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Live Debate: CSS Preprocessors, Useful Front-end Tools?

CSS Preprocessors are tools that allow front-end web developers to write CSS (the language for styling web pages) using variables and other logic that programming languages use. Many contemporary developers use them in every project and swear by their usefulness, while others are less enthusiastic.

While there's little argument that tools like Sass, LESS, Stylus (and others) allow for things that plain CSS does not, there is room for debate as to whether those things are good and useful.

And debate we shall! The Refresh Detroit floor will be open to web developers Vince Speelman and Brad Czerniak to argue the merit of using preprocessors, and to give you the information to decide whether they improve productivity, code performance, maintainability, and other aspects of site construction.

The debate will cover:

• The proposition: "CSS Preprocessors are an overall benefit for front-end web development"

• Appeal for the affirmative (Vince)

• Appeal for the negative (Brad)

• Regarding complexity

• Mystery topic

• Regarding maintainability

• Audience questions

• Closing arguments (Brad)

Nick DeNardis, Refresh Detroit co-founder and Director of Digital Communications at Wayne State University, will moderate.

Brad is a web developer specializing in the Drupal content management framework. He plies his trade for Commercial Progression, the best Drupal shop for medium-to-large clients looking for design, development, hosting, and personalized support.

In his down time, Brad enjoys classic films, sitcoms, trivia shows, and documentaries. He occasionally leaves his fortress of solitude to take food tours of Detroit, and to play frisbee sports.

Vince is all about responsive web design, unwavering semantics and modular code. He's created responsive web apps for multi-billion dollar financial institutions, social communities for teen pop idols, platforms for musical revolutions, and the list goes on. Off screen, he's a musician and beer snob.

Parking and Venue information

We suggest parking at the Detroit Opera House parking garage, located on Broadway. Parking is $10, and it is a short walk up Broadway and around the corner from the Grand Circus space. Here is a link from the Grand Circus website on parking.

Grand Circus is located in the Broderick Tower, and you enter from the Woodward-facing doors.

Take the elevator to the 4th floor.

Refreshments are not provided (but allowed). So feel free to bring your own drink/snacks.

Join or login to comment.

  • Chris D.

    I wish I could make it but have homework and midterms. Just for the record I'd be on the opposing side for using preprocessors. What's the point? Discuss lol

    1 · February 10, 2014

    • Brian

      I wish I could make it too. If someone records / posts it, let us know! I'm pretty much on the same side and have talked with Brad about it before. While I see the point of it as well as some downsides, the tech stack seems unwieldly to me especially since the gems (if I have the terminology right) can change functionality over time and a version manager is needed.

      February 11, 2014

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