A Django app for dependency management and compilation of JavaScript
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This simple Django app is for managing JavaScript in a Django project. It provides a way to specify dependencies in JavaScript files, to include your JavaScript in a template ordered according to the dependencies, to compile your JavaScript using Google's Closure Compiler, and to include that compiled JavaScript with a GET argument version for cache-busting.

JavaScript dependencies

Generally when a site deals with a large amount of js there becomes a sacred set of <script> tags at the top of the base template that should not be fucked with for feat of un-ordering a somewhat fragile set of only semi-understood dependencies.

Including this line at the top of each js file should help that:

//depends: main.js, utils.js, jquery.js

This comment should be the first line in the file, and can contain one or more dependency.

Including JavaScript in a template

It's simple:

{% load include_js %}
{% include_js %}

This will do one of two things. If DEBUG is True (or USE_COMPILED_JS is False) it will include a bunch of <script> tags ordered appropriately. Otherwise, it will include one <script> tag, pointing to 'compiled.js' (or the file at COMPILED_JS_LOC). It will also append ?version={the number of times compile_js has been called}


You may have noticed that I've been using the term "compiled" rather than "minified". This is because when the command is run, add the js files are dependency-resolved and concatinated into a single file, and that file is minified. In my mind this is more like a compilation then a simple minification. But I guess it's just semantics.

When you're ready:

python manage.py compile_js

This will create 'compiled.js' (or the file at COMPILED_JS_LOC), and will rev the cach-buster number.


One setting is required: JS_DIR. It should be the full path to the directory where all the js files are. Here are all of the settings available though:

JS_DIR = '' # must be set
# This is stripped off the file's path and replaced with STATIC_URL
JS_COMPILED_LOC = os.path.join(JS_DIR, 'compiled.js')
JS_INCLUDE_RECURSIVELY = True # False is handy if there is some js you don't want compiled

See more about Closure Compiler compilation levels.