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Toolkit for Responsive Web Design and Progressive Enhancement with Compass

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Octocat-spinner-32 compass New Gem March 08, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 sass Test update March 08, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 stylesheets Test update March 08, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 .gitignore Initial commit June 19, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 README.md Update README.md May 09, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 config.rb add sass script to test project January 07, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 index.html Better testing, now including an index.html February 26, 2013
README.md

Toolkit

Progressive Enhancement? Simple. Responsive Web Design? Done. Design in Browser? Beautiful.

UPDATE! Active Development has been moved to the Team Sass orginization!

Think of Toolkit as your swiss army knife for Progressive Enhancement and Responsive Web Design. Those little bits and bobs that make your life easy and you want to reuse throughout projects but never really had a place to put? They're here, and they're designed to make your life happy. It's even got templates to get you rocking and rolling with some of the best Responsive Web Design tools Sass has to offer. Toolkit is broken out into individual pieces, so grab what you want, grab what you need, or grab the lot; the choice is yours.

Table of Contents

  1. Border Box
  2. Fluid Media
  3. Progressive Enhancement
  4. Clearfix
  5. Vertical Center
  6. Colour Functions
  7. Selectors
  8. Triangles
  9. Equal Height Columns
  10. Odds and Ends
  11. Templates

Requirements

Toolkit is a Compass extension, so make sure you have Sass and Compass Installed in order to use its awesomeness!

Toolkit also requires Sass 3.2. Breakpoint should install Sass 3.2 for you when you install it, but in case you are getting errors, open up your terminal and type the following in:

gem install sass

This will install Sass 3.2. If you are compiling with CodeKit, Chris Coyier has an awesome writeup on how to get CodeKit playing nice with Sass 3.2, at least until it is updated to 3.2.

Installation

gem install toolkit

If creating a new project

compass create <my_project> -r toolkit

If adding to existing project, in config.rb

require 'toolkit'

Import the toolkit partial at the top of your working file

@import "toolkit";

Border Box

The traditional box model is boring and annoying. I set my width to be 15%, but then my padding and my borders push that out even wider, making my life on a grid oh so hard and oh so annoying. I wish there was a way to keep everything within my set width.

Well look no further! Now there is! Introducing the Natural Box Layout Model, also knows as Border Box box sizing! Paul Irish proposed using box sizing this way on all of our elements to get that warm, fuzzy feeling. Simply import this partial, and you'll be happy as a clam. This will add the following snippet to your code:

* { @include box-sizing('border-box'); }

Fluid Media

Before I go any further, I must say the following.

Sass will not magically give you responsive media. Neither will Compass, Modernizr, or any CSS or JavaScript Framework. For responsive media to be a reality, we need a new browser based standard. There currently is the proposed <picture> element over at the World Wide Web Consortium, and there's a proposed srcset attribute on current image elements over at the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group, but until there is a standard, everything is a hack.

With that being said, there are some tricks you can do in CSS to make media fluid, and Sass rocks at this.

Fluid Images and HTML5 Video

This is the most basic of fluid media solutions: take an image or HTML5 video, make sure you never make it larger than it natively is, and scale it to fit its holder when the holder gets small. Keep everything in proportion. This will add the following snippet to your code:

img, video {
  max-width: 100%;
  height: auto;
}

Intrinsic Ratios

What is an intrinsic ratio you may ask? Well Thierry Koblentz wrote a great A List Apart article explaining it all in great detail; go read it. In a nutshell, however, it's a way to force any child elements to fluidly scale at a given ratio, including videos and frames, making awesome responsive happiness. Provided is a intrinsic-ratio mixin that takes three inputs: $ratio which defaults to 16/9 for the ratio you want to use, $width which defaults to 100% for what percentage of the parent width you want the scaled elements to take up, and $elements which defaults to * for what child elements you want this to apply to. By default, the mixin will try and optimize your output as much as possible and group pieces of the output together to provide smaller CSS output, but if you set $extend: false as a parameter of the mixin call, it won't. You can also choose whether or not you'd like your confined element to be at the top or bottom of their parent element by setting $direction: top or $direction: bottom. An example of how you can use intrinsic ratios:

.ratio-16-9 {
  @include intrinsic-ratio;
}

.ratio-4-3-75 {
  @include intrinsic-ratio(4/3, 75%);
}

.ratio-7-8-75-iframe-no-extend {
  @include intrinsic-ratio(7/8, 75%, 'iframe', false);
}
.ratio-16-9, .ratio-4-3-75 {
  position: relative;
  height: 0;
}

