LESS CSS Framework

LESS (Leaner CSS) is a CSS Framework that provides an alternative for SASS. It extends CSS with variables, mixins, operations and nested rules. As an extension to CSS, LESS is not only backwards compatible with CSS, but the extra features it adds use existing CSS syntax. This makes learning LESS a breeze, and if in doubt, lets you fall back to CSS.

LESS is an extension of CSS. You can write LESS code just like you would write CSS, except you need to compile it to CSS. That’s where you can use LESS Ruby gem which will compile LESS code to CSS. Note that you can use LESS compiler to translate the .less file into a .css file and use it in any type of project.

More is the official LESS plugin for Ruby on Rails applications. It automatically parses your applications .less files through LESS and outputs CSS files. Here is what More will do for you:

  • Recursively looks for LESS (.less) files in app/stylesheets
  • Ignores partials (prefixed with underscore: _partial.less) – these can be included with @import in your LESS files
  • Saves the resulting CSS files to public/stylesheets using the same directory structure as app/stylesheets

Developed by Alexis Sellier; LESS is available for download under Apache License.  You can find further information, demo & download on LESS Website.

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Reader Comments

3 Responses to “LESS CSS Framework”
  1. Sean says:

    Hey this looks interesting but could you explain the appaerent non-sequitor “LESS (Leaner CSS) is a CSS Framework that provides an alternative for SAAS”?

    I’ve been a web developer for more than 10 years and try to keep current, but my google-fu is failing me trying to figure out what you mean by this. So one can understand the implied comparison, what would a SAAS solution for CSS look like (examples?)



  2. Jeff says:

    I’ve only had a brief dabble with LESS, but I can certainly recommend it to anyone who finds writing CSS repetitive. The mixins are one of the best features, they can help keep your CSS code DRY and logical.

    Although using LESS is simplest when combined with a Ruby on Rails application, it can be used on any project, the command line program comes with a –watch flag which will auto generate your CSS file whenever you save your .less file.

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