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These are the main tasks:

  • front-end-styleguide to start the default task.
    • Watches for file changes.
    • Starts Browsersync.
  • front-end-styleguide development to start the default task
    • No file watching / Browsersync.
  • front-end-styleguide preview to create a prototype preview.
    • Minifies CSS, JavaScript and images.
    • Doesn't generate component HTML.
    • Errors break pipe.
  • front-end-styleguide production to create production ready files.
    • Minifies CSS, JavaScript and images.
    • Doesn't generate any HTML.
    • Errors break pipe.

The underlying tasks can be run aswell:

  • css-dev, css-prev and css-dist for Sass compilation.
  • css-lint and css-lint-break for CSS linting.
  • js-dev, js-prev and js-dist for JavaScript concatenation.
  • js-lint and js-lint-break for JavaScript linting.
  • html-dev and html-prev for static HTML file generation.
  • img-dev, img-prev and img-dist for image copying and icon sprite generation.
  • copy-dev, copy-prev and copy-dist for copying files from Node modules.

The generated folders dev, prev and dist are excluded from Git.


Located in src/css.
Output to dev/css, prev/css or dist/css.

Sass is a CSS preprocessor supporting variables, nesting and mixins – among many other features. For a quick start jump to the Sass Basics. stylelint monitors the code for errors and consistency deviations.

This styleguide splits the CSS into small parts. This ensures a better organization of style declarations. Each component sits in it's own file and is re-usable across the project. See HTML for the HTML-side of componentization.

The function @import includes Sass or CSS files in the main Sass file. The final output is one large CSS file to minimize browser requests. See src/css/main.scss for more information.

Global stylelint rules are set in .stylelintrc.json. Per-file rules can be set comments (e.g. /* stylelint-enable selector-max-id */). With a .stylelintignore file in the project root, CSS files can be excluded from linting.

The development task generates sourcemaps. The preview and production tasks minify the CSS.


Located in src/js.
Output to dev/js, prev/js or dist/js.

JavaScript files are bundled together with Browserify and transpiled with Babel and the ES2015 preset. ESLint checks if the code follows common standards.

Global ESLint rules are set in .eslintrc.json. Per-file rules can be set with comments (e.g. /* eslint no-console: "off" */). With a .eslintignore file in the project root, JavaScript files can be excluded from linting. Browserify follows the same require() and modules.exports system Node uses. This makes loading code from other files or even npm modules possible. The example setup in src/js provides a brief overview of the capabilities.

The development task generates sourcemaps. The preview and production tasks uglify the source.


Located in src/html.
Output to dev or prev.

Handlebars is an HTML templating engine based on JavaScript. The styleguide creates static HTML from Handlebars files. Assemble helpers provide more advanced templating features.

Hierarchy with subfolders is supported. The output reflects the input file tree.


Layout helpers provided by Handlebars Layouts.

Layouts determine the scaffolding of the HTML document. They contain the <head> area, the outer <body> tags, style and script references.

Layouts are located in src/html/partials/layouts.

A minimalistic layout may look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>{{page 'title'}}</title>
    {{{block "content"}}}


These files can be included in all other files (even in other includes). The process is comparable to PHP's include.

Includes are located in src/html/partials/includes.

The syntax {{> includes/example}} includes the file src/html/partials/includes/example.hbs.

Components and Pages

Component pages are references for UI elements. The task preview will not render them.

Pages are prototypes for the final web pages.

The default and development tasks inject a navigation bar into both component and page HTML files for faster site switching and additional settings.

Components are located in src/html/pages/components, pages in src/html/pages.

The YAML front matter between the opening --- and closing --- contains general information like the title, description and category. These will be used primarily by layouts and the Styleguide navigation. The front matter can be accessed with {{page "key"}}. Replace key with the name from the front matter.

