Current Version: 1.0.10
Project Name: csspp
CSS Preprocessor Reference -- Expressions

Table of Contents

The CSS Preprocessor is capable of compiling simple expressions. These are used with @-keywords and field values.

Since expressions can appear in lists of values of a field, an expression may stop mid-stream.

You may be more interested in reading the CSS Preprocessor Reference -- Expressions by Type instead of this page, as that other page is less technical in regard to the compiler implementation and closer to an end user point of view.

Expression

Expressions are composed of many elements which, when we reach the expression resolver, are in a flat list except for square bracket parameters, function parameters, and parenthesis sub-expressions which appear in a sub-list of these items.

The expression parser is defined below in increasing order of priority. The priority is important since many operations are to be applied before others, for example, the multiplications are to be applied before additions.

3 + 5 * 2 // result is 3 + 10 = 13 and not 8 * 2 = 16

The only strange operator is the power (**) which does not accept being used more than once without extra parenthesis. So an expression such as this does not compile:

5 ** 3 ** 2 // error, need parenthesis somewhere

Whereas the following will work since they use one set of parenthesis:

(5 ** 3) ** 2 // works, = 15625
5 ** (3 ** 2) // works, = 1953125

CSS Preprocessor Expression

All expressions are conditional expressions.

Although we support lists of expressions, when parsing the expressions found after an @-keyword or in a declaration, we do not see those as lists (contrary to SASS which sees pretty much everything as a list.)

expression: conditional

CSS Preprocessor List Expression

The CSS Preprocessor accepts lists that are lists of comma separated expressions.

Items in a list can be labelled. This means these can be preceeded by a name (an identifier) and a colon. Whitespaces are allowed around the colon. Lists with labelled items are called maps. When labels are used, they have to be used on all items or an error is generated. Maps can be accessed using the square bracket notation ($map[name]) or the period notation ($map.name).

The value is optional when labelling. If not specified, NULL is used.

Lists without labels are output as arrays which can be indexed using integers ($array[3]).

expression-list: assignment
| list
| map
list: assignment
| list ',' assignment
map: IDENTIFIER ':' assignment
| map ',' IDENTIFIER ':' assignment

CSS Preprocessor Assignment Expression

The inline assignment operator (:=) can be used to set a variable within an expression. These are always viewed as local variables. These are really only available within the very expression being computed.

Warning
These work, but only when written between parenthesis. This requires a post expression to retrieve the result, though, because parenthesis are viewed as definitions of arrays or maps.
assignment: conditional
| IDENTIFIER ':=' conditional

CSS Preprocessor Conditional Expression

Like in C/C++ we offer a conditional operator. The question mark is not otherwise used by CSS so it is safe here.

Note that like SASS, CSS Preprocessor also supports the @if keyword and the if() function.

conditional: logical_or
| conditional '?' expression_list ':' logical_or

CSS Preprocessor Logical OR Expression

Compare two values that the compiler can convert to a Boolean value and apply the logical OR to those two values (i.e. if both values represent false, then return false, otherwise return true.)

logical_or: logical_and
| logical_or IDENTIFIER (='or') logical_and
| logical_or '||' logical_and

CSS Preprocessor Logical AND Expression

Compare two values that the compiler can convert to a Boolean value and apply the logical AND to those two values (i.e. if both values represent true, then return true, otherwise return false.)

logical_and: equality
| logical_and IDENTIFIER (='and') equality
| logical_and '&&' equality

CSS Preprocess Equality Expression

Compare the two values as specified by the equality operator.

The '=' compares both value for exact equality. The '!=' compares both values for exact inequality.

The other operators attempt a match as CSS would do assuming that the left hand side represents the actual value to check.

"This is a lizard" *= "is" // returns true, phrase includes "is"
"This is a lizard" ^= "is" // returns false, phrase does not start with "is"
"This is a lizard" $= "is" // returns false, phrase does not end with "is"
...

Note that the '!=' operator is available in SASS but is not otherwise an CSS 3 operator. Also, the '==' operator is accepted, but it should not be used (however, SASS expects '==' in its expressions, so for remote compatibility.)

The result of all the equality operators is always true or false.

equality: relational
| equality '=' relational
| equality '!=' relational
| equality '~=' relational
| equality '^=' relational
| equality '$=' relational
| equality '*=' relational
| equality '|=' relational

CSS Preprocessor Relational Expression

Relational work as expected in other languages.

The result of the relational operators is always true or false.

relational: additive
| relational '<' additive
| relational '<=' additive
| relational '>' additive
| relational '>=' additive

CSS Preprocessor Additive Expression

The addition operator works for numbers (decimal numbers and integers). If one of the two operands is a decimal number then the result is a decimal number.

The addition and substractions work on dimensions. Only both numbers must have the exact same dimension. To add or remove a dimension, use a multiplicative operator.

The addition operator accepts colors. Remember that while working with colors in expressions, colors do not get clamped.

\[ \begin{vmatrix} result_r \\ result_g \\ result_b \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r + rhs_r \\ lhs_g + rhs_g \\ lhs_b + rhs_b \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r \\ lhs_g \\ lhs_b \end{vmatrix} + \begin{vmatrix} rhs_r \\ rhs_g \\ rhs_b \end{vmatrix} \]

The addition operator accepts strings and identifiers. In that case it performs a concatenation.

The addition operator accepts maps. In this case, it merges both maps together. When both maps have fields with the same name, the values of the map on the right hand side are kept.

The addition operator accepts lists. In this case the right hand side list is concatenated to the left hand side list.

The subtraction works as expected with numbers. If one of the two operands is a decimal number then the result is a decimal number.

The subtraction accepts colors. Again, colors do not get clamped while being worked on.

\[ \begin{vmatrix} result_r \\ result_g \\ result_b \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r - rhs_r \\ lhs_g - rhs_g \\ lhs_b - rhs_b \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r \\ lhs_g \\ lhs_b \end{vmatrix} - \begin{vmatrix} rhs_r \\ rhs_g \\ rhs_b \end{vmatrix} \]

The subtraction accepts maps. In this case fields that appear in the right hand side map are removed the from the left hand side map and the resulting left hand side map is returned.

The subtraction accepts lists. In this case, any item in the right hand side list that also appears in the left hand side list is removed from the left hand side list. The result is the resulting left hand side list.

Note that the '+' and '-' will work as expected, however, the lexers immediately generates positive and negative numbers. If you need to do an addition or a subtraction, you may want to conside adding spaces after your '+' and '-' operators.

additive: multiplicative
| additive '+' multiplicative
| additive '-' multiplicative

CSS Preprocessor Multiplicative Expression

The multiplicative expression works on numbers, colors, and strings. The following sub-sections describes how the multiplicative operators work on each type of input.

multiplicative: power
| multiplicative '*' power
| multiplicative IDENTIFIER(="mul") power
| multiplicative '/' power
| multiplicative IDENTIFIER(="div") power
| multiplicative '%' power
| multiplicative IDENTIFIER(="mod") power

Multiplicative Expression with Numbers (with and without dimensions)

If one of the numbers is a decimal number, then the result is a decimal number. Otherwise, the operation is performed with integers and the result is always an integer (i.e. the divide operator does not magically convert the numbers to decimal numbers.) Percent numbers are viewed as decimal numbers.

All the multiplicative operators can be used with dimensions.

Multiplications augment dimensions in something that looks like "dim1 * dim2" (i.e. '3em x 5px' -> '15em\ \*\ px'). The syntax uses a list of dimensions separated by " * ". The spaces are optional when you type such a dimension. Note that way you can easily calculate the surface of a rectangle or the volume of a rectangular cuboid:

\[ S mm ^ 2 = W mm \times H mm \\ V mm ^ 3 = W mm \times H mm \times D mm \]

Only the CSS Preprocessor keeps dimensions such as \(mm^2\) are defined as "mm * mm".

Divisions reduce dimensions, the opposite of multiplications. So a dimension like "dim1 * dim2" divided by a dimension "dim1" results in a dimension "dim2". If the dimension in the divisor is not present in the list of existing dimensions, then the result looks like "dim1 * dim2 / dim3". If the dividend is dimension less, then the dimension becomes "1 / dim1".

This is particularly useful to convert a dimension into another:

3cm * 0.393701in / 1cm = 1.1811in

since 1 centimeter is about 0.393701 inches.

