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DSS, Documented Style Sheets is a comment guide and parser for CSS, LESS, STYLUS, SASS and SCSS code. This project does static file analysis and parsing to generate an object to be used for generating styleguides.

Table of Contents

Parsing a File

In most cases, you will want to include the DSS parser in a build step that will generate documentation files automatically (or you just want to play around with this returned Object for other means); Either way, we officially support a Grunt Plugin and a Gulp Plugin.


Example Comment Block Format
// @name Button
// @description Your standard form button.
// @state :hover - Highlights when hovering.
// @state :disabled - Dims the button when disabled.
// @state .primary - Indicates button is the primary action.
// @state .smaller - A smaller button
// @markup
//   <button>This is a button</button>
Example Usage
// Requirements
var fs = require( 'fs' );
var dss = require( 'dss' );

// Get file contents
var fileContents = fs.readFileSync( 'styles.css' );

// Run the DSS Parser on the file contents
dss.parse( fileContents, {}, function ( parsedObject ) {

  // Output the parsed document
  console.log( parsedObject );

Example Output
  "name": "Button",
  "description": "Your standard form button.",
  "state": [
      "name": ":hover",
      "escaped": "pseudo-class-hover",
      "description": "Highlights when hovering."
      "name": ":disabled",
      "escaped": "pseudo-class-disabled",
      "description": "Dims the button when disabled."
      "name": ".primary",
      "escaped": "primary",
      "description": "Indicates button is the primary action."
      "name": ".smaller",
      "escaped": "smaller",
      "description": "A smaller button"
  "markup": {
    "example": "<button>This is a button</button>",
    "escaped": "&lt;button&gt;This is a button&lt;/button&gt;"

dss.detector( callback )

This method defines the way in which points of interest (ie. variables) are found in lines of text and then, later, parsed. DSS dogfoods this API and the default implementation is shown below.

Default Detector:
// Describe default detection pattern
// Note: the current line, as a string, is passed to this function
dss.detector( function( line ) {
  if ( typeof line !== 'string' ) {
    return false;
  var reference = line.split( "\n\n" ).pop();
  return !!reference.match( /.*@/ );


dss.parser( name, callback )

DSS, by default, includes 4 parsers for the name, description, state and markup of a comment block. You can add to, or override, these defaults by registering a new parser. These defaults also follow a pattern which uses the @ decorator to identify them. You can modify this behaivour providing a different callback function to dss.detector().

dss.parser expects the name of the variable you're looking for and a callback function to manipulate the contents. Whatever is returned by that callback function is what is used in generate JSON.

Callback this:
  • this.file: The current file
  • The name of the parser
  • this.options: The options that were passed to dss.parse() initially
  • this.line:
    • this.line.contents: The content associated with this variable
    • this.line.from: The line number where this variable was found
    • The line number where this variable's contents ended
  • this.block:
    • this.block.contents: The content associated with this variable's comment block
    • this.block.from: The line number where this variable's comment block starts
    • The line number where this variable's comment block ends
Custom Parser Examples:
// Matches @version
dss.parser( 'version', function () {

  // Just returns the lines contents
  return this.line.contents;

dss.parser( 'link', function () {

  // Replace link with HTML wrapped version
  var exp = /(b(https?|ftp|file)://[-A-Z0-9+&@#/%?=~_|!:,.;]*[-A-Z0-9+&@#/%=~_|])/ig;
  this.line.contents.replace(exp, "<a href='$1'>$1</a>");
  return line;

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