.ratio-16-9 > *, .ratio-4-3-75 > * {
  display: block;
  position: absolute;
  width: 100% !important;
  height: 100% !important;
  top: 0;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
}

.ratio-16-9 {
  padding-top: 56.25%;
  width: 100%;
}

.ratio-4-3-75 {
  padding-top: 56.25%;
  width: 75%;
}

.ratio-7-8-75-iframe-no-extend {
  position: relative;
  height: 0;
  padding-top: 85.71429%;
  width: 75%;
}
.ratio-7-8-75-iframe-no-extend > iframe {
  display: block;
  position: absolute;
  width: 100% !important;
  height: 100% !important;
  top: 0;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
}

You can also set the defaults you'd like to use for all intrinsic ratio calls by setting a few variables. Their defaults are shown, but you can set them to whatever you'd like before you use the intrinsic-ratio mixin and those'll be used.

$intrinsic-ratio: 16/9;
$intrinsic-ratio-width: 100%;
$intrinsic-ratio-elements: '*';
$intrinsic-ratio-extend: true;
$intrinsic-ratio-direction: top;

Progressive Enhancement

The crux around which all of the Progressive Enhancement tools are built is Modernizr style CSS classes for CSS hooks. In fact, I highly suggest you to go download a custom build of Modernizr and use it in every one of your projects. That being said, mixin love for all!

Enhance and Degrade

There are two mixins that go side by side to enhance and degrade your CSS: enhance-with and degrade-from. Now, these don't' magically provide you with your enhancements or depredations, but they do magically add in all of the proper classing for you, and more importantly, provides an easy to read mental model for what you're doing. The key here is that what you put in is what you get out, so if you're looking to enhance with Modernizr's CSS3 Transforms CSS hook, for instance, you'd call @include enhance-with(csstransforms){}. The degradation mixin also assume that your degraded style is also a No JavaScript style unless you pass in $no-js: false as well. A little example as to how you use them.

#foo {
  @include enhance-with(touch) {
    height: 44px;
    width: 44px;
  }
  @include degrade-from(touch) {
    height: 20px;
    width: 50px;
  }
}
.touch #foo {
  height: 44px;
  width: 44px;
}
.no-touch #foo, .no-js #foo {
  height: 20px;
  width: 50px;
}

Progressively Enhanced Background Images

You would think that background images are tried and true, and you would be wrong! How about SVG background images with PNG Fallbacks? How about Retina with standard fallbacks? There are two mixins that exist that will allow you to use progressive enhancement techniques to create your background, including optimizations like spriting your images and inlining your SVG. Below are the two background mixins.

SVG Background

The SVG Background mixin is a nifty little piece of code that takes Modernizr SVG feature detection and creates sweet sweet background images with it. The folder setup is super easy; create a folder in your Images directory, name it something descriptive (I'm going to do social for a handful of social images), and stick in that folder both your SVG and your PNG files. Each SVG file should have a matching PNG file that is named the same except for the file extension, so flag.svg should have a matching flag.png.

The code itself is pretty easy. Simply make a variable set to what the folder name in your Images directory (if it's in a sub-directory, include the full path from your Images directory in front of the name of the folder), include the sprite map generator mixin passing in that variable, then include the svg background mixin with the variable and the name of the file you want to use! Couldn't be simpler.

$social: 'social';
@include sprite-map-generator($social);

#flag {
  @include svg-background($social, 'flag');
}

#code {
  @include svg-background($social, 'code');
}
.no-svg #flag, .no-js #flag, .no-svg #code, .no-js #code {
  background-image: url('/images/social-sbba688537b.png');
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
}

#flag {
  width: 72px;
  height: 72px;
}
.svg #flag {
  background-image: url('data:image/svg+xml;base64,PD94bWwgdmVyc2lvbj0iMS4wIiBlbmNvZGluZz0idXRmLTgiPz4NCjwhLS0gR2VuZXJhdG9yOiBB…mc+DQo=');
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-size: 72px 72px;
}
.no-svg #flag, .no-js #flag {
  background-position: 0 -144px;
}

#code {
  width: 72px;
  height: 72px;
}
.svg #code {
  background-image: url('data:image/svg+xml;base64,PD94bWwgdmVyc2lvbj0iMS4wIiBlbmNvZGluZz0idXRmLTgiPz4NCjwhLS0gR2VuZXJhdG9y…C9zdmc+DQo=');
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-size: 72px 72px;
}
.no-svg #code, .no-js #code {
  background-position: 0 0;
}

There are a few options you can pass into svg-background to have more control over the output. If you would prefer to link to your SVG files instead of inlining them, include the parameter $inline-svg: false. If you don't want to include the dimensions, pass $with-dimensions: false into the mixin.

