There are a lot of compilers out there; some are command line, some have a GUI. Personally, command line programs can be a little annoying to me. If I can have a GUI program for something, I’ll take it. It’s more visual and almost feels safer. Though…I do feel cool typing in a command prompt with my bright orange text on a black background like some super cool movie hacker.
So what compiler do I use? Enter Koala.
I like to set up my SASS files with one file called base that houses the variables and mixins, then imports all of the other SASS files. This is pretty standard, I feel like, as this pulls all the files into one. As you can see from the screenshot (top right checkbox), this file will auto compile whenever saved. Not only that, it’ll also compile whenever any of the dependent files are saved. So if I save global.scss, it’ll automatically compile base.scss, which is nice.
Below the auto compile checkbox we have quite a few options: compass mode, source map, line comments, debug info, unix new lines, and autoprefix. The two important ones out of this list are source map and autoprefix. Here I don’t have source maps enabled, but it is a useful feature to help you debug your compiled CSS. Autoprefix is the lifesaver. Instead of having to write that same line of code three times, you can write it once, and let Koala prefix it for you! Awesome!
Lastly, we have a dropdown, which is the output style. If you’re compiling CSS, there is no reason you shouldn’t minify it. That is what the compressed output style does. The outputted CSS file will be completely stripped of comments and white space, saving you precious bandwidth with just a click of a dropdown.
Now this is SASS, I mentioned that Koala can also compile LESS. Pretty much with LESS, ditto on everything I said about SASS.
Well, Koala has a handy comment command that goes like:
“// @koala-prepend ‘some-js-file.js'”
“// @koala-append ‘some-js-file.js'”
In The End
…it doesn’t even matter (just kidding, if you get the reference, I like you).
So now that you know about the wonders of Koala, go check it out. I’m certain you’ll like it.
One Last Thing
Funny thing…well, kind of a weird thing. Ever since I updated Koala it always pops up when I restart my computer…despite it not being in the startup folder on my computer.
At this point I’m just waiting for it to show a “Notice me, Senpai!” message.