Complete Guide to Sass Programming Language

The following is a summary of a document I composed for, a really great site where you can watch professionals work live, chat with them and take your skill to the next level. There’s a link to download the full document at the bottom of this post. The content of this document is intended to help populate the Sass Categories page on the site.

About Sass Programming Language

Sass is a scripting language that is interpreted into Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), also known as a preprocessor. Sass can be compiled into CSS either by application, like CodeKit or Scout, or from the command line. Sass can be written in one of two syntaxes: SCSS, the newer, more CSS-like syntax, or Sass, the older, indent-dependent syntax. Sass can be used on most operating systems, including Mac, Windows and Linux.

Using Sass to create style sheets makes the process quicker, less complicated and easier to maintain. Sass also enables you to use features not yet included (or well supported) in standard CSS, like variables, mixins, and advanced operations and functions.

Sass is arguably the most dominant CSS preprocessor available. It is supported by a large, friendly and highly active developer community. Many major front end development frameworks, like Bootstrap and Foundation, are built on Sass.

Though Sass can seem a bit intimidating to get started with, due to its Ruby dependency and breadth of powerful features, if you’re familiar with the syntax of standard CSS, learning Sass will come easily.

Sass History

Sass was initially designed by Hampton Catlin and developed by Natalie Weizenbaum in 2006 as a feature of the Haml markup language. Chris Eppstein, creator of Compass, later joined primary developer Weizenbaum in 2008 to continue to extend Sass with SassScript. Numerous contributors have since joined the Sass community and have helped keep the project thriving.

Originally written in Ruby, Sass has been ported to many languages, including C, C++, Java, JavaScript, .Net, Perl, PHP, Python and Scala.

Sass Tools

Sass Books

There is a small, but steadily growing library of Sass-related books. They all take a slightly different look at Sass application in the real world, and are all worth a read.

Sass Projects

Here are a handful of articles to help new Sass users get familiar with the features of the language.

Sass Gurus

  • Hampton Catlin is the co-founder and CEO of Wordset, an online collaborative dictionary, and rarebit. He is also the inventor of Sass, Haml, and He’s the founder of the libsass project and the author of “The Pragmatic Guide to Sass.” He was formerly mobile lead at the Wikimedia Foundation and CTO of Moovweb, helping large companies build better interfaces.
  • Natalie Weizenbaum is the primary developer and designer of Sass and has been involved in the project since the second commit. She lives in Seattle, Washington and works on Dart application libraries at Google.
  • Chris Eppstein is a core contributor to Sass and the creator of Compass, the first Sass-based framework, and Eyeglass, a node-sass plugin ecosystem for NPM. He lives in San Jose, California with his wife and two children. He is an Engineer for, where his primary responsibility is to maintain Sass and many other Sass-related open source projects.
  • Hugo Giraudel is a French front end developer working at Edenspiekermann in Berlin. He is an an active open-source contributor and conference speaker, maintainer of SassDoc and writer of Sass Guidelines.
  • Miriam Suzanne is an author, performer, musician, designer, web developer, speaker and consultant. As co-founder of OddBird, she is creator for the open-source Accoutrement, Susy and True Sass toolkits.
  • Roy Tomeij is a full stack developer and co-founder of a Ruby consultancy. He is specialized in Sass., and is an internationally acclaimed conference speaker on the subject.
  • Jina Bolton is a designer, developer, writer and speaker. She leads the Sass brand and website.
  • John W. Long is a full-stack application designer from Raleigh, North Carolina. He is Managing Editor of The Sass Way, a site covering the latest news and topics on handcrafting CSS with Sass and Compass.

Sass Conferences

Click here to download the full Complete Guide to Sass document.

Did I miss something with this post? Please leave more Sass tools, books, projects, gurus and conferences in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *