Using node-sass instead of system Sass in OS X Catalina
February 12th, 2020
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Recently I upgraded to Catalina OS on my late 2015 15” Macbook Pro. As a result, I was not able to access my old Sass installation, and was not able to install Dart Sass for the same reason. In addition, according to the developer.apple.com documentation:
Scripting language runtimes such as Python, Ruby, and Perl are included in macOS for compatibility with legacy software. Future versions of macOS won’t include scripting language runtimes by default, and might require you to install additional packages. If your software depends on scripting languages, it’s recommended that you bundle the runtime within the app. (49764202) Use of Python 2.7 isn’t recommended as this version is included in macOS for compatibility with legacy software. Future versions of macOS won’t include Python 2.7. Instead, it’s recommended that you run python3 from within Terminal. (51097165)
One deprecation which did not come as a surprise to me, was
- Command line tool support for Subversion — including svn, git-svn, and related commands — is no longer provided by Xcode. If you need Subversion or related command line tools, install the Command Line Tools package by running xcode-select --install. (50266910)
Not that I ever used Subversion or had the desire to use it!
Since I had installed Ruby and Sass eons ago, no surprise that it is no longer working. Especially since it resides in a path that no longer exists in Catalina. In addition, I had used rbenv to install various versions of the old Sass, and that no longer works either. I had installed it via Homebrew, and I don’t care what the core team says, but Homebrew is not completely compatible with Catalina when it comes to older software. But then, the older software is being tossed out the window, so getting rid of it is advisable. I did just that with rbenv (which is still stuck in my computer where I can’t seem to reach it). I will revisit that issue when I have a moment.
Git works well on my machine. I was a bit confused by what version I should have been on, and thought my version was old. I later found out from the Homebrew team that I was on the latest, and I was. Sometimes it is difficult to find that kind of information because so much documentation out there is “outdated”, and with no publication date! It doesn’t help when you are searching for such information at 3am!
But you know what? That is totally fine by me. I decided to just use
node-sass in my projects locally. I don’t even need to use npx in
order to make it work! I am currently on
node --version 12.14.0, and my
npm --version is
Anyhoo, this is what I did to add
Sass to my
npm init in the root of the project directory. Then I
npm node-sass -S, making sure that I create a package-lock.json file so that
anyone who wants to
git-clone my repo and then simply run
npm i to obtain
the packages I use in it with no fuss. Without the
is not created. Then I created a styles directory in which I added a
css directory and an
scss directory. Inside the
css directory, I added a
main.css file, and in the
scss directory, I added a
main.scss file. So the
directory structure of
styles looks like this:
styles - css ○ main.css - scss ○ main.scss
package.json, I added the following
"scss": "node-sass --watch styles/scss -o styles/css"
In case if you don’t know,
-o is shorthand for
--output flag. The
is taking what is being input into the
main.scss file and printing it
out the the
main.css file. This goes back to the command line basics of
stdin stdout. In the case of
node-sass, output is either represented by
--output. To learn more about
node-sass command line options, please
visit node-sass on npmjs.com.
And, since I use
VS Code, I can run the
Live Server extension on
my project while
scss files at the same time. No fuss no
muss! Basically, I use the equivalent of
Very cool! This was especially helpful (and quickly implemented) when
setting up a whole bunch of repositories for a
To view how I set up
node-sass in a small, purely
application, please visit
Toggle Can on Github.
I will be embedding this episode of Plugging in The Holes along with a transcript in the form of a post on interglobalmedianetwork.com for your hearing and reading pleasure. I will be including the related resource links mentioned in the podcast of course. Always do. Bye for now!
Created by Maria D. Campbell who lives and works in New York City building and teaching useful things. You should follow her on Twitter.