CSS 3 vs Sass: What are the differences?
Developers describe CSS 3 as "The latest evolution of the Cascading Style Sheets language". CSS3 is the latest evolution of the Cascading Style Sheets language and aims at extending CSS2.1. It brings a lot of long-awaited novelties, like rounded corners, shadows, gradients, transitions or animations, as well as new layouts like multi-columns, flexible box or grid layouts. Experimental parts are vendor-prefixed and should either be avoided in production environments, or used with extreme caution as both their syntax and semantics can change in the future. On the other hand, Sass is detailed as "Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets". Sass is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rules, variables, mixins, selector inheritance, and more. It's translated to well-formatted, standard CSS using the command line tool or a web-framework plugin.
CSS 3 can be classified as a tool in the "Languages" category, while Sass is grouped under "CSS Pre-processors / Extensions".
Sass is an open source tool with 12K GitHub stars and 1.93K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Sass's open source repository on GitHub.
Airbnb, StackShare, and Asana are some of the popular companies that use Sass, whereas CSS 3 is used by Simply Business, Ontuitive, and SupplyAI. Sass has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2101 company stacks & 1486 developers stacks; compared to CSS 3, which is listed in 100 company stacks and 283 developer stacks.
What is CSS 3?
What is Sass?
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ReactQL is written in TypeScript to provide full types/Intellisense, and pick up hard-to-diagnose goofs that might later show up at runtime. React makes heavy use of Webpack 4 to handle transforming your code to an optimised client-side bundle, and in throws back just enough code needed for the initial render, while seamlessly handling
import statements asynchronously as needed, making the payload your user downloads ultimately much smaller than trying to do it by hand.
React Helmet was chosen to handle
<head> content, because it works universally, making it easy to throw back the correct
<title> and other tags on the initial render, as well as inject new tags for subsequent client-side views.
<style> tags when using #StyledComponents.
React Router handles routing, because it works both on the server and in the client. ReactQL customises it further by capturing non-200 responses on the server, redirecting or throwing back custom 404 pages as needed.
Koa is the web server that handles all incoming HTTP requests, because it's fast (TTFB < 5ms, even after fully rendering React), and its natively #async, making it easy to async/await inside routes and middleware.
I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:
For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.
Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.
I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).
I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.
For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.
For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.
For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.
I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.
So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?
We use Sass because I invented it! No, that's not a joke at all! Well, let me explain. So, we used Sass before I started at Rent the Runway because it's the de-facto industry standard for pre-compiled and pre-processed CSS. We do also use PostCSS for stuff like vendor prefixing and various transformations, but Sass (specifically SCSS) is the main developer-focused language for describing our styling. Some internal apps use styled-components and @Aphrodite, but our main website is allllll Sassy. Oh, but the non-joking part is the inventing part. /shrug
At labinator.com, we use HTML5, CSS 3, Sass, Vanilla.JS and PHP when building our premium WordPress themes and plugins. When writing our codes, we use Sublime Text and Visual Studio Code depending on the project. We run Manjaro and Debian operating systems in our office. Manjaro is a great desktop operating system for all range of tasks while Debian is a solid choice for servers.
WordPress became a very popular choice when it comes to content management systems and building websites. It is easy to learn and has a great community behind it. The high number of plugins as well that are available for WordPress allows any user to customize it depending on his/her needs.
For development, HTML5 with Sass is our go-to choice when building our themes.
Main Advantages Of Sass:
- It's CSS syntax friendly
- It offers variables
- It uses a nested syntax
- It includes mixins
- Great community and online support.
- Great documentation that is easy to read and follow.
As for PHP, we always thrive to use PHP 7.3+. After the introduction of PHP 7, the WordPress development process became more stable and reliable than before. If you a developer considering PHP 7.3+ for your project, it would be good to note the following benefits.
The Benefits Of Using PHP:
- Open Source.
- Highly Extendible.
- Easy to learn and read.
- Platform independent.
- Compatible with APACHE.
- Low development and maintenance cost.
- Great community and support.
- Detailed documentation that has everything you need!
Why PHP 7.3+?
- Flexible Heredoc & Nowdoc Syntaxes - Two key methods for defining strings within PHP. They also became easier to read and more reliable.
- A good boost in performance speed which is extremely important when it comes to WordPress development.
It was a little awkward building BS3 with LESS, and the rest of the site with SCSS, but it works. SCSS made building the UI elements (ink/flip buttons, img navs, etc) a breeze. It also drives the mobile menu open/close transitions - that would have been much too much with vanilla css.
Sass helps us write better stylesheets. One major improvement over CSS that we use a lot is variables - it allows for much easier theming to quickly change brand colors for new instances of the xCoLab.
When you realise that countless lines of CSS codes could be made countable. And off course, a wonderful and cool way to use the logic behind variables and nesting. Simply love it.
Sass is used as a part of Woltlab Suite Core, which offers to submit/configure own styles via the injection of own Sass-CSS. So we exclusively rely on Sass for our CSS needs.