The modulo operator can be used with dimensions. Both dimensions must be exactly equal (like for additions and subtractions.) For example "10px % 3px" resuts in "1px". The reason for the modulo operator to work this way is as follow:

Say you have a value result calculated as follow:

\[ result = lhs \bmod rhs \tag{modulo} \]

You may rewrite this expression as:

\[ lhs = rhs \cdot k + result \tag{k factor} \]

where k is a dimension less factor. As we can see, for the math to work in the k factor expression, lhs, rhs, and result must all have the same dimension.

See Also
http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1353284/how-do-we-deal-with-units-when-using-the-modulo-operation

Multiplicative Expressions with Colors

The multiplicative operators all work against colors and the operations are commutative. The modulo always uses a floating point modulo. Remember that while running operations against colors, the colors do not get clamped and components are floating point numbers.

\[ \begin{vmatrix} result_r \\ result_g \\ result_b \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r * rhs \\ lhs_g * rhs \\ lhs_b * rhs \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r \\ lhs_g \\ lhs_b \end{vmatrix} * rhs \]

\[ \begin{vmatrix} result_r \\ result_g \\ result_b \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r / rhs \\ lhs_g / rhs \\ lhs_b / rhs \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r \\ lhs_g \\ lhs_b \end{vmatrix} / rhs \]

\[ \begin{vmatrix} result_r \\ result_g \\ result_b \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r \mod rhs \\ lhs_g \mod rhs \\ lhs_b \mod rhs \end{vmatrix} = \begin{vmatrix} lhs_r \\ lhs_g \\ lhs_b \end{vmatrix} \mod rhs \]

Multiplicative Expressions with Strings (Duplication)

The multiply operator (*) can be used with a string and an integer. This will duplicate the string that many times. If the integer is zero, the empty string is returned. You certainly want to limit the integer in this case otherwise the string is gooing to take a lot of memory.

If the integer is negative, an error results.

Multiplicative Expressions with Unicode Ranges (Intersection)

The multiply operator (*) can be used with a Unicode Range. In that case the multiply represents an intersection and only common characters in both ranges are kept in the resulting range. If the range becomes empty, then the result is NULL instead.

Since the result of the operation may be NULL, we also accept NULL as one of the operands or both and in that case NULL is also returned.

CSS Preprocessor Power Expression

The power operator let you calculte a number (left hand side) to the power of another number (the right hand side).

Note that the power is not looping. If you want to calculate a power b power c ( \(\large a^{b^c}\)), you will need to add parenthese:

a ** (b ** c)

Even though the power operator would otherwise be properly handled with a right to left priority, by default a double or more power expression is not allowed.

power: post
| post '**' post

Power Expression with Dimensions

The left handside of a power operation can have a dimension if the right hand side is a positive integer: \(power \in \Bbb{Z}^*\). The dimension will be duplicated a number of time equal to the power.

\[ (13cm)^2 = 169cm^2 \]

CSS Preprocessor Post Expression

The post expression allows for access to elements of a list (an array) or a map (a keyed array).

The post.<identifier> syntax is only allowed with maps. The square bracket syntax is allowed with both: maps and arrays.

Note that arrays are 1 based (the first element is at index 1,) just like in XML.

post: unary
| post '[' expression_list ']'
| post '.' IDENTIFIER

Unary CSS Preprocessor Unary Expression Expression

Unary expressions are composed of literals (identifiers, strings, numbers, etc.) and a few unary operators.

The parenthesis allow you to write expression lists (arrays and maps).

The function expression may get converted if CSS Preprocessor knows that function internally. For example the if() is not understood by CSS 3 and will be reduced by the CSS Preprocessor.