Retina Background

The Retina Background mixin has pretty much the identical Sass with just slightly different folder setups. Instead of putting both the retina and standard images in the same folder, you create two folders with identical names, the retina one being appended with _2x, and have a standard version in your regular folder and the double sized one in the _2x folder (both with the same names). For instance, if we're using those social images again, we'd have a folder social and a folder social_2x. We then make image sprites for your images to reduce HTTP requests, and all is awesome.

Now, there are some intracacies in with dealing with the asset downloading and media queries needed for this. The approach I've taken is a combination of the best practices I've come to use, but may not suit all of your needs. This, unfortunately, is the nature of Retina images and asset downloading at the moment. The output you're going to get is the standard size image plus sprite for when an IE6, IE7, or IE8 body class exists following the best practice in HTML5 Boilerplate. You are going to get the standard size image for a DPR less than 1.5 and the retina image at a DRP greater than or equal to 1.5. The media queries generated take into account Webkit, old Mozilla, experimental Opera, CSSWG Standard (which I have issues with, but it's the standard so it's included) and standard Resolution fallback which isn't as reliable as one may like due to CSS Resolution, but it's the only fallback we've got.

The code itself is pretty easy. Simply make a variable set to what the standard image size folder is named in your Images directory, include the sprite map generator mixin passing in that variable, then include the retina background mixin with the variable and the name of the file you want to use! Couldn't be simpler.

$social: 'social';
@include sprite-map-generator($social, 'retina');

#flag {
  @include retina-background($social, 'flag');
}

#code {
  @include retina-background($social, 'code');
}
.ie6 #flag, .ie7 #flag, .ie8 #flag, .ie6 #code, .ie7 #code, .ie8 #code {
  background-image: url('/images/social-sbba688537b.png');
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
}

#flag {
  width: 72px;
  height: 72px;
}
.ie6 #flag, .ie7 #flag, .ie8 #flag {
  background-position: 0 -144px;
}
@media (-webkit-max-device-pixel-ratio: 1.4), (max--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 1.4), (-o-max-device-pixel-ratio: 7 / 5), (min-resolution: 1.4dppx), (min-resolution: 134.4dpi) {
  #flag {
    background-image: url('/images/social-sbba688537b.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: 0 -144px;
  }
}
@media (-webkit-max-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5), (max--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5), (-o-max-device-pixel-ratio: 3 / 2), (min-resolution: 1.5dppx), (min-resolution: 144dpi) {
  #flag {
    background-image: url('/images/social_2x-s2b6e61b993.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 72px 72px;
    background-position: 0 -288px;
  }
}

#code {
  width: 72px;
  height: 72px;
}
.ie6 #code, .ie7 #code, .ie8 #code {
  background-position: 0 0;
}
@media (-webkit-max-device-pixel-ratio: 1.4), (max--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 1.4), (-o-max-device-pixel-ratio: 7 / 5), (min-resolution: 1.4dppx), (min-resolution: 134.4dpi) {
  #code {
    background-image: url('/images/social-sbba688537b.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: 0 0;
  }
}
@media (-webkit-max-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5), (max--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5), (-o-max-device-pixel-ratio: 3 / 2), (min-resolution: 1.5dppx), (min-resolution: 144dpi) {
  #code {
    background-image: url('/images/social_2x-s2b6e61b993.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 72px 72px;
    background-position: 0 -144px;
  }
}

If you do not want to include dimensions in your output, pass $with-dimensions: false into the retina-background mixin as well.

Progressively Enhanced Text Replacement

Text replacement is pretty good for accessibility and whatnot, but as is, it's not very good for progressive enhancement. There's a lot that goes in to text replacement in general, and then combine that with serving either a PNG or an SVG (for resolution independence) and you start to have to write a lot of CSS for something fairly simple. Plus, we all like to use image sprites for our text replacement, right? RIGHT?! That's even more work that we need to deal with. Not any more! We can have Compass automate the whole process, and do it more efficiently than if we had done it by hand to boot. Setup is fairly easy, and there is only one major restriction: this method cannot currently be used from within a media query, but other than that, it's good to go!

The Setup

There are two ways you can use the Progressively Enhanced Text Replacement; either with SVG (the default, preferred way) or with Retina images.

