Alternative SASS Solutions for NET, The Good and the Bad

SASS: Native Ruby + SASS

  • Good: Fastest server compilation
  • Good: Able to use latest versions of SASS, including all relevant options via flags to the sass and scss command-line executables
  • Bad: Setup time is more intensive than with a pre-built extension or plugin for VS
  • Bad: Every front end dev workstation needs ruby setting up
  • Bad: More difficult for .NET devs to solve possible ruby integration issues

SASS via NuGet and Squishy SASS

  • Good: Decent server compilation
  • Good: Able to use latest versions of SASS
  • Good: Minification of CSS and JS out of the box
  • Good: and Con: Setup time is a bit less intensive that with native Ruby (above), but a bit more than with Workbench (below)
  • Bad: as of right now, it’s not supporting placeholders (here is the open issue on github  https://github.com/jetheredge/SquishIt/issues/280 and a possible solution https://github.com/jetheredge/SquishIt/pull/281)
  • Bad: Documentation is a bit sparse (support group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/squishit|https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/squishit)
  • Bad: The most obvious issue is that these solutions require a server side component, adding a dependency, tying you to a platform and consuming your valuable CPU cycles. Modern, single page web applications perform rendering tasks on the client, relying on server side processes purely for process and data access. Adding a dependency like this just adds unnecessary complexity

(Documentation: http://blogs.lessthandot.com/index.php/webdev/serverprogramming/aspnet/squishit-and-nancy/, https://github.com/jetheredge/SquishIt/wiki/Using-SquishIt-programmatically-without-the-file-system)

SASS via Visual Studio plugin like Mindscape Web Workbench

  • Good: Easy to get started
  • Good: Fast compiling
  • Bad: what you gain in simplicity you lose in flexibility
  • Bad: Only a few of the options that the “sass” command supports are available when compiling (the –g debug flag), and the rest of the features are not very configurable.
  • Bad: Every developer working with SASS styles needs an IDE plugin
  • Bad: Can’t quickly change styles on the server – requires local re-processing
  • Bad: The most obvious issue is that these solutions require a server side component, adding a dependency, tying you to a platform and consuming your valuable CPU cycles. Modern, single page web applications perform rendering tasks on the client, relying on server side processes purely for process and data access. Adding a dependency like this just adds unnecessary complexity

( Web Workbench by Mindscape)

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