.

  • destination_file value is the name for the minified file.

  • hash is a boolean value. When it is true destination file is included during shrink hash generation. See Shrink hash file.

  • compress is a boolean value. Destination file is not compressed when this value is false. By default compression is done for destination files. This option is useful when is desirable to join many files without compressing them because they are already compressed.

For example, a section for minifying a file called sample-file.js could be written as:

source_directory = %(base_dir)s/js
destination_file = sample-file.min.js
source_files = sample-file.js

Final minified file name would be sample-file.min.js.

Many files can also be specified to be joined into a single file before compression by writing a section like:

source_directory = %(base_dir)s/css
destination_file = sample-multiple-file.min.css
source_files =

Generated file name is given by destination_file value.

Minimize css and js files

To minify all files, run:

$ shrink -f example_shrink.cfg all

This will use yuicompressor.jar and the example_shrink.cfg file in current directory to compress all files.

In case that minification is not desired for all files, is also possible to minify individual files, or a group of files (See Section groups), by using the name(s) of each section instead of all as argument.

To list available sections, run:

$ shrink -f example_shrink.cfg -l

Section groups

Instead of running script with sample-single-file-js and sample-multiple-file-css as arguments is possible to define a group like:

group =

And then run minifier script with sample-group as the only parameter.

Shrink hash file

After minification Shrink can create a file containing a SHA1 hash. The file is created when at least one section in config file has hash = true. Hash is created using the contents of all destination files in these sections.

This is useful to know when some files changed, and to reload static css and javascript files without using a timestamp or version number. Sometime can be desirable to reload modified static files without increasing application version. In these cases the hash can be used as request parameter instead of version number.

Deployment notes

It can happen your application stop working or have unespected results when it is deployed with minified css and javascript files. Many times some of these problems are is easy avoid by having present the following notes during shrink.cfg setup:

  • The order of the source files in each config section must be the same as the one in your HTML templates.

  • CSS files normally contains URLs which are relative to the location of the file where they are declared. So for these cases the location for destination file must be the same as the one for source files. Some javascript files might define some path or URL that might also be relative to a file location.

  • Check that all files wich are NOT minified are being included in your HTML template.


1.1.1 - 2012-09-21

  • Setup argument use_2to3 is now enabled only for python 3 series

  • Added Deployment notes to README file

  • Added read permissions to generated files for group and others

1.1.0 - 2012-07-31

  • Added python 3 support

  • Updated documentation

  • Added initial files for unit testing

1.0.1 - 2012-07-19

  • Added –hash-dir argument to allow changing hash file dir during runtime

  • Added compress INI file option to avoid compressing destination file

  • Added –example-cfg argument to create an example_shrink.cfg file in current folder

1.0.0 - 2012-07-11

  • Added –version argument

  • Added SHA1 hashing support (hash = true in any file section)

  • Added –hash-all argument to generae SHA1 hash using all files contents

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

shrink-1.1.1.tar.gz (14.5 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Source

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page