Releationship between Ajax Minifier and Web Essentails 2012 minification

Dec 12, 2012 at 5:02 AM

I am using Web Essentials in VS2012 ( It has a great magnification feature for both JavaScript and CSS.


Is Web Essentials using Ajax Minifier? If not, if we are using Web Essentials, is there any advantage of using Ajax Minifier toolset with it?


~ would be great if we have  combo release of these two.

Jan 12, 2013 at 12:52 AM

I believe (and don't take this as gospel because I'm not on the Web Essential team) that Web Essentials uses WebGrease for their minification toolset. WebGrease then internally uses the exact same JS code as AjaxMin. WebGrease also includes two difference CSS engines: one of it's own design, and the AjaxMin CSS engine. I can't remember which is used by default, and I have no idea which one Web Essentials uses.

Now, when I say WebGrease "uses AjaxMin code," I mean that I periodically copy the AjaxMin codebase into the WebGrease source tree. So WebGrease will frequently be somewhat behind the release cycle of AjaxMin. It's not an ideal situation if you need the latest and greatest AjaxMin features/fixes, because there is a lag between the time things are fixed in AjaxMin and they get into the latest release of WebGrease. We're trying to come up with a better situation so we don't have the lag, nor the two different projects. But WebGrease does A LOT of things AjaxMin doesn't do, and AjaxMin has usage scenarios not supported by WebGrease, so combining the two has proven to be a little difficult.

So to answer you question, if you are using Web Essentials, I don't think there's much to gain by integrating AjaxMin, since Web essentials uses WebGrease, which includes a version of AjaxMin. The only thing I can think of (and it's a bit of a stretch) would be more frequent updates to AjaxMin than you can get for WebGrease. But I wouldn't recommend it.