A basic component page is defined by it's category and the correspondening layout:

title: Example
description: More detailed than the title
category: Components
{{#extend "layouts/components"}}
{{#content "body"}}
  <p>This will be injected into the layout.</p>

Components may use additional markup within the main body with nicely styled containers:

{{#embed "styleguide/article" title="Some title" description="Some description text." background="#555"}}
{{#content "body"}}
  <p>The component goes here and will be wrapped in a nicely formatted container.</p>

The following parameters are available:

  • [optional] title sets a heading for the component variation.
  • [optional] description provides additional information.
  • [optional] background injects style="background: value" into the component.

Default Variables

  • {{meta.version}}: Current styleguide version (e.g. "1.7.0").
  • {{meta.lang}}: Global project language (e.g. "en").
  • {{}}: Returns true for development task.
  • {{page "title"}}: Title of the current page.
  • {{page "description"}}: Description of the current page.
  • {{page "category"}}: Category of the current page.
  • {{page "filebase"}}: The name of the current page file without extension (e.g. "index").
  • {{page "filename"}}: The name of the current page file with extension (e.g. "index.html").
  • {{page "filepath"}}: Relative path containing the filename of the current page (e.g. "components/header.html").
  • {{page "rel"}}: Relative path to the root (e.g. "../").

Images and Icons

Located in src/img.
Output to dev/img, prev/img or dist/img.

All files and folders placed in src/img will be copied to dev/img, prev/img or dist/img.

SVG files placed in the src/img/icons folder will be transformed into an SVG icon sprite named icons.svg. The original icons will not be copied to output folders. SVG symbols can be referenced with their ID. The icon workflow creates IDs from the filename of the original SVG placed in src/img/icons. Each ID is suffixed with "-icon" for better compatibility with browsers that need a polyfill.

Icons can be used in HTML with the following syntax:

<svg width="24" height="24">
  <use xlink:href="{{page 'rel'}}img/icons.svg#filename-icon"></use>

Specifying dimensions is considered good style. Without a defined width and height browsers often scale SVGs to fill the whole viewport. This happens if dimensions set in CSS fail to load.

The styleguide ships with svgxuse, a polyfill for browsers that do not support external SVG reference.

The preview and production tasks minify images with a lossless compressor.


Files that don't fit in the above mentioned categories can be integrated into the styleguide with the file src/copy.js. To integrate files from Node modules, install the module with npm install --save-dev module-name and add files or folders to copy.js.

copy.js contains an array of objects. Each object is a copy instruction and has a folder, files, dest and optional exclude key.

  • folder is the base path.
  • files specifies which files and folders will be copied. The folder structure will be kept (e.g. dist/** results in dev/js/dist/**). Use globs to copy more than one file.
  • dest sets the destination for the copy process. The development, preview and production tasks each prefix the destination with their specific output folders (e.g. dev/ for development). Base path variables from config/paths.js can be used (path.css.base, path.js.base, path.html.base and path.img.base). But feel free to set arbitrary destinations.
  • [optional] excludes contains a string or an array of strings with names for tasks that will not perform the copy instruction. Available task names are dev, prev and dist.

Beware of overwriting files from other tasks (e.g. css/styles.css), the copy task is started last. Due to asynchronous task execution the exact write order is unknown.

Copy single files

module.exports = [
    folder: 'node_modules/svgxuse',
    files: 'svgxuse.{js,min.js}',
    dest: paths.js.base,
    exclude: 'dist'

This declaration copies the files node_modules/svgxuse/svgxuse.js and node_modules/svgxuse/svgxuse.min.js to taskfolder/js/svgxuse.js and taskfolder/js/svgxuse.min.js. taskfolder is either dev or prev depending on the task. The dist task is excluded.

Preserve original folder structure

module.exports = [
    folder: 'node_modules/@polymer',
    files: '**',
    dest: 'polymer'

Everything from node_modules/@polymer will be copied to taskfolder/polymer. Subfolders will be kept as is.

Remove original folder structure

module.exports = [
    folder: 'node_modules/@polymer/font-roboto',
    files: '**',
    dest: 'polymer'

Everything from node_modules/@polymer/font-roboto will be copied to taskfolder/polymer. No font-roboto folder will be created.

Released under the Hippocratic License 3.0.