The HASH tokens found in expressions are expected to be valid colors. The unary() function will transform HASH tokens into COLOR tokens. Also, if an IDENTIFIER token represents the name of a color, then it is also converted into a COLOR token. Note that identifiers are not transformed unless they appear in a place where an expression is found. So identifiers in a selector do not get converted. Note that it is possible to force an identifier that represents a color to be left as an identifier by using the identifier() function:

// here the identifier 'red' will not be converted to a COLOR token
color: identifier("red");

Note that the '+' and '-' will work as expected, however, the lexers immediately generates positive and negative numbers. If you need to do an addition or a subtraction, you may want to conside adding spaces after your '+' and '-' operators.

unary: ARRAY
| FUNCTION expression_list ')'
| HASH (-> COLOR)
| MAP
| URL
| '(' expression_list ')'
| '+' power
| '-' power

CSS Preprocessor Internal Functions

The CSS Preprocessor expression compiler will reduce everything it can including functions. There are three types of functions to consider here:

A CSS Function is one that the CSS Preprocessor does not understand and that the user did not overload. These functions are left alone and are expected to be valid CSS functions (at some point the compiler will check that such is indeed the case.)

As shown with variable declarations and @mixin, it is possible for the end user of the CSS Preprocessor compiler to write his own functions. For example, you could write a function that computes the average of three colors:

$three_color_avg($c1, $c2, $c3):
{
@return ($c1 + $c2 + $c3) / 3;
}
Note
@return is not implemented yet... You can already use functions, but their result is their body verbatim instead of one returned value.

The CSS Preprocessor understands a certain number of functions internally. This allows for basic functionality that can then be used in to declare user functions and extend CSS Preprocessor even further and much faster than writing C++ code for each single function (yes, it will be slower to execute, but the library can grow very rapidely that way.)

The internal functions are described below.

abs()

abs(number)

Calculate the absolute value of number. If the number is an integer, then it remains an integer.

\[ result = |number| \]

acos()

acos(number)

Calculate the arccosine value of number.

\[ result = cos^{-1}(number) \]

alpha()

alpha(color)

The alpha() function retrieves the current alpha value of the specified color.

\[ result = color_a \]

The color components are not clamped so the alpha value may be out of range. However, the default range is from 0.0 to 1.0 inclusive.

We also offer a user defined function named opacity() which also returns the alpha channel of a color.

See Also
opacity()

asin()

asin(number)

Calculate the arcsine value of number.

\[ result = sin^{-1}(number) \]

atan()

atan(number)

Calculate the arctangent value of number.

\[ result = tan^{-1}(number) \]

blue()

blue(color)

The blue() function retrieves the current blue value of the specified color.

\[ result = color_b \]

The color components are not clamped so the blue value may be out of range. However, the default range is from 0.0 to 255.0 inclusive. The value is returned as a decimal number.

ceil()

ceil(number)

Calculate the ceiling value of number.

\[ result = \lceil number \rceil \]

cos()

cos(number)

Calculate the cosine value of number.

decimal_number()

decimal_number(expression)

This function is a cast that transforms its parameter in a decimal number.

The function is useful to force an integer in a decimal number.

Note that a percentage becomes a decimal number without dimensions.

The function also attempts to transform strings into numbers returned as decimal numbers. Those strings may also include a dimension:

@mixin my_set_unit($value, $unit): {
@return decimal_number(string($value) + string($unit));
}
See Also
integer()
percentage()
string()

floor()

floor(number)

Calculate the floor value of number.

\[ result = \lfloor number \rfloor \]

frgb()

frgb(color)
or
frgb(red, green, blue)

The frgb() function force the alpha channel of a color to 1.0 (opaque) or transforms three numbers in a color with its alpha channel set to 1.0.

The color components are expected to be values from 0.0 to 1.0. They may be integers or decimal numbers. The numbers can be out of range in which case they will be clamped by the assembler whenever the output is generated. This allows you to apply various mathematical functions to your colors before the output gets generated.

frgba()

frgba(color, alpha)
or
frgba(red, green, blue, alpha)

The frgba() function force the alpha channel of a color to the specified value or transforms four numbers in a color with its alpha channel specified.

The color components and alpha channel are expected to be values from 0.0 to 1.0. All the numbers can be out of range. They get clamped only at the time they are output by the assembler. This allows you to apply various mathematical functions to your colors before the output gets generated.

function_exists()

function_exists(name)

The function_exists() function returns true if the name'd function exists.

The name can be a string or an identifier.