The SVG Way: In you Images directory, create a directory to hold the images you want sprited together. All of the images must be in .png format. In that same directory, place the SVG files you want to use. Each .png file you want to use should have a corresponding .svg file with the same name. I'm going to create some social images, so I'm going to put them inside a social folder.

The Retina Image Way: In your Images directory, create a directory to hold the images you want sprited together, and another named the same appended with _2x to hold your retina images. All of the images must be in .png format. Each single sized images should have a corresponding retina image of the same name. I'm going to create some social images, so I'm going to put them inside a social folder.

The Usage

Very easy. Make a variable set to what the folder name is inside your Images directory, or the standard image size folder name for retina, include the sprite map generator mixin passing in that variable, then include the progressive replace text mixin with the variable and the name of the file you want to use! Couldn't be simpler.

** The SVG Way**

$social: 'social';
@include sprite-map-generator($social);

#flag {
  @include replace-text-pe($social, 'flag');
}

#code {
  @include replace-text-pe($social, 'code');
}

** The Retina Image Way**

$social: 'social';
@include sprite-map-generator($social, 'retina');

#flag {
  @include replace-text-pe($social, 'flag', 'retina');
}

#code {
  @include replace-text-pe($social, 'code', 'retina');
}

The SVG Output

By default, the progressive text replacement mixin will do a few things: it will inline your SVG to reduce HTTP requests and cache them with your CSS, it will include dimensions for your output, and it assumes that what you're replacing isn't an inline element. If you'd like to change this, pass the following into your replace-text-pe mixin call: $inline-svg: false for linked SVG images, $with-dimensions: false for no dimensions, and $inline-element: true for an inline element.

The mixin does a lot of optimization to try and ensure the minimal amount of code is printed out, and assumes that if there is no JavaScript present, that it is to use the image sprite that it creates.

created images/social-sbba688537b.png
#flag, #code {
  text-indent: 110%;
  white-space: nowrap;
  overflow: hidden;
}

.no-svg #flag, .no-js #flag, .no-svg #code, .no-js #code {
  background-image: url('/images/social-sbba688537b.png');
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
}

#flag {
  width: 72px;
  height: 72px;
}
.svg #flag {
  background-image: url('data:image/svg+xml;base64,PD94bWwgdmVyc2lvbj0iMS4wIiBlbmNvZGluZz0idXRmLTgiPz4NCjwhLS0gR2VuZXJhdG9yOiBBZG9iZSBJbGx1c3RyYXRvciAxNi4wLjAsIFNWRyBFeHBvcnQgUGx1Zy1JbiAuIFNWRyBWZXJzaW9uOiA2LjAwIEJ1aWxkIDApICAt…+DQo=');
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-size: 72px 72px;
}
.no-svg #flag, .no-js #flag {
  background-position: 0 -144px;
}

#code {
  width: 72px;
  height: 72px;
}
.svg #code {
  background-image: url('data:image/svg+xml;base64,PD94bWwgdmVyc2lvbj0iMS4wIiBlbmNvZGluZz0idXRmLTgiPz4NCjwhLS0gR2VuZXJhdG9yOiBBZG9iZSBJbGx1c3RyYXRvciAxNi4wLjAsIFNWRyBFeHBvcnQgUGx1Zy1JbiAuIFNWRyBWZXJzaW9uOiA2LjAwIEJ1aWxkIDApICAt…+DQo=');
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  background-size: 72px 72px;
}
.no-svg #code, .no-js #code {
  background-position: 0 0;
}

The Retina Image Output

Due to an outstanding edge case in Sass which is informed by a design decision on the part of the creators of Sass, the Retina output isn't as elegant a solution as the SVG solution. Whereas the SVG solution will @extend the background image calls so it's only written once, making that output nice and DRY, the Retina output needs to write the background image to each selector. Fortunately, it's the same image call for retina and non-retina devices, so you'll only get one download.

Now, there are some intracacies in with dealing with the asset downloading and media queries needed for this. The approach I've taken is a combination of the best practices I've come to use, but may not suit all of your needs. This, unfortunately, is the nature of Retina images and asset downloading at the moment. The output you're going to get is the standard size image plus sprite for when an IE6, IE7, or IE8 body class exists following the best practice in HTML5 Boilerplate. You are going to get the standard size image for a DPR less than 1.5 and the retina image at a DRP greater than or equal to 1.5. The media queries generated take into account Webkit, old Mozilla, experimental Opera, CSSWG Standard (which I have issues with, but it's the standard so it's included) and standard Resolution fallback which isn't as reliable as one may like due to CSS Resolution, but it's the only fallback we've got. Like with SVG output, it assumes that you're going to want to include your dimensions and that your elements aren't inline. If you'd like to change that, set $with-dimensions: false for no dimensions and $inline-element: true for an inline element.

