Labor Day came and I completely forgot that it would mean no Monday morning for writing a post. Hope you all had great beer and burgers, or whatever you were doing.
Compression is a little more than just minifying. Julien’s compressor also shortens all local variable names, resulting in significant improvements over minification alone, but without the bug-risks of obfuscation.
It’s interesting to me that his tests show that compression is actually more effective than obfuscation when the code is gzipped. I’m not enough of a gzip scholar to know why that is, but in my mind at least, it shuts packer’s Base 62 encoding out of the running. Additionally, in my (non-scientific, not statistically significant, but probably still accurate) tests, packer adds a significant amount of run-time due to the convolutions of eval and a needless large Regex. You need to have pretty big download gains in order to make it worth putting the browser through that extra work.
The CSS Compressor that I wrote doesn’t do what CSS Tidy does. There are a few steps that could be taken from CSS Tidy, like shortening
margin:1px 1px 1px 1px to just