Note that in CSS Preprocessor, functions may be defined locally, just like variables. This function returns true whether the function is global or not.

global_variable_exists()

global_variable_exists(name)

The global_variable_exists() function checks whether a global variable of the specified name exists.

name can be a string or an identifier representing the name of the variable to be checked.

green()

green(color)

The green() function retrieves the current green value of the specified color.

\[ result = color_g \]

The color components are not clamped so the green value may be out of range. However, the default range is from 0.0 to 255.0 inclusive. The value is returned as a decimal number.

hsl()

hsl(hue, saturation, lightness)

The hsl() function creates an opaque color using the specified hue, which should be an angle, and saturation and lightness, which should be percentages.

The HSL color is immediately converted to RGB.

hsla()

hsla(hue, saturation, lightness, alpha)

The hsla() function creates a color using the specified hue, which should be an angle, saturation and lightness, which should be percentages, and alpha which should be a number from 0.0 to 1.0.

The HSL color is immediately converted to RGB. The alpha channel is used as is.

hue()

hue(color)

Extract the hue component of a color. Note that we keep our colors as RGBA floats so extracting the hue includes a step calculating the HSL value out of which we return the hue.

\[ result = color_h \]

identifier()

identifier(expression)

This function is a cast that transforms its parameter in an identifier. This can be useful to convert a command line argument, which is a string, into something that's legal in CSS.

// this would put "solid" or "dashed" in the rule
border: 1px $_csspp_args[3] red;
// this puts solid or dashed as an identifier
border: 1px identifier($_csspp_args[3]) red;

Nearly all the values that support a string are accepted as a parameter:

All of these may not always work exactly as expected.

Note that integers and decimal numbers are converted to a string including a minus sign when negative and their dimension if they have one.

So in other words, it is possible to create an identifier that starts with a digit. This is possible in CSS with the backslash as well (\31 23 is the valid identifier "123" starting with the character 1 writen as an escape character.)

if()

if(boolean-expression, expr-true, expr-false)

The if() function is an internal CSS Preprocessor functions that takes exactly 3 parameters. The first parameter is expected to be a boolean which resolves as either true or false.

When the first parameter is true, the function returns its second parameter as the result. When the first parameter is false, the function returns its third parameter as the result.

The true and false expressions do not need to represent the same type of data.

integer()

integer(expression)

This function is a cast that transforms its parameter in an integer.

The function is useful to force a decimal number in an integer. This will compute the floor() of the decimal number when the number is positive or zero and the ceil() of the decimal number when the number is negative.

\[ result = \begin{cases}\lfloor expression \rfloor & , expression >= 0 \\ \lceil expression \rceil & , expression < 0\end{cases} \]

Note that a percent value loses its dimension specification since percent values must otherwise be decimal numbers. Also in most cases percentages are numbers between 0 and 1 so the result is likely going to be 0.

The function also attempts to transform strings into numbers returned as decimal numbers. Those strings may also include a dimension:

@mixin my_set_unit($value, $unit) {
@return integer(string($value) + string($unit));
}

inspect()

inspect(expression)

This function is mainly for debug purposes. It converts the expression passed as a parameter into a string without any other attempt at interpreting the parameter. This is very similar to using string() except that strings will have their quotes shown in the result.

lightness()

lightness(color)

Extract the lightness component of a color. Note that we keep our colors as RGBA floats so extracting the lightness includes a step calculating the HSL value out of which we return the lightness.

\[ result = color_l \]

log()

log(number)

Calculate the natural (or neperian) logarithm value of number.

There is no exp() function because you may just use the power operator as in:

$_csspp_e ** number

max()

max(number, number, ...)

Retrieve the largest value from a list of numbers. The list has to have at least one number, there is no upper limit.

All the numbers must have the same unit or no units.

min()

min(number, number, ...)

Retrieve the smallest value from a list of numbers. The list has to have at least one number, there is no upper limit.

All the numbers must have the same unit or no units.

not()

not(boolean)

The not() function returns true if the boolean expression represents false and vice versa.

Note
We do not offer the '!' operator because that's way too confusing with the '!important' and other similar flags. Note that in CSS 3 (and most certainly ealier versions too), the !important flag could be written with spaces ('! important') and thus we cannot be sure whether it is a flag or a boolean not. For that reason we decided to simply offer a not() function.

random()

random(number)

Generate a really bad random value between 0.0 and 1.0 (1.0 excluded.)

red()

red(color)

The red() function retrieves the current red value of the specified color.

