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Concat, minify and revisioning css/js files in html template page and easily replace raw css/js references in the html template files.

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt ~0.4.1

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-applymin --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


Key idea

This is a project for the comprehensive solution to concat/minify/revisioning css/js files and easily replace raw css/js references in the html template, ideally support any dynamic web site written by Java/Python/Ruby/PHP etc.

The sample case is based on the simple, lightweight micro web-framework Bottle for Python. You could leverage the idea to other framework or Java/Ruby/PHP based web development.

Run the demo


  1. Python and NodeJs is prerequisite to run the demo
  2. Install grunt by: sudo npm install -g grunt-cli
  3. cd grunt-applymin/sample, run npm install to install project dependencies

Start demo

1. cd grunt-applymin/sample
2. python
3. visit http://localhost:8080/

Go through the demo codes in grunt-applymin/sample, it demonstrates the least system how the grunt-applymin works.

How it works

1. Use customized html comments in html template to define the css/js blocks you want to concat/minify/revisioning and their output filenames, e.g.

<!-- beginmin: {{domain_url}}/static/assets/main.lib.min.css -->
<link href="{{domain_url}}/static/css/bootstrap.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen">
<link href="{{domain_url}}/static/css/bootstrap-responsive.css" rel="stylesheet">
<!-- endmin -->

In this case, bootstrap.css and bootstrap-responsive.css are wrapped with beginmin/endmin, which means they are planned to concat/minify/revision together.
The specified static/assets/main.lib.min.css will be the output filename.

2. When your template file is ready like above, run 'grunt' to produce minified static/assets/main.lib.min.css with the revision filename e.g. 12345678.main.lib.min.css, and grunt-applymin will update html template with this revision filename automatically, for example, change:

<!-- beginmin: {{domain_url}}/static/assets/main.lib.min.css -->
<link href="{{domain_url}}/static/css/bootstrap.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen">
<link href="{{domain_url}}/static/css/bootstrap-responsive.css" rel="stylesheet">
<!-- endmin -->


<link href="{{domain_url}}/static/assets/12345678.main.lib.min.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen">

Since the change will happen on your html template, make sure you copied the html template to the "build" or "dist" folder before you run "grunt" to update html template.

3. Any time you changed raw css/js or add/remove css/js references between

<!-- beginmin: static/main.min.js -->
<!-- endmin -->

just re-run grunt to update the new revision filename in html template, the revision filename is based on file content, it should be same if nothing changed.

Run the demo and see how it works in details.

html template sample is located at grunt-applymin/sample/views/home.tpl


The underneath concat/minify/revisioning is based on the grunt plugins:

  • grunt-contrib-concat
  • grunt-contrib-uglify
  • grunt-contrib-cssmin
  • grunt-rev

And you could define a default task in Gruntfile.js like this to make them work:

grunt.registerTask('default', ['applymin:beginmin', 'concat', 'uglify', 'cssmin', 'rev', 'applymin:endmin']);

Because of the <!-- beginmin --><!-- endmin --> you added in the html template files, you don't have to manually set the src/dest/files paths for concat/uglify/cssmin/rev tasks, grunt-applymin will do it for you automatically.

Take a look at grunt-applymin/sample/Gruntfile.js to see how they work together with grunt-applymin.

The "applymin" task


In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named applymin to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig().

    applymin: {
        options: {
            staticPattern: /(static\/.*?\.(css|js))/i,
        beginmin: 'views/**/*.tpl',
        endmin: 'static/assets'



Type: RegExp Default value: /['"](.*?\.(css|js))['"]/i

A RegExp value to fetch the paths of the css/js resources in <link> or <script> html tags within <!-- beginmin --><!-- endmin --> blocks. Suppose your html template looks like below:

<!-- beginmin: static/assets/main.lib.min.css -->
<link href="static/css/bootstrap.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen">
<link href="static/css/bootstrap-responsive.css" rel="stylesheet">
<!-- endmin -->

The default value of options.staticPattern will then match this block and fetch the paths of the resources: ['static/css/bootstrap.css', 'static/css/bootstrap-responsvie.css'], this will be used to produce the output file static/assets/main.lib.min.css later, so just ensure your pattern is good enough to fetch the paths and the paths are accessable to your Gruntfile.js.

For example, in some cases, your css/js tags could contain the backend variable in it like below:

<!-- beginmin: {{domain_url}}/static/assets/main.lib.min.css -->
<link href="{{domain_url}}/static/css/bootstrap.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen">
<link href="{{domain_url}}/static/css/bootstrap-responsive.css" rel="stylesheet">
<!-- endmin -->

To fetch the actual filepath: static/css/bootstrap.css for grunt-applymin, you should then change this option to: staticPattern: /(static\/.*?\.(css|js))/i

beginmin/endmin targets

applymin: {
    options: {
        staticPattern: /(static\/.*?\.(css|js))/i
    beginmin: 'views/**/*.tpl',
    endmin: 'static/assets'


beginmin: 'views/**/*.tpl'

Specify the template files to beginmin target, in the sample above, grunt-applymin will search all the .tpl files in views folder recursively, and see if there are beginmin/endmin blocks to be handled. If you are using other template engine, you should change the appendix to *.jsp/*.php/*.mako, etc.


endmin: 'static/assets'

Specify the output path to store the minified css/js files. Since this is the folder to store minified files, you should make sure the name of the target filepath in html template should start with it. Otherwise, grunt-applymin will report warning. For example, in html template you write down:

<!-- beginmin: assets/main.lib.min.css -->
<!-- endmin -->

And at the same time, in the applymin:endmin target you write down:

endmin: 'static/assets'

This will lead to warning, since endmin: 'static/assets' means your minified files will be in static/assets instead of assets mentioned in html template. They are inconsistent. To make it right, change html template like this:

<!-- beginmin: static/assets/main.lib.min.css -->
<!-- endmin -->

Error/Warn info

When running grunt, grunt-applymin will also prompt you the error/warn info if there is, such as:

  1. The css/js files in html doesn't exist.
  2. The folder name in endmin target is inconsistent with beginmin comments in html template.
  3. Intend to combine different beginmin/endmin html blocks to the same minified filename.

You don't have to worry about this, if you see the error/warn info, just make sure you take care of them and correct them to make it work.


In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using Grunt.

Release History

  • 2013-09-07 / v0.1.0 / initial commit
  • 2013-09-10 / v0.1.1 / bug fix on RegExp and the same pattern on multiple revision files.
  • 2013-09-10 / v0.1.2 / Better prompt for options.staticPattern issue.
  • 2013-09-22 / v0.1.3 / Fix the issue when there are duplicate filenames in different folders
  • 2014-02-15 / v0.2.0 / Eliminate static_minified switcher for raw/optimized css/js file. Just replace the beginmin/endmin block with the optimized css/js, this will make the plugin easier to use.