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06
Mar
2013

LESS is more!

Bang2Joom Blog: LESS is more!
"Less is more" is a phrase from the 1855 poem Andrea del Sarto, called "The Faultless Painter" by Robert Browning. The phrase was adopted by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as a precept for minimalist design.

However, the LESS I'm going to talk about has nothing (or almost nothing) to do with the above phrase, hmm at least it has some connection to minimalist design. ;)

The idea of LESS

As we get to know from Wiki, LESS was created in 2009. It was developed by Dmitry Fadeyev and Alexis Sellier. The latter also did the design. They say that LESS, a dynamic stylesheet language, is developed influenced by CSS. It is also influenced by Sass and has influenced the newer "SCSS" syntax of Sass, which adapted its CSS-like block formatting syntax.

LESS is a nested metalanguage, which provides these mechanisms:

Variables
Mixins
Nesting
Functions and operations
Comparison to Sass
Comparison to ZUSS
Use on sites
LESS Software
References
External links

For instance, LESS allows variables to be defined by an at sign, i.e. @. Variable assignment is done with a colon (:). During translation, the values of the variables are inserted into the output CSS document.

The syntax of LESS is identical to CSS code, as it has been designed that way.

The LESS code

@color: #1e3a2c; #header { color: @color; } h2 {color: @color; }

The CSS code

#header { color: #4D926F; } h2 { color: #4D926F; }

Joomla! 3, LESS and CSS

As we know, Joomla! 3 has got many unpacked surprises for us to discover. It's great to find something new with every coming release.

Joomla 3 default template stylesheets are written with LESS, then are compiled to generate the CSS files. We totally agree that the new Joomla 3 with Bootstrap and LESS should allow to change the CSS file for a LESS file with @import variables.less or at least allow not to use the current joomgallery.css.

The great thing about LESS for B2J developers is that it simplifies the template creating process. They mention, that as a result, the template becomes easily customizable and modifiable! The only drawback of LESS that we have found so far is the poor support for syntax in editors.

The extra features LESS has actually use existing CSS syntax. So, if you are really into CSS, you will enjoy getting to know LESS!

So, LESS is not less!

Indeed, LESS is more in Joomla! :)

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Lilit Asatryan
Lilit Asatryan