I’m also often asked “which is better?” when it comes to LESS and Sass. I started working with Sass roughly a year ago as I was a holdout for some time. At first I simply assumed (like many) that it only worked with Ruby on Rails projects. I was quickly corrected on that. Then I fell back to my assumption that preprocessors like that would abstract me too far from the styles I was writing and I’d end up with this bloated junk that’s at least twice the size it would be had I written it by hand. The prospect of a preproccessor cheapened the craft for me.
That was until I started using it. The first few projects were a bit iffy, but I’d be hard pressed to not use Sass on a project today. When written properly, it’s going to save you time, keystrokes, bandwidth, and stress.
When I first dove in, the fact that there were these two competing projects (LESS and Sass) was also a turnoff. After a bit of research I was a bit turned off by the client side processing of LESS, even though that was just an option. Super petty I know, but that was one of the reasons I went with Sass out of the gate. I’m glad I did for a number of reasons. They’re well explained in Chris’ article, but a huge reason I side with Sass is Compass.
Compass is something I sought out to write myself before knowing it existed. The concept of a mixin library you can consistently use project-to-project was a huge eye-opener for me and I ended up starting down a path that Compass had already done for me.
There are tons of other great features in both projects, but it’s surely worth getting the rundown in this article.
The few projects I’ve worked with SASS on have been a nuisance to say the least. I too felt that it positioned me farther away from my styles and it almost seemed pointless. I don’t think I’ve really experienced it’s raw power, and I think you’re right about saving time long term.
One thing I did run into trouble was getting into the habit of running a sass –watch on the directory that housed the .SASS files. I wrote an alfred script for it to make it easier, though still from time to time I sometimes forget.
This has definitely inspired me to take a better look at SASS and maybe get a library going on git.
Yeah, getting used to having Sass watch your compile directories can be infuriating at first when you’re saving changes and nothing is happening. I’d definitely suggest that you check out CodeKit, a GUI app that very nicely will watch your Sass directories for you. That’s just the tip of the iceberg; that app does tons more awesome stuff.