Presenting Derby: A Sublime Text 2 Plugin

I have to admit, I’m pretty excited to announce this. From my first design contract in the spring of 2003 (under d/b/a AXZM) to the company that exists today, this announcement represents a milestone for my company and our team here at AXZM. The foundation of our values and roots in development can be found in the Open Source community. It is a part of who we are, not just an ethos for software.

We have always wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to us, but have had little time in the past. You do what you can when you are just trying to keep the lights on. Things have been going really well for us the last few years. I’ve managed to hire some really amazing talent that has made it possible for me to work on my business instead of just working in it. With that said, here is the scoop on Derby…

Back in the last months of 2011 and early 2012, in a quest to streamline our front-end development processes here at AXZM, our Art Director and Lead Front-End developer ,  Lead Systems Architect and myself were wading through a sea of options. Stash, Bootstrap, Less, Zurb, Sublime Text and Sublime Text 2 plugin (s) and eventually SASS all came up as possible solutions.

After a lot of testing, debating and trial and error, we decided on Git with Tower (to review code), Sublime Text for our IDE and SASS to speed up front-end development. The combination has served us well since we’ve been using them together. Take nothing from the other aforementioned solutions, but this was about making the other team members jobs as simple as possible, scaling our business while keeping the level of quality that we have built a name for.

Even with all of these great technologies, there were still bottlenecks. Between looking up syntax and jumping back and forth between browser and IDE, we realized we were losing production time. In the process of using Sublime Text and SASS mixins (like Bourbon and Neat), we discovered the ability to create your own Sublime Text 2 plugin (using JSON) and proceeded to create a nifty little Sublime Text 2 plugin to alleviate this problem that helped our junior front-end developers look up things a lot quicker, right in the IDE itself. Derby was born.

What exactly does Derby do?

It will melt your face off with awesome sauce. Not really, but it will save you loads of time. Derby is a Sublime Text 2 plugin that will auto-completes all Neat and Bourbon statements allowing you to write much faster SCSS / SASS. It also has the whole Bourbon and Neat docs compiled into it which can be called with a simple command. This prevents you from having to leave your work to look up functions, which can translate to loss of focus.

Why Did You Name It Derby?

Named after a cocktail which is composed of Lime, Vermouth, Orange Curaçao and Bourbon. We like to think of Derby as the Vermouth and the Curaçao in the recipe because it ties the flavors together of Sublime and Bourbon to make a potent mix. While not the main ingredient it makes it smoother and adds some different flavor.

Download it here:


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Analytics & AdWords certified growth engineer with over a decade experience in making businesses successful. I own and operate AXZM and often speak at top national industry conferences on the topics of strategy, design and marketing technology. Work with me or learn more about me here. Follow me @nawlready

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