The Node.js port of KSS: A methodology for documenting CSS and generating style guides


This is a Node.js implementation of Knyle Style Sheets (KSS), "a documentation syntax for CSS" that's intended to have syntax readable by humans and machines. Hence, the kss-node software can be used to create a "living style guide".

  1. Write human-readable documentation using "KSS syntax" comments.
  2. Have kss-node auto-generate a style guide from your stylesheets.

Here's an example KSS comment:

// Button 
// Your standard button suitable for clicking. 
// :hover   - Highlights when hovering. 
// .shiny   - Do not press this big, shiny, red button. 
// Style guide: components.button 
.button {
.button.shiny {

The methodology and ideas behind Knyle Style Sheets are contained in the specification.

There's an example project in the demo directory of this repo.

kss-node is installed just like any other Node.js software. Read the kss-node Quick Start Guide to learn more. It also includes an npm Quick Start Guide, if you don't know much about Node.js's npm command.

To get you up and running quickly, a style guide generator is included that can be used from the command line. It parses stylesheets and spits out a set of static HTML files.

Usage: kss-node [options]
  --init, -i      Clone a style guide template to customize             [string]
  --template, -t  Use a custom template to build your style guide
                             [string] [default: "generator/handlebars/template"]
  --mask, -m      Use a mask for detecting files containing KSS comments
                [string] [default: "*.css|*.less|*.sass|*.scss|*.styl|*.stylus"]
  --css           URL of a CSS file to include in the style guide       [string]
  --js            URL of a JavaScript file to include in the style guide
  --custom        Process a custom property name when parsing KSS comments
  --source        Source directory to parse for KSS comments            [string]
  --destination   Destination directory of generated style guide
                                                [string] [default: "styleguide"]
  --config, -c    Load the kss-node configuration from a json file
  --help, -h, -?  Show help
  --version       Show version number
Options for the default template:
  --helpers       Location of custom handlebars helpers; see
                  http://bit.ly/kss-wiki                                [string]
  --homepage      File name of the homepage's Markdown file
                                             [string] [default: "styleguide.md"]
  --placeholder   Placeholder text to use for modifier classes
                                          [string] [default: "[modifier class]"]
  --title         Title of the style guide
                                           [string] [default: "KSS Style Guide"]

In order to parse your stylesheets containing KSS docs, you need to either specify a single directory as the first argument or you can specify one or more source directories with one or more --source [directory] flags.

The generated style guide will be put into the styleguide directory unless you specify the second argument or use a --destination [directory] flag.

Even though kss-node parses your CSS source, your CSS won't be included in the style guide unless you use the --css option or create a custom template with --init.

You can generate a copy of the demo style guide like so:

$ kss-node --xdemo

It is recommended that you create your own template, i.e. skin, theme. Use the kss-node --init command to initialize a copy of the default template so you can edit it and use it when generating your style guide with the --template flag. Simply link the generated CSS (as well as JS, etc.) from inside the custom template's index.html.

$ kss-node --init custom-template
$ kss-node path/to/sass styleguide --template custom-template

The default template should look something like this:

Unlike the default Ruby implementation at kneath/kss, kss-node includes a few optional features to allow for completely automated style guide generation.

Language Agnostic. kss-node does not care what language your application is written in (Ruby, Node.js, PHP, whatever). It just scans your CSS source files looking for KSS docs so that it can generate a living style guide. And since it only looks for properly formatted KSS comments, it also doesn't need to know what kind of CSS preprocessor you use either.

Homepage Text. The overview text needed for the style guide homepage is generated from a Markdown file, which you should place in a --source directory, just name it styleguide.md and it will be included in the final style guide automatically.

Additional kss-node specifics are detailed in this version of the KSS spec.

Take a look at the demo project for some examples.

Check out the JavaScript API for a full explanation. Here's an example:

var kss = require('kss'),
    options = {
        markdown: false
kss.traverse('public/stylesheets/', options, function(errstyleguide) {
    if (err) throw err;
    styleguide.section('2.1.1')                                   // <KssSection> 
    styleguide.section('2.1.1').modifiers(0)                      // <KssModifier> 
    styleguide.section('2.1.1').modifiers(':hover').description() // 'Subtle hover highlight' 
    styleguide.section('2.1.1').modifiers(0).className()          // 'pseudo-class-hover' 
    styleguide.section('2.x.x')                                   // [<KssSection>, ...] 
    styleguide.section('2.1.1').modifiers()                       // [<KssModifier>, ...] 

Forking, hacking, and tearing apart of this software is welcome! It still needs some cleaning up.

If you've got mocha installed, you can run the module's tests with npm test or make test.

To generate a new version of the demo style guide, use make gh-pages. After committing your changes to master you can use the gh-pages.sh script to move this over to the gh-pages branch real quick.

Lots! And more are welcome. https://github.com/kss-node/kss-node/graphs/contributors