Dcycle Blog

Compass Sass to CSS using Docker

February 09, 2016

I have seen many developers on a few teams cringe when they need to make a simple CSS change and are faced with this folder structure:

myproject
  some-folder
    another-folder
      sass
        something.scss
      css
        something.css

In my opinion myproject/some-folder/another-folder/css/* should not be in version control in the first place, but it often is. In my case, I know almost nothing about sass, and I surely do not want to install sass precompilers on my local development machine.

If you have access to Docker, either on your machine on a CoreOS virtual machine, I found a nifty Docker image which does a good job: antonienko/compass-watch.

Here is how to use it:

First, make sure you have a file called myproject/some-folder/another-folder/config.rb which contains the following:

css_dir = "css" # where the CSS will saved
sass_dir = "sass" # where our .scss files are
images_dir = "css/img" # or whatever

# You can select your preferred output style here (can be overridden via the command line):
output_style = :expanded # After dev :compressed

# To disable debugging comments that display the original location of your selectors. Uncomment:
line_comments = true

# Obviously
preferred_syntax = :scss

Then run this docker command every time you want to recompile your .scss file.

docker run -v $(pwd):/src antonienko/compass-watch compile /src/some-folder/another-folder --force

This will generate css based on the current scss, then destroy the Docker container.

Note that the project page for antonienko/compass-watch provides instructions on how to watch a scss folder to continually create css. This was not working for me, and I prefer to regenerate my css every time I need it.