The color components are not clamped so the red value may be out of range. However, the default range is from 0.0 to 255.0 inclusive. The value is returned as a decimal number.

rgb()

rgb(color)
or
rgb(red, green, blue)

The rgb() function force the alpha channel of a color to 1.0 (opaque) or transforms three numbers in a color with its alpha channel set to 1.0.

The color components are expected to be values from 0 to 255. They may be integers or decimal numbers. The numbers can be out of range in which case they will be clamped by the assembler whenever the output is generated. This allows you to apply various mathematical functions to your colors before the output gets generated.

rgba()

rgba(color, alpha)
or
rgba(red, green, blue, alpha)

The rgba() function force the alpha channel of a color to the specified value or transforms four numbers in a color with its alpha channel specified.

The color components are expected to be values from 0 to 255 and the alpha channel a number between 0.0 and 1.0. All the numbers can be out of range. They get clamped only at the time they are output by the assembler. This allows you to apply various mathematical functions to your colors before the output gets generated.

round()

round(number)

Round the specified number to the nearest number. This function has no effects on integers.

saturation()

saturation(color)

Extract the saturation component of a color. Note that we keep our colors as RGBA floats so extracting the saturation includes a step calculating the HSL value out of which we return the saturation.

\[ result = color_s \]

sign()

sign(number)

Extract the sign of a number. The result is -1 for negative numbers, 0 for zero, and 1 for positive numbers.

\[ result = \begin{cases} -1 & , number < 0 \\ 0 & , number = 0 \\ 1 & , number > 0\end{cases} \]

Note that the function returns 0 for the decimal number -0.0.

sin()

sin(number)

Calculate the sine value of number.

sqrt()

sqrt(number)

Calculate the square root value of number.

If number has a dimension, it has to be squared. For example, "cm * cm" (for \(cm^2\)) and the resulting value will be "cm". If a dimension is defined but not squared, then an error results.

\[ result = \sqrt{number} \]

string()

string(expression)

This function is a cast that transforms its parameter in an string.

Nearly all the values that support a string are accepted as a parameter:

All of these may not always work exactly as expected. If the input is a string, no transformation is performed.

Note that integers and decimal numbers are converted to a string including a minus sign when negative and their dimension if they have one.

str_length()

str_length(string)

The str_length() function returns the number of characters found in the specified string parameter. The length is returned as an integer.

To compute the length of nearly any type, you may first want to stringify the parameter as in:

str_length(string(expression))

The length is the number of characters. So if you have a UTF-8 string, the length may not be the number of bytes in the string.

tan()

tan(number)

Calculate the tangent value of number.

type_of()

type_of(expression)

The type_of() function returns a string naming the type of the specified expression. The types availabe in the CSS Preprocessor are as follow:

Note that this function does not tell you whether a number is a specific dimension or is dimension less.

The unit() function returns the dimension of a number. For a percentage, unit() returns "%". For a dimension less number, it returns an empty string.

The unitless() function returns true if the number has no unit (i.e. is a plain integer or decimal number).

unique_id()

unique_id()
or
unique_id(identifier)

The unique_id() function generates a unique identifier. At this point the identifier looks like: "_csspp_unique<number>". The number is incremented by one each time the function is called.

The identifier name may be changed by specifying a different identifier or string as the first parameter of the command. Note that the function uses a single counter so the number continues to increment just the same whatever the string passed in (or no string passed in). If you pass an empty string, the default string (_csspp_unique) is used.

unique_id() // returns "_csspp_unique1"
unique_id(my_id) // returns "my_id2"
unique_id('alpha') // returns "alpha3"

unit()

unit(number)

The unit() function extracts the unit of a dimension. A number without a unit returns the empty string. A percentage returns the special dimension, "%".

The function returns the current unit as is. So if you multiply two dimensions with each others, the unit returned is the product of their units.

unit(4px * 3px) = "px * px"

Note that the type_of() function tells you whether a number is an "integer" or a decimal "number", including percentages. However, it does not tell you the unit so you cannot distinguish between various dimensions or percentages.

variable_exists()

variable_exists(name)

The variable_exists() function checks whether a variable with the specified name was set prior to this statement.

