Long title but that’s what’s this article is about! I prefer developing on a remote server rather than having a dev server setup on my pc/mac running XAMPP or similar, having TYPO3 or WordPress installed… locally! I guess it’s a matter of taste where you develop: I see hardcore php etc developers have their IDE setup locally, “lightcore” html/css/js coders prefer remote.
I’m a lightcore developer :-) I install TYPO3 or WordPress on a given server and build templates (html/css/js/typoscript/some php) right there on the spot. This works fine for me using Transmit for editing files directly on a server. But what if I want to use SASS, which I can’t install on a server due to limited server-permission?
Setting up Transmit
Transmit is a easy to use ftp-client for mac and setting it up is fairly easy. I use Transmit’s “Mount”-feature. Correctly configured this feature mounts a predefined remote folder (ie in WordPress your wp-content/themes/your-theme folder) on your local desktop! Any changes made locally will be uploaded immediately and can be viewed online straight away.
Once you have successfully setup your basic ftp connection hit More Options and enter “Root-URL” (ie: http://www.someserver.com), “Remote Path” (your working path, ie: /typo3/fileadmin or /wp-content/themes/theme-name, relative to Root-URL) and your “Local Path” (this is your projects folder on your mac, we might need this later). After saving click the little mount icon at the far bottom (next to the edit button). Transmit will create a volume folder on your desktop and download all files within the remote path folder stated earlier into that volume. You can now edit, create, delete etc files locally and Transmit pushes these changes directly to the server. Nothing special but still, Yeah! :-)
The reason I want files locally while working on them is because I can’t install software like SASS or GIT on my server due to server permissions. I don’t own a root server. I’m not a pro at using Linux commands in a bash either, so it’s ok. For SASS or git GIT to work you need to have Ruby running… Ruby runs on all macs out of the Box, so, check! Install SASS :-) (The OS might wants to install some dev-tools, just let it do that)
Once you have SASS running fire up that Transmit volume again. The volume appears on your Desktop! All you need to do now ist to run Terminal. Type:
to get to the root of the file system and then switch into the Volumes directory: cd Volumes. Here you should see all your harddrives plus your mounted volume! Yeah. Switch into that directory and fire up SASS to watch your ie styles.scss file:
sass --watch styles.scss:styles.css
or an entire folder:
sass --watch css-folder:css-folder
You can now benefit from all SASS features while Transmit handles the automatic uploading of changed files. Job done! :-)