Monday night I had a meltdown.
I create a File Watcher and tell it to keep an eye on all of my SCSS files. Whenever I update the SCSS file, it should compile it and spit out a matching CSS file automatically. That’s how I code in SCSS, but have a final CSS file that I can actually use on the web.
Well, Monday night I was setting up a new project and my File Watcher just broke. For absolutely no reason at all, it stopped triggering. So even when I made changes to my SCSS file, a CSS file wasn’t being outputted!
I spent like an hour doing all kinds of debugging, Googling, setting-changing, EVERYTHING! AND IT STILL WASN’T WORKING!
So I had a meltdown. It was this kind of meltdown:
EVERYTHING IS BROKEN!!
Why is it broken?? I didn’t do anything wrong!
I didn’t even change any settings!
Now I can’t do any work!
Ohmygod I can never do any more work… ever…
BECAUSE IT’S BROKEN!!!
What if I can never use SCSS again?
Please don’t make me go back to using normal CSS.
I CAN’T GO BACK!!!!!!!!
I literally ran to my room, slammed the door, and crawled pathetically into bed.
Once I was confident that I could restrain the tears, I started reading up on Gulp.js (still in bed, on my phone). I had heard of Gulp before and knew what is was. Most importantly (to me, in that moment), it can compile SCSS into CSS files. I also knew that everyone and their mother uses it. At least, a lot of the “top developers” use it. So, I thought I had to use it too. What came next went something like this:
<< Ashley comes crawling out of the bedroom. >>
Ashley: “Husband, I need to learn how to use Gulp.”
Coding God: “I have no idea what that is. I don’t do front end development.”
<< Ashley’s eyes start watering. >>
Coding God: “Well, we can at least install it…”
Cue like three hours of me in front of my computer, husband sitting beside me, installing Node.js, Gulp.js, editing packages and config files, downloading starter frameworks, freaking out whenever something didn’t work as expected…
I’m pretty sure my husband was sitting there thinking, “I married a crazy person.”
At some point that night, I filled out a support ticket with the folks behind PhpStorm, explaining my situation, but I was still determined that THIS WAS THE END and I needed to switch to using Gulp.
The next day…
I woke up to a lovely response from the PhpStorm folks in my inbox, and their suggestion of clicking the “Invalidate Cache / Restart” button fixed everything. Now I’m sitting there thinking:
“Lol why did I install Gulp? I don’t need it. PhpStorm works perfectly fine for me. God, I was nuts.”
FINALLY!!! SHE’S SEEN THE LIGHT!!!
I think I finally realized that even if Gulp is awesome and does loads of cool things, the only thing I really wanted was something to compile my SCSS into CSS. That’s all I need. I didn’t need to switch to a whole new system to achieve that. I just needed to be patient and figure out how to fix the stupid bug in my existing system.
Gulp isn’t for me, I don’t need to use it just because everyone else is
Don’t get me wrong, I did get a little snapshot of what Gulp is capable of. It does a lot more than just compile SCSS. It can automatically compress images, get files ready for distribution, install packages, yada yada. I can see why people use it. BUT, PhpStorm and File Watchers work perfectly fine for me and my set up.
We all have different workflows and programs and don’t have to follow “the norm” or what everyone else is doing. Sometimes things do go wrong, but if you have more than 3 seconds of patience, you’ll get it figured out. You don’t need to go running to the popular tools under the impression that, “they’re prefect and my normal tools clearly suck ass.”