#flag, #code {
  text-indent: 110%;
  white-space: nowrap;
  overflow: hidden;
}

.ie6 #flag, .ie7 #flag, .ie8 #flag, .ie6 #code, .ie7 #code, .ie8 #code {
  background-image: url('/images/social-sbba688537b.png');
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
}

#flag {
  width: 72px;
  height: 72px;
}
.ie6 #flag, .ie7 #flag, .ie8 #flag {
  background-position: 0 -144px;
}
@media (-webkit-max-device-pixel-ratio: 1.4), (max--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 1.4), (-o-max-device-pixel-ratio: 7 / 5), (min-resolution: 1.4dppx), (min-resolution: 134.4dpi) {
  #flag {
    background-image: url('/images/social-sbba688537b.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: 0 -144px;
  }
}
@media (-webkit-max-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5), (max--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5), (-o-max-device-pixel-ratio: 3 / 2), (min-resolution: 1.5dppx), (min-resolution: 144dpi) {
  #flag {
    background-image: url('/images/social_2x-s2b6e61b993.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 72px 72px;
    background-position: 0 -288px;
  }
}

#code {
  width: 72px;
  height: 72px;
}
.ie6 #code, .ie7 #code, .ie8 #code {
  background-position: 0 0;
}
@media (-webkit-max-device-pixel-ratio: 1.4), (max--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 1.4), (-o-max-device-pixel-ratio: 7 / 5), (min-resolution: 1.4dppx), (min-resolution: 134.4dpi) {
  #code {
    background-image: url('/images/social-sbba688537b.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: 0 0;
  }
}
@media (-webkit-max-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5), (max--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5), (-o-max-device-pixel-ratio: 3 / 2), (min-resolution: 1.5dppx), (min-resolution: 144dpi) {
  #code {
    background-image: url('/images/social_2x-s2b6e61b993.png');
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 72px 72px;
    background-position: 0 -144px;
  }
}

Global Defaults

If you'd like to set some global defaults to choose how this mixin works across your stylesheets, there are some defaults you can set. Their defaults are shown, but you can set them to whatever you'd like before you use the replace-text-pe mixin and those'll be used.

$replace-text-pe-method: 'svg';
$replace-text-pe-inline-svg: true;
$replace-text-pe-with-dimensions: true;
$replace-text-inline-element: false;

Clearfix

Everyone loves a clearfix, and we've got three for you. A Legacy Clearfix for when you need ALL the support, the Micro Clearfix for when you need old Internet Explorer support but don't care about old FireFox support, and a new hot Modern Clearfix that goes especially well with Border Box. Using them is as simple as extending them:

#legacy {
  @extend %clearfix-legacy;
}

#micro {
  @extend %clearfix-micro;
}

#modern {
  @extend %clearfix;
}
#legacy {
  /* for IE 6/7 */
  *zoom: expression(this.runtimeStyle.zoom="1", this.appendChild(document.createElement("br")).style.cssText="clear:both;font:0/0 serif");
  /* non-JS fallback */
  *zoom: 1;
}
#legacy:before, #legacy:after {
  content: ".";
  display: block;
  height: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
}
#legacy:after {
  clear: both;
}

#micro {
  /* for IE 6/7 */
  *zoom: expression(this.runtimeStyle.zoom="1", this.appendChild(document.createElement("br")).style.cssText="clear:both;font:0/0 serif");
  /* non-JS fallback */
  *zoom: 1;
}
#micro:before, #micro:after {
  content: "";
  display: table;
}
#micro:after {
  clear: both;
}

#modern:after {
  content: "";
  display: table;
  clear: both;
}

If you don't know which one you need to use, or you want to use them super quickly without thinking, you can simply @include clearfix; wherever you'd like to. The mixin takes an optional argument, $extend, which defaults to false, but if set to true, will extend the extendables above for you.

Like Intrinsic Ratios and the Progressively Enhanced Text Replacement mixins, there are a handful of default variables you can change that will determine what code to use. The defaults are shown, but you can set them to whatever you'd like before you use the clearfix mixin and those'll be used.

