Web essentials brings a lot of cool features to Visual Studio. It is a creation of Mads Kristensen. Many of these features will be added to Visual Studio in future releases and Web Essentials is downloadable as nuget package.
One of the cool features of Web Essentials is minification and bundling.
This creates two files, one minified file (adds min.js to the original filename) and a map file (adds min.js.map to the original filename).
Map files can be used to make the minified file readable and debuggable. The creation of a map file can be enabled or disabled in Tools > Options.
I use this features a lot for my javacript plugins (see http://www.vicreative.nl/Projects). I work in the original files, the minified files are updated automatically and I commit them all in Git.
- a bundle file, an xml file containing all filenames for this bundle.
- a map file
The same features also work for CSS files, but no map is created because this is not necessary for css files.
Creating bundles can also be done automatically, read this post.
The bundling and minification has moved from Web essentials to a different NuGet package: Bundler & Minifier