Minify .js files during Maven builds

Minifying files for use on the web is essential to improving performance, to reduce network overhead as well as a slight bump in execution speed.

Long ago I used the YUICompressor plugin for both JS as well as CSS files, unfortunately that project appears to have been abandoned many years ago and no longer functions well for JS files that make use of modern features.

For JS files, I’ve found that most capabilities can be replicated with the following in the pom.xml:

<plugin>
<groupId>com.github.blutorange</groupId>
<artifactId>closure-compiler-maven-plugin</artifactId>
<version>2.21.0</version>
<executions>
<execution>
<id>default-minify-js</id>
<phase>generate-resources</phase>
<configuration>
<!-- not supported (always uses .min) <suffix>-min</suffix> -->
<encoding>UTF-8</encoding>
<baseSourceDir>${basedir}/${webapp-folder}</baseSourceDir>
<baseTargetDir>${webapp.path}/</baseTargetDir>
<sourceDir>js</sourceDir>
<targetDir>js</targetDir>
<skipMerge>true</skipMerge>
<includes>
<include>**/*.js</include>
</includes>
<excludes>
<exclude>**/webjars-requirejs.js</exclude>
<exclude>**/bootstrap*.*</exclude>
<exclude>**/jasmine*.*</exclude>
<exclude>**/*-min.js</exclude>
<exclude>**/*.min.js</exclude>
</excludes>
</configuration>
<goals>
<goal>minify</goal>
</goals>
</execution>
</executions>
</plugin>

NOTE: the only feature I have not yet been able to match is the suffix, as it appears to always use *.min.js (where I used to prefer *-min.js).

An additional advantage of using the plugin is that many common syntax errors will be identified at build time, before they cause user problems… but they will also break your build!

REFERENCES:

Minify .css files during Maven builds

Minifying files for use on the web is essential to improving performance, to reduce network overhead as well as a slight bump in execution speed.

Long ago I used the YUICompressor plugin for both JS as well as CSS files, unfortunately that project appears to have been abandoned many years ago but is still effective for CSS even if it is less useful for modern JS.

NOTE: default extension uses -min, to change it set property ‘maven.yuicompressor.suffix’ to the desired value, such as .min to match GCC used for JS.

For CSS files, you can use following in the pom.xml (JS is also possible if you are not using ES6 features):

<plugin>
<groupId>net.alchim31.maven</groupId>
<artifactId>yuicompressor-maven-plugin</artifactId>
<version>1.5.1</version>
<executions>
<execution>
<id>compressyui-min</id>
<phase>prepare-package</phase>
<goals>
<goal>jslint</goal>
<goal>compress</goal>
</goals>
</execution>
</executions>
<configuration>
<nosuffix>false</nosuffix><!-- false will create -min versions, true does not -->
<warSourceDirectory>${basedir}/${webapp-folder}</warSourceDirectory>
<webappDirectory>${webapp.path}/</webappDirectory>
<jswarn>false</jswarn>
<gzip>false</gzip><!-- create .min.gz files -->
<nocompress>false</nocompress>
<force>true</force>
<excludes>
<exclude>**/*.js</exclude><!-- YUI cannot handle ES6 const let, use closure-compiler instead -->
<exclude>${webjars-output.path}*.*</exclude>
<exclude>**/webjars-requirejs.js</exclude>
<exclude>**/bootstrap*.*</exclude>
<exclude>**/jasmine*.*</exclude>
<exclude>**/*-min.css</exclude>
<exclude>**/*.min.css</exclude>
</excludes>
</configuration>
</plugin>

REFERENCES:

Enabling HTTP/3 (QUIC) in browsers for improved network performance

Back in 2015, Google introduced SPDY as a method of improving TCP connections. HTTP/3 now improves upon that by removing the blocking of TCP with the use of UDP (QUIC).

Firefox: currently disabled by default in version 85, to enable use about:config and set network.http.http3.enabled = true

IOS Safari 14+: currently disabled by default, but can be enabled under Settings > Safari > Advanced > Experimental Features > HTTP/3

Chrome/Chromium: current versions 88+ are currently implementing by default.

Chromium Edge: as new versions are based upon Chromium, support should follow Chrome.

MSIE: was never and will never be implemented.

REFERENCES:

After a very long run, Adobe Flash is dead!

This was very long overdue for a variety of reasons. While Flash became almost ubiquitous on the web under Macromedia before being acquired by Adobe, it was also full of .
Apple never offered Flash on it’s mobile devices and helped to drive developers to make use of modern HTML5 to accomplish many of the same effects.
Flash “cookies” were buried deep within the application and were not easily removed by users making them very useful for tracking users.

Timeline:

Step Date
End of Life Announced July 25, 2017
End of support December 31, 2020
Flash blocked January 12, 2021

Support:

Browser Blocked Removed
Chrome 76 88
Firefox 69 85
Safari 14

 

HandheldFriendly meta tag – remove it!

This tag was originally used to identify mobile content in Blackberry and AvantGo browsers (on Palm devices), but became a general standard for identifying mobile websites. However, the marketshare for Blackberry and Palm has dropped significantly and it is doubtful that any modern browsers support this meta tag.

<meta name=”HandheldFriendly” content=”true”/>

REFERENCES:

ads.txt file

There are many files that crawlers expect to find in well-known locations on websites, one such file is ads.txt. While you might not have paid advertisements, crawlers may still look for a copy of this file leading to HTTP 404 errors in your logs. To prevent the error and show that you should have no advertisements leading there you can add the file with placeholder values as follows:

In the root of your website, create a new file with the name ads.txt.

#ads.txt - no DIRECT or RESELLER
www.example.com, placeholder, DIRECT, placeholder 
# NONE

NOTE: If you ever do use an advertiser, they will generally inform you as to changes to make to this file.

REFERENCES:

alexaVerifyID meta header?

This was once a service to aid webmasters with SEO, to claim a website you had to add content to your HTML. While Alexa still provides this service as a subscription, the use of the META tag is no longer required as support was dropped in May 2016!


<meta name="alexaVerifyID" content="your-verification-id-here" />

HTML5 Hyperlink Auditing (ping attribute)

This was a browser feature that was relatively unknown until recently when several browsers announced that they would be removing support.  It is useful to track instances when a user clicks on a link, as it could be recorded by the server for analysis of user activity.   As it was done out-of-bounds, there was no additional code, such as javascript, required on the client-side for this to occur.

<a href="..." ping="https://example.com/pingreporter">Example link</a>

References:

HTML5 download attribute

Example

The download attribute allows for the downloaded filename to be specified to be something different than the name in the url.

This is available only on the A tag when an href attribute is already specified and works similarly to setting the header as:
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="filename.pdf"

NOTE: this is not currently available in IE, Edge(prior to 13) or IOS Safari.

References:

Microsoft Silverlight

Silverlight was a browser extension that was backed by Microsoft’s .NET product on many platforms, it provided media capabilities similar to Macromedia/Adobe Flash.  Similar to Flash, it has had it’s own share of security problems over the years.

Introduced in 2007 and currently in a deprecated state. Once supported on Windows XP (IE6) to Windows 10 (IE11), MacOS and Ubuntu. Now only supported in MSIE. Edge never provided support. Modern versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera no longer support.

HTML Markup example:

<object data="data:application/x-silverlight-2," type="application/x-silverlight-2" width="100%" height="100%">
<param name="source" value="MySilverLightControl.xap"/>
</object>

REFERENCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Silverlight

https://www.microsoft.com/Silverlight/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/silverlight/dotnet-windows-silverlight/mt788654(v=msdn.10)