Specializing yourself into a corner
I'm not saying these tools aren't valuable because they absolutely are. They are just introducing fragmentation into our community and I am noticing how much of a part of it I have become. I want to share my code with everyone who writes CSS, not a subset of that group. On top of that I wonder what I am missing out on from other subsets of the community. How are other developers managing their front end tools? What techniques are they using to solve their problems? How do I tap into new audiences when I am writing a tool? These are hard issues and the back-end community has struggled with language diversity for a while. It is a new problem for the front end community and it's a bigger problem for us. It's a bigger problem because not just our community but the languages we use are built on the shoulders of web standards giants like Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer who talked, shared, and fought hard to get one unified community around front-end languages. Lets work to hold this community together.
Update: This post is getting a lot of traction and I should have been more clear on how I feel about preprocessing in general. I still use and highly recommend Sass and Compass. I have found writing Compass specific plugins has prevented people from using my code. The benefits of using preprocessors is still high but sharing that code back into the community becomes more difficult the further away from the core language you write. For me, I am two degrees away from CSS as I go through Sass with some additional Ruby. I am looking for ways to retool my plugins so they just require Sass and this is proving to be difficult in some cases.