The parameter can be a string or an identifier representing the name of the variable:

$var: 123px;
width: variable_exists(var) ? $var + 0 : 123;
height: variable_exists("var") ? $var + 0 : 123;
Note
The "... + 0" in the previous example is necessary because when $var is not defined, the statement would become empty.

Internal functions still missing

The following is a brief list of internal functions we will be adding at some point:

User Functions

I have the intend to also define a set of user functions that extend the functionality without having to change the internal code. There is a brief list of what I am thinking we can write as user functions once all or at least most of the internal functions are available and the @return functionality is available.

Many of these functions are based on the functions shown in SASS:

http://sass-lang.com/documentation/Sass/Script/Functions.html

Note that many of the list and map based functions are not likely to work like in SASS any time soon because we do not have the same list concept that SASS has (we're close... we'll see whether we can do that one day.)

adjust_hue()

adjust_hue(color, adjustment)

The adjust_hue() function expects two parameters: a color and an adjustment representing an angle. That number is added to the current hue of the color. The adjustment may be a negative number.

\[ result_h = color_h + adjustment \]

The other components do not get modified, although since we save colors in RGB, obviously, they may be affected slightly.

Since the color is kept as RGB components, the computation uses the get_hsl() and the set_hsl() color functions.

complement()

complement(color)

The complement() function turns the hue of a color by 180°.

\[ result_h = color_h + \pi \]

The other components do not get modified, although since we save colors in RGB, obviously, they may be affected slightly.

In SCSS, this is equivalent to:

adjust_hue(color, 180deg)

darken()

darken(color, adjustment)

The darken() function subtracts the specified adjustment from the lightness parameter of color.

\[ result_l = color_l - adjustment \]

The other components do not get modified, although since we save colors in RGB, obviously, they may be affected slightly.

desaturate()

desaturate(color, adjustment)

The desaturate() function subtracts the specified adjustment from the saturation parameter of color.

\[ result_s = color_s - adjustment \]

The other components do not get modified, although since we save colors in RGB, obviously, they may be affected slightly.

grayscale()

grayscale(color)

The grayscale() function removes all the saturation from a color, which means the color becomes black, gray, or white.

\[ result_s = 0 \]

The other components do not get modified, although since we save colors in RGB, obviously, they may be affected slightly.

invert()

invert(color)

The invert() function calculates the opposite component value. This is (1.0 - component). It only affects the red, green, and blue components.

\[ \begin{cases} result_r = 1.0 - color_r \\ result_g = 1.0 - color_g \\ result_b = 1.0 - color_b\end{cases} \]

Note
The colors are saved as floating point values from 0.0 to 1.0 (although we do not clamp these by default so you may have negative numbers and numbers larger than 1.0). This is similar to doing \(255 - color_c\) if the components were unsigned bytes from 0 to 255.

lighten()

lighten(color, adjustment)

The lighten() function adds the specified adjustment to the lightness parameter of color.

\[ result_l = color_l + adjustment \]

The other components do not get modified, although since we save colors in RGB, obviously, they may be affected slightly.

mix()

mix(color1, color2, weigth: 0.5)

The mix() function adds two colors together using a weight.

\[ color_{result} = color_1 \, weight + color_2 \, (1 - weight) \]

By default the weight is 0.5 which is equivalent to adding two colors together and dividing by two:

mix($c1, $c2) = ($c1 + $c2) / 2.0

This means:

\[ \large color_{result} = \frac{color_1 + color_2}{2} \]

If you want to mix more colors, you may write that in one statement such as:

($c1 * $w1 + $c2 * $w2 + $c3 * $w3 + $c4 * $w4) / ($w1 + $w2 + $w3 + $w4)

This means:

\[ \large color_{result} = \frac{\sum\limits_{i=0}^n color_{i} \, weight_{i}}{\sum\limits_{i=0}^n weight_{i}} \]

Assuming you know that the total of all the weights is equal to one, the division is not necessary.

Note that RGB colors are actually square roots of the real (physical) color. Therefore, the mix() function does not calculate a correct mixing of colors. We keep it that way to be compatible with the function in SASS, however.

