The Best FOSS CSS Pre-Processors


When I first started coding I had no idea of how to approach building websites. My first few attempts were terrible, but I learned a lot along the way. One major problem was that my code bloated and was hard to keep track of.

If you’re not familiar with CSS pre-processors, they allow you to create style sheet files that are more optimized and easier to read, which in turn will make your life much easier as a web developer. In this post, I’ll cover my top three favorite pre-processors, why I love them and when you should use them.

By the way, if you’re looking for a great editor for CSS (or any other language), check out my review of the best code editors for Mac & Linux users.

If you are a web developer who is using Linux as your primary development environment, you will want to use the best CSS pre-processors that are available and open source.

These tools help you write more organized and optimized style sheets in a consistent manner. By using pre-processors, you can avoid a lot of the common pitfalls that occur when writing CSS by hand.

There are four popular CSS pre-processors that are open source: Sass, Less, Stylus, and PostCSS. All of them offer many features for extending and optimizing CSS. The only real differences between them is the syntax used to write them. I have listed these tools below in no particular order.

There are three popular CSS pre-processors: Sass, Less, and Stylus. They all provide a similar set of features, but each has its own way of doing things and there are some significant differences.

In this post I’ll compare the three pre-processors with an eye toward their strengths and weaknesses.

Sass is a Ruby gem (although you can compile it by hand). It uses the .scss extension for files that contain its special syntax.

Less is a JavaScript library that runs in the browser or on the server via Node.js. Like Sass, it requires a compiler to process its syntax into normal CSS.

Stylus is also a Node.js library that runs in the browser or on the server via Node.js.

Since both Less and Stylus run in the browser and on the server, it’s possible to write code once and use it anywhere—something not possible with Sass.

Visual Studio Code is Microsoft’s open source text editor, similar to Atom or Sublime Text. It has a lot of great features and a beautiful UI that competes with the other editors in this list.

For those who are not familiar with it, Visual Studio Code is a code editor (source: Wikipedia). It was created by Microsoft for Windows, but a lot of effort has been put into creating a version for Linux systems (and Mac too).

Visual Studio Code is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. In addition, there are extensions for almost everything imaginable (even LaTex). However, it does not have a built-in compiler or debugger. This means you need to install your own or use an extension (see below).

I’ve been using Visual Studio Code on and off since it was released, but I’ve only recently been getting serious about it. For the preceding few years, I had been using Sublime Text 3 as my primary editor when writing JavaScript. Then I had a project that was going to use a lot of TypeScript, and for that I switched to the Atom Editor (which is also built on Electron). That ended up being a bit too slow for my liking, so back to Sublime Text 3.

Recently, however, Visual Studio Code has really started to come together. A new version is released every month, and I believe the quality of the product is now up to the point that it’s actually worth someone’s time (and it’s free!).

The biggest reason for me switching over is performance. Even with all of its features turned on, Visual Studio Code feels snappier and more responsive than Sublime Text 3 ever did. It also supports TypeScript out of the box. If you’re like me and you do a lot of work in JavaScript, you’ll probably find that TypeScript gives you a better developer experience than plain old JS (especially if you’re not already using Flow or another type system).

Visual Studio Code is also

I have been using Visual Studio Code as my primary code editor for almost a year now. I have created many projects in it and also have fixed many bugs, added some features here and there. I am a hardcore vim user but Visual Studio Code is one of the few editors where I don’t feel the absence of Vim.

I was looking for an editor which can be used to write code on Windows as well as Linux (I am using Ubuntu 14.04). The performance of Visual Studio Code on Windows is amazing; it starts in less than a second and never makes you feel that you are using an Electron app. To make it more awesome, I installed Vim plugin in it, then I started missing the terminal because all the tasks were performed by external commands.

Visual Studio Code is a source code editor developed by Microsoft. It includes support for debugging, embedded Git control, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It is also customizable, so users can change the editor’s theme, keyboard shortcuts, and preferences.

Visual Studio Code is free and available on your favorite platform – Linux, macOS, and Windows.


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