$clearfix-extend: false;
$legacy-support-for-ie6: true;
$legacy-support-for-ie7: true;
$legacy-support-for-mozilla: true;

Vertical Center

Vertical centering doesn't exist in CSS. If your designers do it, they're mean. Simple as that. That being said, our designers do do it and our clients do want it, so we need to provide it. The vertical centering trick comes from CSS Tricks and has been adapted to allow for inclusion of legacy Internet Explorer through Compass's default $legacy-support-for-ie variable. It comes in two forms, a mixin and an extendable. The output is shown with the legacy support.

#vertical {
  @include vertical-center;
}
// or
#vertical {
  @extend %vertical-center;
}
#vertical {
  display: table-cell;
  vertical-align: middle;
  margin-top: inherit;
  *clear: expression(style.marginTop = "" + (offsetHeight < parentNode.offsetHeight ? parseInt((parentNode.offsetHeight - offsetHeight) / 2) + "px" : "0"),     style.clear = "none", 0     );
}

Colour Functions

While Sass comes with lots of of great colour functions, there are a few missing ones, and a few that I've found particularly useful, that have been added.

Tint and Shade

While Sass's built in lighten and darken functions are great if you're looking not to change the base colour, they aren't what designers think of when they think of lightening or darkening a colour. The mental model for those is actually mixing white or black to lighten or darken a colour. So, like so many others, we have a tint and shade function that will do just that. Simply pass the colour and the amount you want. For instance, if you wanted a red that was 25% lighter or darker than the standard CSS red, you'd do one of the followings:

$red: tint(red, 25%);
// -or-
$red: shade(red, 25%);

Colour Stacks

One technique for working with colour that I find very useful is to create colour stacks that get either lighter or darker as they go, allowing me to easily create full colour pallets with only a handful of base colours and then only needing to remember those base colours. I call these colour stacks, and making them with Toolkit is super easy. A sample colour stack, if written by hand, may look something like the following:

$red: red, #ff3f3f, #ff7f7f, #ffbfbf, #ffd8d8, #fff2f2;

This is a colour stack for red that gets tinted as I go (25%, 50%, 75%, 85%, 90%). To make figuring these out easier, there is the colour-stack function that takes two required parameters, the main colour you want to use and the secondary colour you want to use (in the case of shading red, the main colour would be red and the secondary colour would be black), and a variable number of arguments of what percent you want them mixed. For instance, if you wanted to mix red as your main colour with blue as your secondary colour and want a 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% mix, you would do the following:

$red-blue: colour-stack(red, blue, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%);

The equivalent hand written stack would be:

$red-blue: red, #bf003f, #7f007f, #3f00bf, blue;

While main colour and secondary colour are always required, the amounts are not. The default mixing percentages are 25%, 50%, 75%, 85%, 90%. Also, if you prefer the American spelling of colour to the English way, color-stack is an identical function.

Finally, because the two most common use cases I've found for colour stacks are stacks of tints or shades, there are the tint-stack and shade-stack functions. They take in your primary colour and an optional set of amounts (just like the colour-stack function) and will return the tint or shade equivalents for colour-stack. So, if we take our original example of a colour stack, that can now be rewritten as:

$red: tint-stack(red);

Selectors

One of the most powerful and least used ways of selecting in CSS are Attribute Selectors. These nifty little things allow you to dive into the attributes of an item and style based on what you find. Want all of your Twitter links to have a little bird to the left without needing to deal with special classes or JavaScript? Easy as pie with CSS Attribute Selectors. Chris Coyier has a great writeup on Attribute Selectors that will give you a fairly extensive overview of what they can do.

Style Attribute

For most of the attribute selections you're going to want to do, you are only going to need a single attribute selector. There is now a style-attribute mixing that allows you to easily style based on an attribute. The mixin takes three required variables, $attribute for the attribute you're querying (such as href or rel), $selector for how you want to select which accepts 'equals', 'contains', 'begins with', 'ends with', 'within spaced list', and 'within dashed list', and $value for the value you want to query. There is a fourth optional selector, $sibling, for if you want to attach the query to a sibling, such as a tag or a class. If you don't include a sibling, just the attribute selector will be written. For instance, the first example Chris has written, h2[rel="friend"] {} could be rewritten as follows:

@include style-attribute('rel', 'equals', 'friend', 'h2') {
  // Styles Go Here;
}

Style External Links

One of the most common uses for attribute selectors is to style links. The style-external-links mixin is here to help! This mixing takes two optional input variables, $base-url which is a protocol neutral URL (so 'twitter.com' instead of 'http://www.twitter.com'), and $scheme with available options of 'plain' for plain URLS (http://), 'secure' for secure URLs (https://), and 'all' for all urls (http:// and https://) which defaults to 'all'. If you choose not to pass in a $base-url, you will style all external links. If you do pass in a $base-url, you will only style links to that site.

