0.11.1 • Public • Published

    CSSCat Build Status

    CSSCat is a Node.js tool for managing CSS dependencies. Its goal is to facilitate CSS modularity through the liberal use of @import statements (including ones with media conditions) during development that can then be concatenated into single files for production.

    Instead of creating long manifests of files that need to be concatenated together by a build tool, CSSCat does this for you by tracing the dependency tree by reading a file's @import statements. This enables you to leverage @import statements during development and concatenated/minified CSS in production. And without having to rewrite your <link> tags to point to "some-file.min.css".

    Why not just use one of the various CSS preprocessors available these days, you ask? Good question. I wrote CSSCat for those who don't use a preprocessor and/or for when a project's limitations exclude a preprocessor as an option. Since CSSCat operates on valid CSS, switching to another tool is simple.

    Note: CSSCat does not copy the project files into a new directory before processing. This gist shows how to use CSSCat's fsh module in your build.js file to easily generate a copy of the your project.

    CSSCat IS IN THE ALPHA STAGES. So please use with caution. Due to its file transformation functionality, it should only be used in a manner that does not jeopardize your valuable work. More testing and real-world use is needed to ensure a solid tool that functions as advertised.

    With that said, testers are needed (and much appreciated)! Please log any issues or features and I'll follow up as soon as possible.


    • Concatenates file dependencies by parsing their @import statements (including ones with media conditions). CSSCat correctly wraps the imported CSS in its equivalent @media block. For example:


        @import url( 'a.css' ) screen and ( min-width: 100px );


        @media screen and ( min-width: 100px ) {
        #some-id {
    • Rewrites relative asset paths to reference new context.

    • Optionally optimizes each file via CSSMin.


    $ npm install csscat


    The only option needed to get started is the dir option. The path you provide should be relative to the file from which csscat.init( options ) is invoked. The following configuration will process all files located in "my/css" and its subdirectories.

        var csscat = require( 'csscat' );
            dir: 'my/css'

    You can also supply only a files option. Just like the dir option, the path should be relative to the file from which csscat.init( options ) is invoked. The following configuration will process "a.css", "b.css", "c.css".

    Please be aware that since CSSCat follows the dependency tree using the file's @import statements, any @import statements found pointing to files not listed in the files array will cause those files to also be processed.

        var csscat = require( 'csscat' );
            files: [

    You can use the ignore option to insure that certain files are skipped. The strings found in the ignore array are matched against the values in @import statements. If a file's @import statement contains a match to one of these strings, that file and all of its ancestors (the files that import it) are skipped. This is needed to avoid creating invalid CSS.

        var csscat = require( 'csscat' );
            dir: 'my/css',
            ignore: [ 'd.css' ]

    The exclude option enables you to exclude certain files and directories via regular expression matching. Be aware that, like the earlier example, any @import statements found pointing to files meant for exclusion will still be processed.

            var csscat = require( 'csscat' );
                dir: 'my/css',
                exclude: /pattern/


    • dir {String} The base path (relative to the file from which csscat.init is invoked) used to search for all files with a "css" extension.

    • files {Array} (Optional) An array of files to use instead of searching the dir path.

      • If the paths are not absolute, they must be relative to the file from which csscat.init is invoked.
      • If the dir path is defined, the paths cannot be absolute, they must be relative to the dir path.
    • optimize {Boolean} Minify via CSSMin.

    • exclude {RegEx} Regex exclusion pattern used to filter the list of files to process. Defaults to /^\.|\/\.|node_modules/, which filters out anything that begins with "." or "node_modules". NOTE: If an excluded file is a dependency of a non-excluded file, the file will be parsed. See the ignore option for an alternative way to skip files.

    • ignore {Array} Array of strings to match against when parsing the @import statements of a file. If a match is found, the file and all of the ancestor files in its dependency chain will be skipped.

    • log {Boolean} Disable logging. Defaults to true.

    • debug {Boolean} Enable debug logging. Defaults to false.

    The Files Object

    The call to csscat.init( options ) returns a files object containing the data and order members.

    The data Object

    The data object stores information on each file. The file's absolute path is represented as a key.

    • skip {Boolean} If the file was skipped for any reason. A file is skipped if one of its dependencies can not be resolved. This is due to using non-relative paths (absolute/URLs) in an @import statement or one of its @import statement's paths was found in the options ignore array.
    • imports {Object} Information on each of the file's dependencies.
      • statement {String} The full @import statement as found in the source.
      • path {String} The original path found in the @import statement.
      • rule {String} The @import rule, sans any media condition.
      • condition {String} The media condition. Empty string if no media condition is found.

    The order Array

    The order array is an ordered list of files (absolute paths) that have been processed. The order is determined by the dependency tree. Skipped files are not included.



    $ cd path/to/where/you/installed/csscat
    $ npm test


    Since Windows does not recognize executables the same as OSX you need to run the following:

    $ cd path\to\where\you\installed\csscat
    $ node node_modules/.bin/mocha --reporter list --require should tests

    Viewing the Results in the Browser

    Each test in "tests/options/actual" be viewed in the browser, which allows for easy visual debugging. Simply drag the test's "index.html" file to your browser. If you find a particular scenario in your css organization that fails, open an issue.

    Reading the Results

    PASS: All text is green. A green checkmark image to the left of each item's text.

    FAIL: Red text and/or red "x" image (or no "x" image) to the left of each item's text.





    npm i csscat

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    • ryanfitzer