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Sassy Namespaces

Sass 3.3 brought us maps, which are great for grouping related values, but the syntax is a bit tedious. Sassy Namespaces offers a pattern for creating and accessing namespaces using Sass maps.

Yes, it's essentially a wrapper around the excellent Sassy Maps extension.

The problem

In vanilla Sass, even single-level namespaces are a bit of a chore:

// Create "color" namespace
$color: ();
// Add key-value pair
$color: $map-merge($color, (primary: red));

output {
  foo: map-get($color, primary); // foo: red
}

A partial solution is to define wrapper functions/mixins that abstract away the ugliness:

// Create "color" namespace
$color: ();

@function color-set($key, $value) {
  @return $map-merge($color, ($key: $value));
}

// Setter
@mixin color-set($key, $value) {
  $color: color-set($key, $value);
}

// Getter
@function color($key) {
  @return map-get($color, $key);
}

// Add key-value pair
@include color-set(primary, red);
output {
  foo: color(primary); // foo: red
}

But this quickly gets tiresome, especially once you try to create namespaces with more than one level of hierarchy.

Namespaces, minus the headaches

With Sassy Namespaces, maps are created and used internally. You don't ever have to deal with them directly. Easy as:

// Create a "color" namespace
@include namespace-create(color); // (This step can be skipped)
// Add key-value pair
@include namespace-set(color, primary, red);
ouput {
  foo: namespace-get(color, primary); // foo: red;
}

It's possible streamline to this even further. namespace-set() will create a namespace if it doesn't exist, so we can skip namespace-create().

Also, instead of calling namespace-set() and namespace-get(), we can replace both with the wrapper function/mixin namespace(), which will either get or set as is appropriate. This comes in handy when creating wrapper functions/mixins:

// Alias color() to namespace(color)
@mixin color($args...) {
  $color: namespace(color, $args...);
}

@function color($args...) {
  @return namespace(color, $args...);
}

// Add key-value pair
@include color(primary, red);
output {
  foo: color(primary); // foo: red
}

If you want to set multiple values at once, without calling namespace-set() over and over, you can pass a map of keys and values (instead of a single key and a single value):

$map: (primary: red, secondary: green)

@include namespace-set(color, $map);
output {
  foo: namespace-get(color, primary); // foo: red
  bar: namespace-get(color, secondary); // bar: green
}

And, since Sassy Namespaces uses Sassy Maps internally, hierarchical namespaces are easy, too:

@include namespace-set(color, text link hover, green);
output {
  foo: namespace-get(color, text link hover); // foo: green
}

At any time, you can return the underlying namespace map:

@include namespace-set(color, primary, red);
$namespace-1: namespace-get(color);

@include namespace-set(color, secondary, green);
$namespace-2: namespace-get(color);

/*
  $namespace-1: (
    primary: red
  )

  $namespace-2: (
    primary: red,
    secondary: green
  )
*/

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Namespaces in Sass, minus the headaches.

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