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Lessons:20Length:1.9 hours

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1.2 What Are Preprocessors?

SaaS is a preprocessor and before you start learning about it, you need to understand what preprocessors are. And by definition a preprocessor is a program that takes one type of data and transforms it into another type of data. In the case SaaS, the process, the preprocessor takes SaaS code and transforms it into CSS code. Now you can look at these programs as extensions of the original language, in our case CSS. That means they have something extra, they have some extra features that help you get the job done faster. So in our case, we're talking about variables, we're talking about nesting, more complex operations and so on. Now with these features comes the biggest reason why you should use a preprocessor. Time, you save up a lot of time by using SaaS in our case, to your write CSS. Because of these features, because of the variables, because of the nesting, because of operations basically, you get a lot more power at your disposal. So you can do a lot more with preprocessors than you would be able to do with just plain CSS and you will do it a lot faster. Now here's a typical workflow when using SaaS. First you write the SaaS code. Then you compile it into CSS and then you'll load that CSS in your page. Just like you would any normal CSS file. Now there is that extra step. The compiling stuff. And you might think that it takes extra time, it's more complicated, it's not really, it does involve some technicalities, you'll learn about those in a future lesson, but it has a lot of benefits. So even though it's an extra step in reality, it actually saves you time. Now this course is organized in a specific way. There are 14 days with 14 different notions of SaaS and each day has it's own structure. So, coming up next we'll have a look at that structure. And you're going to learn exactly how you should use the source files provided with this course.

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