I opted for dean edwards packer. It seems to give the best results. I don’t know that I would use it on a production site – I tend to lean more towards YUI Compressor or Closure Compiler these days – but for this contest, it was appropriate.
One thing I noticed is the following pattern doesn’t compress well: (when selecting Shrink variables option)
var foo = false, bar = 1, zee = 'jimminey', yalta = 1;
The var names besides the first won’t be shortened. If you are counting every byte, go for
var foo = false; var bar = 1; var zee = 'jimminey'; var yalta = 1;
If you are using the jQuery as your lib, if you make a call to $(‘foo’) more than once, then assign it to a variable – it will get shortened when packed.
In the end, I had some K to spare, so I didn’t go as far as I could have in compressing things – using single letter id’s for example.
When I began, I didn’t think I would have room to use YUI CSS reset. If I was doing it again, I would definitely include it.