Please Note: The method for doing styling external links in general relies upon the assumption that your internal links do not have absolute paths (i.e. they are something like /about.html instead of http://foo.com/about.html). If your internal links have absolute paths, they will pick up styling meant for only external URLs. If this is potentially an issue you use this mixin with your site's protocol relative URL (foo.com instead of http://foo.com) to override this behavior.

As an example, let's say we wanted all Twitter links to be blue and have a little Twitter bird next to them. We can write the following:

@include style-external-links('twitter.com') {
  color: blue;

  &:before {
    content: '';
    height: 1em;
    width: 1em;
    display: inline-block;
    background-image: image-url('twitter.svg');
    background-size: 100%;
  }
}

This would wind up becoming:

a[href^="http://twitter.com"],
a[href^="http://www.twitter.com"],
a[href^="https://twitter.com"],
a[href^="https://www.twitter.com"] {
  color: blue;
}

a[href^="http://twitter.com"]:before,
a[href^="http://www.twitter.com"]:before,
a[href^="https://twitter.com"]:before,
a[href^="https://www.twitter.com"]:before {
  content: '';
  height: 1em;
  width: 1em;
  display: inline-block;
  background-image: image-url('twitter.svg');
  background-size: 100%;
}

Style Internal Links

Sometimes, you want to style all of your internal links differently than your external links a certain way. That's where style-internal-links comes in! The selector it uses to determine internal links will only work with relative URLs and requires CSS3 (with a fallback for just a tags of Legacy IE support is needed), but it will work wonders for them. If you need to style internal links with absolute paths, see the note in Style External Links. Usage is super simple:

@mixin style-internal-links {
  color: red;
}
/* If $legacy-support-for-ie: true; */
a {
  color: red;
}
/* Always */
a:not([href^='http://']),
a:not([href^='https://']) {
  color: red;
}

nth-child for IE7/8

Nth-child is annoyingly not supported by Internet Explorer 8 and below. But Internet Explorer 7 and 8 support other selecors that can be used to the same effect as nth-child. Children of IE is intended to mimic as much nth-child functionality as possible in IE 7 and 8.

Use :nth-child() functions as you normall would but instead wrap nth-child() in escaping characters like so:

p:nth-child(3)      {} // normal nth-child
p#{nth-child(3)}    {} // children-of-ie nth-child

n+ strings are supported as well.

p:nth-child(n+3)    {} // normal nth-child
p#{nth-child(n+3)}  {} // children-of-ie nth-child

Works just fine without a selector.

:nth-child(2)       {} // normal nth-child
#{nth-child(2)}     {} // children-of-ie nth-child

Other strings are NOT supported.

p#{nth-child(3n)}   {} // STRING NOT SUPPORTED
p#{nth-child(odd)}  {} // STRING NOT SUPPORTED
p#{nth-child(6n+4)} {} // STRING NOT SUPPORTED
This funciton was inspired by:

http://abouthalf.com/2011/07/06/poor-mans-nth-child-selector-for-ie-7-and-8/

Triangles

You love em! Triangles! Now create them using just CSS! Turn any element or pseudo element into a triangle buy just using the @include triangle;. It’s perfect for flags, speech bubbles, and arrows.

You can pass through arguments like color, height, and width as well as set the offset angle from 0° to 360°.

triangle($color, $height, $width, $angle)

Width and height just stretch the triangle to match a width or height. You can use any units you want although percentages don’t work so well.

Angle is where the point of the triangle is drawn opposing one side. This is a little diffucult to explain, so here is a gif.

triangle

If the width and height are not uniform, then the angle will be stretched to match the triangles proportions.

Output example:

.triangle {
  @include triangle(#09f, 40px, 100px, 150);
}
.triangle {
  display: block;
  width: 0;
  height: 0;
  border: 0 solid transparent;
  border-bottom-color: #0099ff;
  border-width: 40px 16.66667px 0 83.33333px;
}

triangle example

Equal Height Columns

Remember the good-old-fashioned Faux Columns Hack for creating equal height columns? If not, it's pretty ingenious; you create a horizontal strip of your background, then have it repeat-y on a wrapper of your columns. The issue with this method, of course, is it doesn't work well for fluid designs. Worry not thought! Using the magic of CSS Gradients, you can now do the same thing fluidly and in pure CSS! The equal-height-columns mixin is here to save the day! Simply pass a list of widths and a list of colors and it'll build out your equal height columns for you!

