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By Rasna Shakya on Oct, 20, 2017

Bourbon is basically a bunch of mixins and functions which allow one to write DRY-er browser-independant code.  It is build on top of Sass with enhanced Sass functionality that makes it even faster and easier to write clean and compact code that’s easy to maintain and share. It fills in with features such as cross-browser vendor prefixing, mixins for advanced CSS features such as animation and border-image properties, functions to do calculations including gradients and color tints, and add-ons such as font-family and button styling. It also supports custom global compilation settings so one can fine-tune the way it behaves in their application.

Bourbon is nice but it’s not very powerful by itself. Bourbon framework and its associated libraries viz Neat, Bitters and Refills help developers speed-up Sass implementation as well as make it easier to build CSS features like grid, forms, typography etc.


Taking a look on Neat, it helps one to write their own grids. Just by using a few mixins one can create their own more-semantic grid.

Another one is Bitters, it’s basically a skeleton for your Bourbon apps, you are encouraged to customize it as you please. It includes some variables and sane defaults for HTML elements. It  got its own variables, topography, list, forms for the bourbon project.

Finally, comes Refills, which depend on Bitters and is basically a collection of elaborated HTML + SASS + JS components,  one can copy and paste into their projects right from the website.

The best thing about bourbon that makes it unlike other class based frameworks is that this puts a high value on semantic markup, while being lightweight and simple. Bourbon encourages one to only include the pieces that is needed. 

At Jyaasa, we have been adopting the Bourbon/Neat stack as our main SASS framework because it allows us to have semantic HTML, to include smaller files using only what we need, to write SASS that doesn’t have browser-prefixes in them, is easy to understand and manage breakpoints, and of course, because everyone loves a good glass of whiskey.


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