What is SASS CSS Preprocessor and Do You REALLY Need It?


Back in the day, there was HTML. It was just text and so easy. To make the text pretty, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) were born to separate content from presentation. This wasn’t enough…

SASS is one of the scripting languages for CSS (like LESS, STYLUS, CSS-Crush, Myth, etc.). So, instead of searching and replacing colors or any other CCS attribute through ever expanding stylesheets, SASS compiles the stylesheet using variables and other coding to dump out a .css file.

The advantage to using SASS is that you can reuse CSS and flavor it for all sorts of projects. You can break your CSS code into logical sections. The danger of any sort of machine generated code is that you might get some bloat.

Oh–and did I mention that you have to install and learn another language and work with the command line? After my debugging adventures with grunt and a missing comma, I’m not too keen on learning another syntax.

But, do you really need SASS or any other preprocessor? CSS actually has variables. Of course, they don’t call them that. They’re called “CSS Custom Properties.” 

The problem was that custom properties weren’t supported in all browsers. They are now supported by recent versions of all modern browsers, even MS-Edge.

There are still other coding functions that SASS and the other CSS preprocessors can do that plain CSS can’t.

So… the answer to whether or not you need SASS is a definite MAYBE. Just watch those commas.