Ben Ripkens

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Using Sass with Django

Sass is great as it adds some neat functionality to your stylesheets, e.g. nesting, mixins, variables and math. Since it is a command line tool you can execute it like

sass --watch input.scss:output.css

Having to type this command is tedious and creating a .sh or .bat script for this requires you to maintain two files.  My approach is to create a custom django-admin command watchsass for this. How this is generally done can be read on this page. The following listing shows the command which I’m using in a small project right now.

#/usr/bin/env python2.6
# Copyright 2011 Ben Ripkens
# Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
# you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
# You may obtain a copy of the License at
# Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
# distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
# See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
# limitations under the License.

__authors__ = [
        '"Ben Ripkens" <>',

from import NoArgsCommand
import os
import time
import datetime

class Command(NoArgsCommand):
    Watch for changes in the common.scss file and convert it to common.css
    using sass. Sass needs to be on the path.

    help = 'Convert scss to css'

    def handle_noargs(self, **options):
        scss = os.path.abspath("media/css/common.scss")
        css = os.path.abspath("media/css/common.css")

        command = "sass \"" + scss + "\":\"" + css + "\" --style compressed"

        print "Executing command '%s'" % command
        print "Sass watch parameter is not used due to some bug."

        last_update = os.stat(scss).st_mtime

        while True:
            if not last_update == os.stat(scss).st_mtime:
                last_update = os.stat(scss).st_mtime
                print "Updated stylesheet at %s" %

As you can see I’m not using the –watch flag. This is because it’s not working on my system.

That's me, Ben.
Hey, I am Ben Ripkens (bripkens) and this is my blog. I live in Düsseldorf (Germany) and I am employed by the codecentric AG as a Software Engineer. Web application frontends are my main area of expertise, but you may also find some other interesting articles on this blog.