Using SASS on a remote server


Sass is a Ruby gem. This is not helpful when you use Python/Django for your site.

Finding no easy ways to do it in Python, I installed Ruby, rubygems, and compass (which has sass).

It might've ended here, but I wanted more efficiency and less complexity.

The problem: Sass 'watch' can keep an eye on a directory and compile the SCSS to a seperate folder. However, I also needed to push that CSS to the live site immediately in order to reflect changes (since I developed the site with production mode enabled).

First solution: Install filewatcher for Ruby, which can monitor a folder and run a command when a file is modified. I ended up crafting this mediocre command:

filewatcher .scss -l ./MAGIC/static/magic/scss/.scss "echo -e '\e[0;36m\nAn SCSS file has been modified.\e[0m'
&& sass --update ./MAGIC/static/magic/scss/:./MAGIC/static/magic/css
&& cp -r ./MAGIC/static/magic/css/ ./static/magic/
&& echo -e '\e[0;32mCSS folder successfully copied to static.\e[0m'"

Put that in a .sh file and you're good to go. Except...

Limitation: I couldn't make filewatcher recurse through directories.

Second solution: Kill Ruby, use inotify-tools. This can recursively watch directories for file modifications and offer more powerful output. Also it's slightly more readable:

CURPATH='(removed to protect the innocent)'

inotifywait -mr --timefmt '%d/%m/%y %H:%M' --format '%T %w %f'
-e close_write,moved_to,create ./MAGIC/static/magic/scss/ | while read date time dir file; do

# convert absolute path to relative

echo -e "\e[0;36m\n${file} was modified.\e[0m"
sass --update ./MAGIC/static/magic/scss/:./MAGIC/static/magic/css
&& cp -r ./MAGIC/static/magic/css/ ./static/magic/
&& echo -e "\e[0;32m${file} was compiled to CSS and copied to static.\e[0m"

The probably better solution: Use Grunt. The downside here is that I need to run Node.js on the server, which is yet-another-language that adds complexity to the stack. For now inotify-tools gets the job done well.


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