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Compass Pattern Primer

This is the development repo for the compass extension and rubygem: Compass Pattern Primer.

Create Style Guides in HTML and CSS with Sass & Compass

Compass Pattern Primer is a system to quickly generate style guides for your web site or web app. It's a collection of starter UI patterns that can be styled for any website. The pattern primer uses a PHP document to pull in patterns (HTML snippets) that can then be styled. It is based on Pattern Primer by Adactio/Jeremy Keith.

Background

I originally faithfully ported Pattern Primer and Jeremy Keith's styles to Sass. Sass allows the styles to be quickly changed by overriding a few variables.

For my own development work I needed to move beyond Jeremy's work. I created a Compass Gem so I could create a base scaffolding for each new project. I reworked the Pattern Primer to use Jonathan Snook's SMACSS (Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS) as an organizing principle. I separated the styled elements into base and modules. The initial default style is the styling from the original Pattern Primer. The intended way to override the original Adactio styling is to change the variables in _config file. I have also changed the default reset from Eric Meyer's to Formalize and Normalize.

This is a work in progress and any feedback is very welcome.

Installation

Compass Pattern Primer is a compass extension bundled as a Ruby gem.

gem install compass-pattern-primer

Dependencies

You'll need to install Sass, Compass, and Toolkit Ruby Gems too. Documentation for installing and using these gems is pretty extensive.

Depending on what scaffolding or reset library you use. You may need to install compass normalize and/or compass formalize or the meyer reset.

How to Use it

There are a number of ways you can get started with Compass Pattern Primer. There are three ways (scaffolding options) your project can be set up.

Create a New Compass project

Use one of Compass Pattern Primer scaffolding options:

SMACSS (PHP)
compass create <MyProject> -r compass-pattern-primer -u compass-pattern-primer 

This creates a SMACSS style scaffolding for your project. It includes an index.php and a patterns folder (HTML snippets). Within the patterns folder there are the default Adactio patterns as well as some additional patterns. All the base and modules files are imported into global.scss which will be the main CSS file. It also creates a pattern-primer.scss which imports global.scss and adds a color guide viewable in your index.php. The color guide adds a lot of CSS that has no business being in the production site but's very useful for the style guide.

SMACSS with a Static HTML File
compass create <MyProject> -r compass-pattern-primer -u compass-pattern-primer/static 

This creates a SMACSS style scaffolding for your project. Instead of the index.php it includes index.html a static html page where you can preview the style guide. You edit the html to add your own patterns. All the base and modules files are imported into global.scss which will be the main CSS file. It also creates a pattern-primer.scss which imports global.scss and adds a color guide viewable in your index.php. The color guide adds a lot of CSS that has no business being in the production site but is useful for the style guide.

Adactio's Pattern Primer (PHP)
compass create <MyProject> -r compass-pattern-primer -u compass-pattern-primer/adactio 

This adds an index.php and a patterns folder (HTML snippets) with only Adactio's original patterns and CSS that's (fairly) faithful to his CSS.

You can also:

Create a New Compass Project Requiring Compass Pattern Primer

compass create <MyProject> -r compass-pattern-primer 

This creates a new Compass project using the compass standard scaffolding and adds require 'compass-pattern-primer' to the config.rb. However you won't get the base styles or pattern primer viewing page added to your project. This approach is NOT recommended unless you know what your doing.

Add Compass Pattern Primer to an Existing Project

Adding the following to config.rb

require 'compass-pattern-primer'

Then import the Compass Pattern Primer partial by adding at the top of your working file

@import "compass-pattern-primer";

However you won't get the base styles or pattern primer viewing page added to your project. This approach is NOT recommended unless you know what your doing.
Note: You'll need to restart compass watch if it's running

Features in Compass Pattern Primer

Compass Pattern Primer comes with a reset, base styles, and modules (controls, feedback, options, pagination). By using one of the scaffolding options listed above the base styles and modules will be added to your project.

You can bring in the reset files, the mixins, functions and extendables into your project by adding @import "compass-pattern-primer"; to the top of your file. You can also add the individual pieces by adding some (or all) of the following:

Reset

The Compass Pattern Primer Reset incorporates Normalize and Formalize libraries (using their compass gems) by default. If you just want to use one of these libraries.

change

@import "compass-pattern-primer/reset";  

to

@import "compass-pattern-primer/reset/libraries/_normalize";  

or

@import "compass-pattern-primer/reset/libraries/_formalize";  

The Eric Meyer Reset is available as an option.

change

@import "compass-pattern-primer/reset";

to

@import "compass-pattern-primer/reset/libraries/_eric_meyer_reset";

Unless you use the Compass Pattern Primer SMACSS scaffolding*, legacy support for older IE (6 & 7) browsers in the Normalize and Formalize libraries will be set to true. To change this add:

$legacy-support-for-ie6: false;  
$legacy-support-for-ie7: false;

*In the Compass Pattern Primer SMACSS scaffolding you can change what browsers you support in partials/browsers.

If you don't want to use any resets simply don't import it.