.col-1 {
  width: 25%;
  float: left;
 }
 .col-2 {
   width: 50%;
   float: left;
 }
 .col-3 {
   width: 25%;
   float: right
 }

 .col-wrapper {
   // Widths are where each color band should end, so with the above columns, they're going to end at 25%, 75%, then 100%.
   // The 100% can be omitted if you'd like.
   $widths: 25%, 75%, 100%;
   $colors: red, white, blue;

   @include equal-height-columns($widths, $colors);
 }
 .col-1 {
  width: 25%;
  float: left;
}

.col-2 {
  width: 50%;
  float: left;
}

.col-3 {
  width: 25%;
  float: right;
}

.col-wrapper {
  background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear, 0% 50%, 100% 50%, color-stop(0%, #ff0000), color-stop(25%, #ff0000), color-stop(25%, #ffffff), color-stop(75%, #ffffff), color-stop(75%, #0000ff), color-stop(100%, #0000ff));
  background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(left, #ff0000, #ff0000 25%, #ffffff 25%, #ffffff 75%, #0000ff 75%, #0000ff 100%);
  background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(left, #ff0000, #ff0000 25%, #ffffff 25%, #ffffff 75%, #0000ff 75%, #0000ff 100%);
  background-image: -o-linear-gradient(left, #ff0000, #ff0000 25%, #ffffff 25%, #ffffff 75%, #0000ff 75%, #0000ff 100%);
  background-image: linear-gradient(left, #ff0000, #ff0000 25%, #ffffff 25%, #ffffff 75%, #0000ff 75%, #0000ff 100%);
}

By default, the built gradient will go from left to right, but you can pass in a direction parameter to equal-height-columns(), or sets $equal-height-columns-direction, to change the direction. Valid directions are valid directions for CSS Gradients. Because of this, there are some interesting things you can do with this mixin, including reversing it for [dir="rtl"] by setting the direction to right, making horizontal stripes by setting the direction to top or bottom, or making diagonal stripes by setting direction to top left, bottom right, or something similar. Additionally, you can pass in fixed values for widths, and can even combine fixed and fluid measurements (but be careful doing that).

Odds and Ends

There are few odds and ends that Toolkit comes with as well, because they are needed, were needed at some point, or because they improve life for everyone.

  • All of Compass gets imported if you import all of Toolkit! Convenient!
  • A new String Replace function is available! Simply call str-replace($find, $replace, $input) and you'll get input passed back to you with the string replaced.
  • Toolkit comes with a Box Sizing mixin that takes int account your level of legacy support. If you need support for IE<8 and box-sizing: border-box;, run compass install toolkit/box-sizing from your command line. This will place a behaviors folder with the relevant behavior in your project. Make sure it's 1 step back from your CSS Directory, move it if it's not.

Templates

Templates are awesome little things designed to get you up and moving with all of the awesomeness that Toolkit has to offer, and then some. The templates Toolkit comes with include an array of options to kickstart your responsive web design projects in a matter of a single line in your terminal. They bring in the best that the Compass community has to offer in terms of Responsive Web Design tools and let you run free.

Templates should be used when first starting a project. Each template comes with Toolkit, a grid system, and a media query system, as well as a custom development build of Modernizr that includes yep nope, a JavaScript file to hold yep nope loads, and Hammer.js for awesome touch interactions. The two grids you have to choose from are Susy, an amazing semantic, symmetric grid system, and Singularity, a new and kick ass asymmetric and odd grid system. The two media query systems you have to choose from are vanilla Breakpoint and Breakpoint with the Respond-to syntax. Using them is very easy:

Susy with Breakpoint

compass create <my_project> -r toolkit --using toolkit/susy

Susy with Respond-to

compass create <my_project> -r toolkit --using toolkit/susy-respond-to

Singularity with Breakpoint

compass create <my_project> -r toolkit --using toolkit/singularity

Singularity with Respond-to

compass create <my_project> -r toolkit --using toolkit/singularity-respond-to

If you would like to install the full Toolkit into an existing project, make sure you require Toolkit in your config.rb file, then put the following into your command line:

compass install toolkit

License

(c) Sam Richard, Scott Kellum 2012

Toolkit is dual licensed under the MIT and GPL Licenses.

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