Compass Gets An App – No Command Line Needed

Compass Gets An App – No Command Line Needed

Another post on what you think about Compass?

Oh shut up. If it wasn’t as bad ass as it is, I wouldn’t write about it. This isn’t really about Compass though. Well…it is, but more about the app that was built for it, so that users don’t have to use the command line. Honestly, if I can figure out how to at least make Compass compile my Sass through the command line, then anyone can. BUT…this makes the whole process of a hell of a lot easier.

Compass made easier

At first, I thought, the command line really isn’t that hard because you only need to know a few commands, why do I need an app to do this? Then I tried by Handlino. After trying it out, there is only one reason why I can see someone not wanting to use this product (which only costs $7 by the way), but I’ll talk about that last.

After you have unzipped the file, and opened the app up, all that happens is that a gray version of the Compass logo appears in your task bar. When you click the icon, you get several things you can do, depending on where you are in your project. If you are starting a new one, you have a bunch of different Compass project options you can install. I went with the HTML5 Boilerplate option, since I love using it. The others are: Blueprint, basic Compass Projects, 960gs, or HTML5 Boilerplate. You can see what I’m talking about in the image below. project creation

After you select the type of project you want to create, you are asked where you want to save it, and what you want to call it.

So you created a project…what the hell just happened?

As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot to do, but that is really the beauty of this app. It doesn’t need to do much more. After you create a project, opens a window that gives you a report of what it just installed in your project folder, and some links to the stylesheets to copy and paste into your file. I didn’t need them though because they were already linked. Below is what the report looks like: project creation report

What actually happened though is the really awesome part. If you open the folder you had the app create, you will see something like this: project folder

Yep! Everything you need to just start coding your website. It installed my .scss file, the HTML5 Boilerplate files, the Compass config file, and the javascript files that the boilerplate uses (Modernizr, jQuery, DD_belatedPNG.fix, blank script file)…basically the works. Just a couple of clicks, and BAM!…ready to go! is watching

If you have the project open, the app is watching for any changes to your Sass file. You make a change to the file, the app then compiles it. Freakin’ awesome. And if you don’t have it open, click the icon in your task bar again, and under ‘History’ you will see a list of your projects. All you have to do is select the one you want to watch, and it will. Seriously, it couldn’t really be any easier. I had asked about something like this from Compass’ creator Chris Eppstein, and this came out from someone else soon after. Thank you Handlino! watching your files

NOTE: I should also mention there is a ‘Preference’ menu item that allows you to specify your gem path, but I am not that far into my self teaching of Ruby to have any idea what to do with that yet.


For seven bucks, this is a no brainer. Just be sure to avoid the mistake I made when going to their buy form. It is in a different language, but up at the top is a drop down for the English version. I didn’t see that when I went there, and I panicked.

Is there any reason not to use though? Maybe…which I say hesitantly. It seems to be using Compass v.10.6., and I will assume that most users of Compass are using it’s beta Version: 0.11.beta.5. The app is also using Sass version 3.0.24, when it is on version 3.0.25. Big deal? Probably not. I’m also not sure if the HTML5 Boilerplate is the most current version, but that was awesome to begin with anyway. I don’t really think the newer versions added anything outstanding in the terms of “need to have”, but that is up for you to judge. In my opinion, for $7, just buy the damn thing.

Let me know what you think if you have already purchased it! And if you know what the hell the gem path option is, please explain (but in idiot terms so we can all understand your dialect of nerd speak).

Coupon Code: webmachine

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