Base

When you use one of the 3 scaffolding options Compass Pattern Primer Base Style will be added to your project. Folders containing the base styles will be added to your sass folder.

SMACSS Scaffold
The styles will be in your sass/base folder

sass/   
	base/   
		buttons/
		forms/
		links/
		page/
		search/
		typography/ 

Adactio Scaffold
The styles will be in your sass folder

sass/
	buttons/
	forms/
	links/
	page/
	search/
	typography/ 

Modules

Similarly the modules are in different folders depending on your scaffolding setup.

SMACSS Scaffold
The styles will be in your sass/modules folder

sass/   
	modules/   
		controls/
		feedback/
		options/
		pagination/

Adactio Scaffold
The styles will be in your sass folder

sass/
	controls/
	feedback/
	options/
	pagination/

Each base and module folder will have a _basename.scss and a _basename_variables.scss file. It may also have a _basename_mixins.scss and a _basename_extendables.scss

Here's an example from the buttons folder

_buttons.scss
_buttons_extendables.scss
_buttons_variables.scss

_basename.scss contains CSS that will be outputted. It also imports _basename_variables.scss. It will also import _basename_extendables.scss or _basename_mixins.scss if they exist
_basename_variables.scss contain all the default variables needed. _basename_extendables.scss contains silent extendables styles that are only used in the context.

Changing the default styles

The Compass Pattern Primer is designed to allow nearly everything about the CSS to be overridden. Each base and module folder contains a sass file (_basename_variables.scss) with default variables that can be changed easily overridden.

Overriding Values using the _config file

In the SMACSS style scaffolding you can override any of the base or module variables in _config.scss. It contains some example variables that are commented out.

Extendables

Styles for the buttons, controls, options, and pagination contain silent extendables files . For example the extendables for buttons are in buttons/buttons_extendables.scss. This allows you to easily add a the button styles to another element.

In this example I am extending an input with the id="reset" to %button-active style.

input#reset {
	@extend %button-active;
}

Colors

Custom color guides can generated by altering the $primary-color variable in partials/colors. If you want to see this in action, the best option is to build a project using the SMACSS scaffolding. Color guides are created using Color Schemer and can be viewed on the on the index.php (default) or index.html (static) page.

Color Schemer is feature rich and allows you to generate color schemes using color theory schemes: mono, complement, triad, tetrad, analogic, accented-analogic. See Color Schemer for more info.

The colors also take advantage of tint-stack and shade-stack to generate 6 (by default but can be extended) tints (mixed with white) or shades (mixed with black) of your colors. Documentation for these functions can be found in Toolkit.

$primary-color: #693 !default;
$black-value: #333 !default;
$black:     tint-stack($black-value);
$primary:   tint-stack(cs-primary());
$secondary: tint-stack(cs-secondary());
$tertiary:  tint-stack(cs-tertiary());
$quadrary:  tint-stack(cs-quadrary())

The advantage of this is you can design your site using tint-stack variables. You can then easily adjust your colors by simply altering the $primary-color variable.

$link-color: nth($primary, 1); 
$link-visited-link-color: nth($primary, 2);

Features that have been added

Move styles from compass gem to scaffold DONE (v. 0.4beta)

It made sense to move the base and module styles from the compass gem to the scaffolding. This added the styles to the project were they can be easily viewed and modified. Restructuring the SMACSS folders so that files pertaining to those styles were grouped together.

Each base and module folder will have a _basename.scss and a _basename_variables.scss file. It may also have a _basename_mixins.scss and a _basename_extendables.scss

More scaffolding options. DONE (v. 0.3beta)

There was only one option to use my SMACSS scaffolding and a static HTML preview page. This worked for some use cases but didn't allow you to easily add patterns.

There are now 3 install options for Compass Pattern Primer.

Use existing Compass Reset gems DONE (v. 0.3beta)

I realized after the fact that all my reset's existed as compass gems. Doesn't seem like a good idea to duplicate code.

These were added as dependencies:

I had to make some changes to Compass Formalize to add $legacy-support-for-ie6 and $legacy-support-for-ie7 and they were accepted and pushed on in v. 0.0.5. I am now a committer on that project!

Simplify the bounding-box mixin DONE (v 0.2.2)

In v. 0.1-0.2.1 the bounding-box mixin handles margin, padding, and border styles. I changed this to just margin and padding and create a new mixin to handle border and expanded it to support outline as the have similar CSS output

Refactored bounding-box mixin (v0.2.2). It's now 2 mixins: border-outline and margin-padding. They handle borders and outlines, and margins and paddings. With the refactoring I was able to remove all $*-border-pos variables. The position of borders is handled through $*-border-width which takes up to 4 arguments in the following clockwise order TRBL (Top Right Bottom Left ). Similarly $*-border-style and $*-border-color can take up to 4 arguments. Outline ignores all but the 1st argument and can take an offset argument. There's an error check mixin border-outline-check that displays warnings if you add too many arguments of try to offset the border.

Requests? Feedback?

Contact me or simply file an issue!

Thanks, Mark Reilly

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