Simple makefile to minify CSS and JS

I recently needed a quick and easy way to minify CSS and JS for the new YUI Library website (launching soon!). In the past I’ve written powerful and complicated tools for doing static asset management and minification, but this time I wanted something simple.

A good old-fashioned makefile turned out to be the perfect tool for the job. Here’s what I came up with. Feel free to use it in your own projects. This version requires the YUI Compressor, but that can easily be replaced with Closure Compiler, Uglify, or any other tool of your choice.

# Patterns matching CSS files that should be minified. Files with a -min.css
# suffix will be ignored.
CSS_FILES = $(filter-out %-min.css,$(wildcard \
	public/css/*.css \
	public/css/**/*.css \

# Patterns matching JS files that should be minified. Files with a -min.js
# suffix will be ignored.
JS_FILES = $(filter-out %-min.js,$(wildcard \
	public/js/*.js \
	public/js/**/*.js \

# Command to run to execute the YUI Compressor.
YUI_COMPRESSOR = java -jar yuicompressor-2.4.6.jar

# Flags to pass to the YUI Compressor for both CSS and JS.
YUI_COMPRESSOR_FLAGS = --charset utf-8 --verbose

CSS_MINIFIED = $(CSS_FILES:.css=-min.css)
JS_MINIFIED = $(JS_FILES:.js=-min.js)

# target: minify - Minifies CSS and JS.
minify: minify-css minify-js

# target: minify-css - Minifies CSS.
minify-css: $(CSS_FILES) $(CSS_MINIFIED)

# target: minify-js - Minifies JS.
minify-js: $(JS_FILES) $(JS_MINIFIED)

%-min.css: %.css
	@echo '==> Minifying $<'

%-min.js: %.js
	@echo '==> Minifying $<'

# target: clean - Removes minified CSS and JS files.

# target: help - Displays help.
	@egrep "^# target:" Makefile

To use this, save it as a makefile, customize it as necessary, and then run make minify to minify your .js and .css files. Minified files will be saved with a -min suffix alongside the originals. Only files that have changed since the last time you minified them will be processed.

This file is also available as a gist if you’d like to fork it and improve it. Enjoy!