Bundle CSS files with relative file paths

I am currently working with bundling CSS files, and have to be able to bundle files from many different folders, when needed.

Previously, all CSS files within the selected CSS folder (if any), as well as within a mandatory system css folder, were added to the virtual bundle file. The theme engine parsed all files and added them to the virtual file output as one mega string:

   .validation-error{border: solid 1px #bb4444;background: #ffdddd;}.RatingBar .images a{display: inline-block; width: 20px;height: 20px;}.RatingBar .unrated { background-image: url(../../../wigbi/content/img/controls/RatingBar/rating_unrated.gif); }.RatingBar .rated { background-image: url(../../../wigbi/content/img/controls/RatingBar/rating_rated.gif); }.RatingBar .half { background-image: url(../../../wigbi/content/img/controls/RatingBar/rating_half.gif); }.RatingBar .createdBy { background-image: url(../../../wigbi/content/img/controls/RatingBar/rating_createdBy.gif); }.RatingBar .hover { background-image: url(../../../wigbi/content/img/controls/RatingBar/rating_createdBy.gif); }@import url(../../../box.css);@import url(../../../classes.css);@import url(../../../controls.css);@import url(../../../design.css);@import url(../../../elements.css);@import url(../../../grid.css);@import url(../../../lists.css);html, body{margin: 0px;background-color: #FFFFFF;background-image: none;}.box{border: solid 1px #bbbbbb;}.box .body{padding: 5px;border: solid 2px white;background: #f6f6f6;}.w100 { width: 100%; }.w95 { width: 95%; }.w90 { width: 90%; }.w85 { width: 85%; }.w80 { width: 80%; }.w75 { width: 75%; }.w70 { width: 70%; }.w65 { width: 65%; }.w60 { width: 60%; }.w55 { width: 55%; }.w50 { width: 50%; }.w45 { width: 45%; }.w40 { width: 40%; }.w35 { width: 35%; }.w30 { width: 30%; }.w25 { width: 25%; }.w20 { width: 20%; }.w15 { width: 15%; }.w10 { width: 10%; }.w5 { width: 5%; }.align-center { text-align: center; }.align-left { text-align: left; }.align-right { text-align: right; }.valign-middle { vertical-align: middle; }.valign-top { vertical-align: top; }.float-left { float: left; }.float-right { float: right; }.bold { font-weight: bold; }.bold-italic { font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; }.italic { font-style: italic; }.invisible { display: none; }.clear { clear: both; }span.large { font-size: 1.3em; }span.yellow { color: #ff9900; }img.border{padding: 3px;border: solid 1px #cccccc;}#main-content-middle img.top{padding-bottom: 15px;}div.separator{margin-top: 10px;margin-bottom: 10px; font-size: 1px;height: 5px;border-bottom: solid 1px #dddddd;background-image: url(../../../img/themes/pro/bg_lines.gif);}#main-content-right div.section-title{height: 25px;padding: 3px;background: #f6f6f6;border-top: solid 1px #cccccc;border-bottom: solid 1px #cccccc;}#main-content-right img.section-icon{float: left;margin-right: 8px;}#main-content-right div.section-text{font-weight: bold;margin-top: 7px;margin-bottom: 15px;}.control input[type="text"],.control input[type="password"]{width: 98%;}.control textarea{width: 99%;}.control-body div{margin-bottom: 10px;}.control-footer{margin-top: 10px;text-align: right;}.NewsletterSubscribeForm .email { margin-bottom: 0px; }.NewsletterSubscribeForm .unsubscribe { text-align: right; }html, body{background: #222222;margin: 0px;margin-top: 50px;margin-bottom: 100px;}#main-top, #main-bottom{color: #c4c4c4;}#main-top{padding-bottom: 50px;background-position: bottom;background-repeat: repeat-x;background-image: url(../../../img/themes/pro/bg_top.jpg);}#main-logo{padding: 0px;padding-left: 150px;padding-top: 30px;background-image: url(../../../img/themes/pro/logo.gif);background-repeat: no-repeat;}.main-width{width: 900px;margin: 0 auto;}#main-content { background: white; }#main-content-left { width: 210px; }#main-content-middle { width: 412px; }#main-content-right { width: 