WordPress plugin minify Makefile

While working on my first commercial WordPress plugin, the need for build automation finally struck me. The environments in which I do my most development are all driven by Linux, and so I wanted to use a tried, true, and ubiquitous build automation mechanism to fulfill my need. As such, I wound up going with a Makefile, to be parsed and executed by the GNU make application. The result is an incredibly convenient automated build that minifies my Javascript/CSS (thanks to reducisaurus), and creates a version-appropriate archive of my plugin.

I’ve tried to make the procedure as universal as possible, but it still makes a handful of assumptions:

  1. Your Javascript files are all stored in the js/ folder, and there are no sub-folders of js/
  2. Your CSS files are all stored in the css/ folder, and there are no sub-folders of css/
  3. Your plugin’s main file’s file name matches the directory you’re working in (i.e., myplugin/myplugin.php)
  4. The Version: directive in your plugin’s WordPress-required comment block is at the very beginning of the line—this can be easily adjusted, however
  5. The curl command-line application is installed on your system (which, if it isn’t, you should seriously consider installing for many other reasons)
  6. The php-cli package is installed on your system (though you could probably replace the urlencode call with some other language, such as perl)

The Makefile has several targets:

  • css – Minifies *.css files
  • js – Minfies *.js files
  • minify – Fires both the css and js targets
  • zip – Builds a version-appropriate *.zip archive
  • all – Fires the minify and zip targets
  • clean – Removes all minified scripts/stylesheets and archives
  • help – Displays list of targets

It can no doubt be made even more universal—perhaps to work with WordPress themes, CodeIgniter apps, and more—so tinker away!

Note: You will need to make adjustments if you are using *.mo and *.po language files—I’m not that far along in my own project, so the script does not yet incorporate them.