Using Grunt to Auto-Restart node.js with File Watchers

Preprocessors have become a very important part of the development life cycle. In the past we would just write some HTML, JavaScript and CSS with a backend and deploy a website.  Now for better speed, development experience and more manageable outcomes we have a multitude of languages that compile into these standards, e.g: CoffeeScript--> JavaScript, LESS --> CSS, Jade --> HTML... Then there is JS, CSS and HTML compression and minification after that.

LESS: Resource Roundup

The resources in this post accompany a brief presentation, slides here: http://techblog.troyweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Less.pdf This will be growing over time as I add to it.

How to Compile LESS

In addition to using CodePen.io, there are various client side tools to compile your LESS for use in projects.


  • CodeKit ($25) - Please, just do it. If you're on the Mac, this app is for so much more than LESS.
  • Live Reload ($10) My understanding it is quite similar to Codekit but not as full featured
  • LESS.app (FREE!) By the same guy who does Codekit. LESS.app evolved into Codekit.
  • Simpless (FREE!) Simple tool for compiling, also allows minification.


  • Simpless (FREE!) Simple tool for compiling, also allows minification. I used this when I was a Windows user.
  • WinLESS (FREE!) I've also used this. Doesn't offer simplicity of other tools, but has more robust error reporting.

Where to Learn More