220px; }#main-content-left,#main-content-middle,#main-content-right{padding-left: 10px;padding-right: 10px;}#main-content-left, #main-content-right {border-left: solid 1px #cccccc;border-right: solid 1px #cccccc;}#main-bottom{padding-top: 60px;background-position: top;background-repeat: repeat-x;background-image: url(../../../img/themes/pro/bg_bottom.jpg);}#main-bottom-left, #main-bottom-right{color: white;font-size: 0.82em;}#main-bottom-left{padding-right: 10px;border-right: solid 1px #000000;}#main-bottom-right{padding-left: 10px;border-left: solid 1px #333333;}html, body{color: #333333;font-family: Helvetica, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif, Verdana, Geneva;font-size: 0.9em;}a{color: #ff9900;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;}a:hover { color: #ffbb00; }a, ul a { outline: none; }form{padding: 0px;margin: 0px;}h1{font-size: 1.65em;}h2{font-size: 1.4em;margin-top: 25px;border-bottom: solid 1px #cccccc;}h3{margin-top: 25px;margin-bottom: 10px;}h1, h2, h3 { color: #444444; }h1, h2.first, h3.first { margin-top: 0px; }h1.nospace, h2.nospace, h3.nospace { margin-bottom: 0px; }img, a img{border: none}table{border-collapse: collapse;}table td{padding-right: 5px;vertical-align: top;}.grid {}.grid .row {}.grid .row .cell { float:left; width: 100%; }.grid .row.one .cell { float:none; width: 100%; }.grid .row.two .cell { width:50%; }.grid .row.three .cell { width:33.2%; }.grid .row.four .cell { width:25%; }.grid .row.five .cell { width:20%; }.grid .row.six .cell { width:16.6%; }.grid .row.seven .cell { width:14.2%; }.grid .row.eight .cell { width:12.5%; }.grid .row.nine .cell { width:11.1%; }.grid .row.ten .cell { width:10%; }.grid .row, .grid .row .cell.last { overflow: hidden; }.grid .row .cell.last { float:none; width:auto; }.grid.border .row { border-top: solid 1px black; }.grid.border .row.last { border-bottom: solid 1px black; }.grid.border .row .cell { border: none; border-left: solid 1px black; }.grid.border .row .cell.last, .grid.border .row.one .cell { border-right: solid 1px black; }ul.horizontal,#main-menu ul, #main-bottom ul,#main-content-middle ul.titleMenu,#main-content-middle ul.images{margin: 0px;padding: 0px;list-style: none;}ul.horizontal li,#main-menu ul li, #main-bottom ul li,#main-content-middle ul.titleMenu li,#main-content-middle ul.images li{display:inline;}ul.vertical-list,#main-subMenu ul, #main-content-middle ul{border-top: solid 1px #cccccc;margin: 0px;padding: 0px;list-style: none;}ul.vertical-list li,#main-subMenu ul li, #main-content-middle ul li{border-bottom: solid 1px #cccccc;margin: 0px;padding: 5px;}ul.vertical-list li.even,#main-subMenu ul li.even, #main-content-middle ul li.even{background-color: #f3f3f3;}ul.vertical-list li.selected,#main-content-middle ul li.selected{border-bottom: solid 1px #bbbbbb;background-color: #eaeaea;}ul.vertical-list li.separator,#main-subMenu ul li.separator, #main-content-middle ul li.separator{font-size: 0.1em;background: url(../../../img/themes/pro/bg_lines.gif);}ul.vertical-list li:hover,#main-subMenu ul li:hover, #main-content-middle ul li:hover{background-color: #f9f9f9;}#main-menu li{font-size: 1.5em;font-weight: bold;}#main-menu li { margin-right: 10px; }#main-menu li a { margin-right: 5px; }#main-bottom li { margin-right: 5px; }#main-bottom li a { margin-right: 3px; }#main-menu li a, #main-subMenu li a, #main-bottom li a { text-decoration: none; }#main-menu li a, #main-bottom li a { color: white; }#main-subMenu li a { color: black; }#main-subMenu li a, #main-bottom li a { font-weight: normal; }#main-menu li.selected a, #main-subMenu li.selected a, #main-menu li a:hover, #main-subMenu li a:hover, #main-bottom li a:hover, #main-bottom li.section, #main-bottom li a.more{color: #ff9900; }#main-subMenu li.selected{background-image: url(../../../img/themes/pro/bg_subMenu_selected.gif);background-repeat: no-repeat;}#main-subMenu li.selected a{font-weight: bold;padding-left: 5px;}#main-bottom li.section { width: 90px; }#main-bottom li.section, #main-bottom li a.more { font-weight: bold; }#main-content-middle ul.titleMenu{padding:5px;padding-top:7px;margin:0px;margin-top: 10px;text-align: center;background-color: #f8f8f8;border-bottom: solid 1px #cccccc;}#main-content-middle ul.titleMenu li,#main-content-middle ul.titleMenu li:hover{background: none;padding: 10px;border-bottom: none;}#main-content-middle ul.titleMenu li a{color: #505050;}#main-content-middle ul.titleMenu li a:hover{color: #ff9900;}#main-content-middle ul.images{border: none;text-align: center;}#main-content-middle ul.images li,#main-content-middle ul.images li:hover{padding: 5px;border-bottom: none;}#main-content-middle ul.images img{padding: 3px;border: solid 1px #cccccc;}#main-content-middle ul.images img { margin-bottom: 8px; }#main-content-middle ul.songs, ul.songs{margin-top: 10px;}ul.songs li,ul.songs li:hover{line-height: 23px;padding: 0px;padding-top: 4px;}ul.songs li span { float: right; }#lbOverlay {position: fixed;z-index: 9999;left: 0;top: 0;width: 100%;height: 100%;background-color: #000;cursor: pointer;}#lbCenter, #lbBottomContainer {position: absolute;z-index: 9999;overflow: hidden;background-color: #fff;}.lbLoading {background: #fff url(../../../img/slimbox/loading.gif) no-repeat center;}#lbImage {position: absolute;left: 0;top: 0;border: 10px solid #fff;background-repeat: no-repeat;}#lbPrevLink, #lbNextLink {display: block;position: absolute;top: 0;width: 50%;outline: none;}#lbPrevLink {left: 0;}#lbPrevLink:hover {background: transparent url(../../../img/slimbox/prevlabel.gif) no-repeat 0 15%;}#lbNextLink {right: 0;}#lbNextLink:hover {background: transparent url(../../../img/slimbox/nextlabel.gif) no-repeat 100% 15%;}#lbBottom {font-family: Verdana, Arial, Geneva, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 10px;color: #666;line-height: 1.4em;text-align: left;border: 10px solid #fff;border-top-style: none;}#lbCloseLink {display: block;float: right;width: 66px;height: 22px;background: transparent url(../../../img/slimbox/closelabel.gif) no-repeat center;margin: 5px 0;outline: none;}#lbCaption, #lbNumber {margin-right: 71px;}#lbCaption {font-weight: bold;}

This is great, right? Nice, clean and compact.

However, this approach – which can be found in various CSS bundle solutions around the web – suffers from a major flaw…file paths. Since the virtual file most probably does not exist at the same folder level in the file system as the parsed files, all paths in the bundle file will be invalid. This is especially true when parsing files from many different folders.

The approach above requires you to either use absolute paths in your css files or have the css files at the same folder level in the file system as the bundle file. This is not always applicable, especially since I want to allow developers to point out any folder as css folder.

It is possible, though, by providing the bundle file with various file system information, to acount for the path differences and change the file paths so that they work within the bundle file. This, however, involves way too much work and testing for me to be interested in implementing such a solution…at least now.

So, I have now taken a step back. The bundle file still remains, but instead of adding all file content to the output as above, I simply import all files of interest into it. The virtual file output will thus look something like this:

   @import url("../css/default.css");@import url("../../wigbi/css2/x.css");@import url("../../wigbi/css2/y.css");

This is not as fast as the compact first option, since I have no possibility of compressing the CSS code. However, but by linking to the CSS files like this, I do not have to account for file paths within each file. It works automatically…like a charm 🙂

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