My friend Ethan Gunderson wrote an article on the beauty of HAML as a substitute for ERB or just plain HTML markup. He’s been singing its praises for a long time now, but I’ve just been too stubborn to listen to his good advice. At first glance, HAML looks like a strange sort of dialect, and indeed it does take a bit to get used to if you’ve been doing ERB or using any other kind of traditional templating markup for awhile.
During a recent project I’ve been working on, I’ve been spending more time than usual doing actual layout and design. I tend to be someone who actually likes to do my design in the browser. After having all kinds of problems with unclosed nested divs and other mal-formked markup, I decided that it was finally time to give HAML a try.
Boy, have I been missing out on something cool. Better late to the party than never I guess.
Anyhoo, unlike LessCSS (a cool CSS tool I use) which has a –watch flag, HAML does not have the same directory watching capability. I wanted something that watches a given directory and recompiles the HAML to HTML whenever the file is updated. Here’s the ruby script I came up with:
It’s pretty straightforward. Make sure you have the ‘fssm’ gem installed before you try to run it (gem install fssm). Thanks Ethan for telling me about HAML. :-)