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Sass vs node-sass: What are the differences?

Sass and node-sass are both tools that allow developers to use Sass, a CSS extension language, in their projects. However, there are several key differences between the two.

  1. Installation: Sass is a Ruby gem and requires Ruby to be installed on the system. On the other hand, node-sass is a Node.js binding, which means it can be installed using npm without any Ruby dependency.

  2. Performance: Node-sass is generally faster than Sass as it is a C++ binding for LibSass, a popular Sass compiler written in C++. This makes node-sass a better choice for larger projects or projects with tight performance requirements.

  3. Language compatibility: Sass supports both the SCSS (Sassy CSS) and Sass syntaxes. SCSS is a superset of CSS and follows the CSS syntax closely, while Sass has its own syntax with a more concise and indentation-based structure. Node-sass, being a Sass compiler, supports both syntaxes as well.

  4. Reduced memory footprint: Node-sass has a smaller memory footprint compared to Sass. This is because node-sass directly interacts with LibSass, bypassing the need for a Ruby interpreter and reducing the overall memory usage.

  5. Community and support: Sass has been around for longer and has a larger community compared to node-sass. As a result, there are more resources, tutorials, and community support available for Sass. However, node-sass also has an active community and is widely used in the Node.js ecosystem.

  6. Better integration with Node.js ecosystem: Node-sass integrates seamlessly with the Node.js ecosystem and can be easily incorporated into build processes using task runners like Gulp or webpack. This allows for better automation and enables developers to take advantage of the vast Node.js package ecosystem.

In summary, Sass and node-sass are both powerful tools for using Sass in web development. While Sass requires Ruby and has a larger community, node-sass offers better performance, reduced memory footprint, and better integration with the Node.js ecosystem. Depending on the project requirements and developer preferences, either tool can be a suitable choice.

Advice on node-sass and Sass
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Originally, I was going to start using Sass with Parcel, but then I learned about Stylus, which looked interesting because it can get the property values of something directly instead of through variables, and PostCSS, which looked interesting because you can customize your Pre/Post-processing. Which tool would you recommend?

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Replies (2)

You're not correct with saying "vs Postcss". You're using Less/Sass/Stylus/... to produce "CSS" (maybe extended means it has some future features) and then in any case PostCSS will play (it is shipped with Parcel/NextJS/CRA/...)

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Pros of node-sass
Pros of Sass
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 613
    • 594
    • 466
      Nested rules
    • 410
    • 300
    • 149
      Modular flexible code
    • 143
      Open source
    • 112
      Selector inheritance
    • 107
    • 96
      Better than cs
    • 5
      Used by Bootstrap
    • 3
      If and for function
    • 2
      Better than less
    • 1
      Inheritance (@extend)
    • 1
      Custom functions

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of node-sass
    Cons of Sass
    • 1
      Needs Microsoft BuildTools and Python 2.7 to install
    • 6
      Needs to be compiled

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is node-sass?

    It is a library that provides binding for Node.js to LibSass, the C version of the popular stylesheet preprocessor, Sass. It allows you to natively compile .scss files to css at incredible speed and automatically via a connect middleware.

    What is Sass?

    Sass is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rules, variables, mixins, selector inheritance, and more. It's translated to well-formatted, standard CSS using the command line tool or a web-framework plugin.

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    What companies use node-sass?
    What companies use Sass?
    See which teams inside your own company are using node-sass or Sass.
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    What tools integrate with node-sass?
    What tools integrate with Sass?

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    What are some alternatives to node-sass and Sass?
    A bundler for javascript and friends. Packs many modules into a few bundled assets. Code Splitting allows to load parts for the application on demand. Through "loaders" modules can be CommonJs, AMD, ES6 modules, CSS, Images, JSON, Coffeescript, LESS, ... and your custom stuff.
    PostCSS is a tool for transforming CSS with JS plugins. These plugins can support variables and mixins, transpile future CSS syntax, inline images, and more.
    The compass core framework is a design-agnostic framework that provides common code that would otherwise be duplicated across other frameworks and extensions.
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
    Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
    See all alternatives