I keep seeing mention of a few “preprocessors” for javascript and css, including CoffeeScript, Sass, and Less. I personally don’t see the need in these tools, but apparently they are all the rave at the moment. Essentially what these do is allow you to write in a more functional language/script, and compiles it down to cross browser css or javascript. I have a few questions of my own, specifically how the work with existing frameworks like jQuery or Mootools (accessing objects from the Coffee side). If anyone has any input on this or experience please share.

The main topic of this post however concerns the Gedit Clientside Plugin. It appears it would be possible to easily integrate CoffeeScript and Less into Clientside, since they both work well with node.js. One user suggested before adding support for Sass, however that seems to be more geared toward Ruby. The question is would this be a valuable/used component if added to the Clientside plugin? This plugin is geared towards helping manipulate, format, and debug clientside languages, and these do fall into this category, but I don’t want to begin cluttering the plugin with useless tools, and waist time keeping up with the latest CoffeeScript and Less plugins.

On another potential change to Clientside would be to consolidate the menu. Instead of having separate JS and CSS items for minify, format, lint, and batch minify, there could be one menu item for each, and depending on the document type process it accordingly. So considering this change, we could add one more menu item called “Compile: Coffee/Less”. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!