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Sass and Compass in Action Paperback – 2 Aug 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (2 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617290149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617290145
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 1.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 644,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Wynn Netherland is a full stack web creative. When he's not shipping awesome at GitHub, he co-hosts The Changelog Podcast and speaks at industry conferences.

Nathan Weizenbaum is the creator and the lead developer of Sass. He's currently a software engineer working on Gmail at Google.

Chris Eppstein has more than ten years of experience building web sites. An active member of the Ruby community, he's the creator of Compass, a member of the Sass core team, and maintains or contributes to dozens of open source projects.


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Format: Paperback
This book was really helpful in getting to grips with how to use sass and compass. Covering everything from the basics of the sass syntax to authoring your own extensions, this book was clear, concise and well written. It is a shame that more programming books cannot be written in this fashion, with many instead aiming to be 'the complete guide to language x' resulting in 1000 page monstrosities that are too large to be practicable and too fastidious to be comprehensible.

Although most of the information contained in the book is no doubt available in the documentation, having practical examples of how, for instance, sass can help you use grid frameworks while still keeping your html semantic, was of great help in leading me to understand the important role that css preprocessors can play going forward. I was also totally unaware that compass could create css sprites until reading this book, and having such a tool integrated into the design workflow offers a way to increase site efficiency while not increasing the time spent on design.
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Format: Paperback
Having read this book you can step firmly into building your CSS with Sass & Compass. You need to know CSS quite well in order to grasp it all and to see the difference of building it with Sass & Compass instead of by hand or using different tools. You'll have a chance of going through a different scenarios, all using the best development practices.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, very informative 27 April 2014
By Larry Gerndt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm pleased to report that this book is VERY well written, meaning it's easy to read and comprehend. It's also not overly-verbose, it conveys points succinctly and moves on. I'm learning a ton of stuff that I had not picked up on my own when using Sass.

As probably anyone who reads Amazon book reviews knows, tech books, like any other books, are hit and miss. Some people are just out to make money--stamp a poorly written book with an alluring title, such as "Mastering jQuery" and wait for the money to roll in. (by the way, that's a real book, and it's a great case in point). Others, however, are truly great authors who seem to enjoy the art of writing and teaching and have a talent for it. Those are the books you want to read, and this is one of them.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to learn Sass and Compass for dynamic style sheets and related design aspects 8 Dec. 2013
By Tanya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I started reading this book because I wanted to learn how to build style sheets more efficiently using Sass and Compass. I am a web application developer so the thought of being able to build style sheets using variables and functions is definitely exciting. I expected this book to cover Sass and Compass and, of course, it did not disappoint. The author took great care to explain all aspects in detail and even takes you through the creation and sharing of a Compass extension so that one can eventually join the community and start sharing/contributing.

I have to say though, this book offered me so much more than a great foundation for learning Sass and Compass. The author also took great care to explain peripheral aspects such as design. When one does not come from a graphic design background, as I do not, these extra details always prove to be invaluable.

Thanks to this book, I definitely see a graphic design primer course in my future. I realise that I not only need to improve the efficiency of my style sheet builds, I also need to get my head around print design. I had no idea how closely coupled print design concepts had become with web site design concepts. For instance, I had never heard the term vertical rhythm before reading this book - it turns out this is a very important concept where readability is concerned. The book re-iterates the importance of the grid framework. All of this ultimately relates back to your style sheets. There are so many great snippets of information that, even if I choose never to use Sass and Compass, I still walk away with a goldmine of information that I can use to improve my site designs.

The appendices are very helpful in the sense that they cover installing Sass and Compass and then getting started with Compass. The only negative experience I had was here when trying to install everything. Coming from a Windows background I misunderstood the command line instructions and thought I needed to add the $ in front of a command. That failed! No fear though, Google and the official Sass and Compass sites are your friend.

All in all, I'll definitely give this book a thumbs up and I can't wait to start using what I've learnt. I can see it's going to take quite a bit of practice, but I'll have this book on hand as a great reference source.