There is a talk about this on this page:

http://scottsievert.com/blog/2015/04/23/image-sqrt/

See also the XYZ color space (by CIE):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIE_1931_color_space

The correct math would be to calculate the squares of the components, multiply them by their respective weight, divide by the sum of the weights, and finally compute the square root of that number:

\[ \large component_{result} = \sqrt\frac{compoment_{a}^{2} \, weight_{a} + component_{b}^{2} \, weight_{b}}{weight_{a} + weight_{b}} \]

When the weights are 0.5, we find the special case of a perfect mix:

\[ \large component_{result} = \sqrt\frac{compoment_{a}^{2} + component_{b}^{2}}{2} \]

One could use the following code (once power and sqrt() apply to colors):

@mixin physical_mix($color1, $color2, $weight: 0.5)
{
@return sqrt($color1 ** 2 * $weight + $color2 ** 2 * (1.0 - $weight));
}

opacify() or fade_in()

opacify(color, adjustment)
fade_in(color, adjustment)

The opacify() function add the specified adjustment to the alpha channel of a color:

\[ result_a = color_a + adjustment \]

It is the same as calling transparentize() or fade_out() with -adjustment.

opacity()

opacity(color)

The opacity() function is an overload of the alpha() function.

\[ result = color_a \]

percentage()

percentage(number)

The percentage() function transforms a number in a percentage.

The set_unit() function calls the percentage() function when it is called with "%" as the unit:

set_unit($number, "%")
or
percentage($number)

quote()

quote(identifier)

The quote() function transforms an identifier in a string.

This function is based on the string() function so any token that represents a string in an expression will be transformed to a quoted string.

remove_unit()

remove_unit(number)

The remove_unit() function removes the unit of the number making it a plain number instead of a dimension. If the number was already a plain number, then nothing happens. If the number was an integer it remains an integer.

The function also removes the % of a percentage. Remember that a percentage is a fraction. So remove_unit(30%) returns 0.3 and not 30.

The remove_unit() function uses a trick: it divides the number by "1<unit>" of the number.

For example, if the number is in pixels (px), the operation would look like this:

\[ result = { number \over 1px } \]

saturate()

saturate(color, adjustment)

The saturate() function adds the specified adjustment to the saturation parameter of color and return the new color. The adjustment is expected to be a percentage. It can be negative.

\[ result_s = color_s + adjustment \]

The other components do not get modified, although since we save colors in RGB, obviously, they may be affected slightly.

set_unit()

set_unit(number, unit)

The set_unit() function replace the existing unit of number with a new unit. The existing unit is removed using the remove_unit() function. Then the new unit is added to that plain number. The unit can be specified as a string ("px") or directly as an identifier (em). If the number was an integer it remains an integer.

The set_unit() function uses a trick: it divides the number by "1<existing-unit>" and multiply the number by "1<new-unit>".

For example, if the new unit is 'em' and the old one was 'px', the following expression is applied:

\[ result = { { number \over 1px } \times 1em } \]

Note that in most cases the math is probably wrong. In this example, 1em is probably something like 12px or so. So the correct math would be to divide by 12px instead of 1px.

You may achieve a better result with an operation such as this one:

$pixels: $number / 12px * 1em;

To define a number as a percentage, use "%". Although you may instead use the percentage() function.

transparentize() or fade_out()

transparentize(color, adjustment)
fade_out(color, adjustment)

The transparentize() function subtract adjustment from the alpha channel and returns the result.

\[ result_a = color_a - adjustment \]

It is the same as calling opacify() or fade_in() with -adjustment.

unitless()

unitless(number)

The unitless() function returns true if number is unit less (i.e. is not a dimension, was not assigned a unit, and is not a percentage either.)

Note that the type_of() function tells you whether a number is an "integer" or a decimal "number", including percentages. However, it does not tell you the unit so you cannot distinguish between various dimensions or percentages.

unquote()

unquote(string)

The unquote() function transforms a string in an identifier.

This function is based on the identifier() function so any token that represents a string in an expression will be transformed to an identifier.

User functions still missing

SASS also supports functions for selectors. We do not support expressions in selectors, so these are probably not going to be supported any time soon:

Documentation of CSS Preprocessor.

This document is part of the Snap! Websites Project.

Copyright by Made to Order Software Corp.