Thank you Manning Publishers for sending me a complementary copy of this book to review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs markup! 28 July 2014
By Joshua Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book explains its main subject matter well-enough, but lacks useful examples. Don't get me wrong, there is a good amount of examples of SASS and the CSS it produces, but much more HTML markup is needed to be fully demonstrative, especially for topics such as grids which are not part of the CSS specification.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for an amazing framework/language. 7 Dec. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a developer I have always struggled with CSS. In theory, CSS is easy to understand and follow, but in practice there are so many oddities and browser inconsistencies that makes designing anything but the simplest page a complete minefield. I have never managed to keep up with all the hacks and patterns that are required to write solid CSS that works across all browsers and devices. On top of this CSS is a very un-DRY language - I keep finding myself having to specify a single rule in multiple places. As a programmer having to do this drives me insane. I always end up with a complete mess of unstructured hacked together and no doubt inefficient set of rules. Using Twitter Bootstrap does save a lot of this pain and is an easy fallback, but it has never been a satisfactory solution. A lot is set it stone, it is a pain to customize and it always hurts to pull in a huge CSS file for even the simplest site.

So I was very interested when I heard about Sass. When I found out I could declare variables and nest my rules, I was sold. It never actually occurred to me that this was only the start of what Sass could actually do. I was still plagued with having to implement all the various browser hacks myself. When I heard that Compass could help with this, I tried to have a go with it. The documentation for Compass, whilst being a great reference, does not really explain what Compass is about and I really struggled to actually work out what Compass was about and how I could use it.

Then I discovered this book. By the end of the first chapter I had learned what Compass was about and by the second I had tripled my knowledge of the potential of Sass. I could have put the book down at this point and it would have still been worth it!

Chapter 3 dives into using a grid system with Compass. Compass really does take away that mundane task of calculating your column widths, which when you are rapid prototyping a site makes a huge difference. One area where the book does lack here is in discussing fitting a grid system into a responsive design - often where you have three columns when viewing the site on a large screen, you will want to just view this in a single column on a mobile device. The book doesn't explain how you can use media queries to adjust the columns in your design. I still haven't managed to work out how to fit the Compass grid system into this.

Chapters 4-7 dives into Compass in depth and shows how compass can take away a lot of the CSS pain. I had never really understood the point of sprites before. The book explained this well and showed how easy it was to set this up with Compass. The book covers a lot of the CSS3 features and how to use Compass to make this much easier, although it does neglect to cover animations.

Chapter 8 focuses on performance and how you can make your pages load faster. Here I learned that I had been structuring my CSS wrong all along. I had been largely structuring my selectors to match my HTML structure, not good for performance.

Chapter 9 is Sass on steroids. Although Sass is not a full Turing complete programming language is still has a number of incredibly powerful scripting features. A lot of these features may not be particularly useful to the average designer for a single site, but for designers of frameworks and reusable components, this is how you can design styles that can be adapted to any site and made to fit in. My mind is only starting to think up the possibilities that these advanced features can offer. The book could possibly provided more in depth examples of where this stuff could be used, although I am sure when I need to use it I will know!

Chapter 10 rounds up the book by explaining how to create Compass extensions. As my Sass chops improve I am going to want to save the most useful bits to make it reusable.

This book is excellent. Sure it might be possible to arduously scan the internet and slowly pick up all the information, but that process is slow (I tried). With this book the information is all there and is explained in a succinct and clear way. You can get up and running in hardly any time at all. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Easy to Understand 1 May 2014
By Kristy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I needed to learn SASS real quick and this book really helped me understand how it works, how to set it up, what's it is capable of doing, etc. Compass is very handy for those that prefer to write their own CSS rather than using a framework and Wynn's explanation of it was pretty straightforward. The book is organized in a way so that you can quickly find what you are looking for on the fly. I highly recommend this book for those that want to learn preprocessing (SASS and Compass).
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