Announcement: a new Website for Hoodie

You know what it’s like with clothes you love, right? They’re cozy and make you feel comfortable and safe, and so you wear them any time you can, regardless of the weather and change of seasons. Unfortunately, even the most beautiful clothes tend to get broken from time to time – then you have to add patches or renew seams, and sometimes they also lose their bright colours after some time.

This beloved garment is what Hoodie’s website is to us. Being set up initially on only a few days in spring 2013, it has always been a great companion in the past 1.5 years since we launched it. Hundreds of thousands of people have viewed it, to many of them it was the first thing they saw of this project. Over the time, it slightly changed: we added new pages, we changed a bit of its content, but in total, it always stayed the same. Completely aware that it wasn’t perfect, it was still reliable and always there for us when we needed it. But we always knew it wouldn’t be with us forever.

And now the time has come.


We’re very happy to announce that we’ll be launching a completely new website and documentation soon*.

We have been receiving a lot of feedback from many people about the current website. Our community has also grown enormously, and the project itself has moved further. We have been thinking a lot about

  • how we talk about Hoodie
  • how we can make clear to people what it is, what it does in general, and what it can do for them specifically
  • how we can show people easily how they can contribute to Hoodie
  • how we’re onboarding new community members
  • how we can make Hoodie more understandable and more accessible
  • how we can depict content that is valuable to people
  • how we can show the values, goals and philosophy which mean a lot to us and are deeply embedded in our work on Hoodie
  • how we can show our appreciation to the huge number of people who have been and are supporting Hoodie

and much, much more.

The work on this relaunch project has started in January 2014, and since then, many thoughts have gone into this. Parts of our community have then taken on the actual work on the design, technical setup and the content by August. We also found new coding and non-coding contributors who have joined Hoodie because of this project, and we’re looking forward to introducing them all to you soon.

In parallel, there was also a team of community members who had started finally setting our documentation up. Our lack of documentation has been a hurting issue for quite some time, but these people helped us make enormous progress. And because of them, we’re now also glad to announce that we will launch the first tranche of the documentation together with the new website.

And we’re ourselves very much looking forward to seeing all of this get together.

The new website aims to show what this is all about: Hoodie is for you, those amazing people out there, those of you who have been with us for a long time, those of you who just met us and those of you who haven’t heard of us yet. Our daily work on this project is because of and for you. And this is what our new website and documentation will be about.

Please stay tuned. We’re looking forward to making this happen.


The Hoodies


*We’re spoilering a bit already in this post, but the actual time and date will be a surprise.

Periodic table of challenges in startup culture: TGIF! (44)

Thank Grohl, Gauss, Glob, Galileo and Science it’s Friday! The week’s (almost) over, and these are our reading recommendations, curated for you by Julia and Lena, for your weekend or a lazy afternoon. Enjoy!


Open Source

How Open Source can make your $job a better place.

If you’re into Erlang, chances are good, Elixir might be interesting to you (plus it’s on several “languages to watch”-lists right now). Version 1.0 of the language can be found on GitHub since wednesday.

Come sit down with us: CouchDB Weekly News, September 11, 2014 is out and incudes releases such as a streaming replication protocol for CouchDB & PouchDB.


The periodic table of web design process – an infographic!

How can you tell if a problem on your site is your code’s fault, or the browser’s?

Allison House used her skills in designing apps to direct a music video.

Junior Designers vs. Senior Designers — The Year of the Looking Glass

The Web and Development

The slides of Robert Nyman’s talk about mobile trends, web and native are online.

Some thoughts on why using CSS variables might be a good idea.

Seven things you have to think about when setting up a website. “Once upon a time in web design, all you had to do to make your sites cross compatible was set them to be 960px wide and fix the issues that popped up in IE6. Ah, the old days….”

Working for a startup comes with its own set of challenges – make sure you’re clear about those before taking the job.

The Tech World and Culture

Eight female leaders present their ideas on how to overcome what’s holding women back

There were more influential female programmers as is often believed: “While researching a college project, Kleiman found a photo of the ENIAC computer surrounded by women. The men in the photo were identified in a caption but the women were not. A representative of the Computer History Museum told Kleiman that the women were models. They were not. They were women known as “computers,” and they’d been selected to program a machine that could do their wartime work of calculating ballistic trajectories.”

Transgender people often have experienced the workplace from both sides and can help to understand gender-based bias. “At one conference, another scientist said, “Ben gave a great seminar today—but then his work is so much better than his sister’s.” (The scientist didn’t know Ben and Barbara were the same person.) “

The Business

Too little market research was only one of the reasons, Dinnr didn’t survive. But founder Michal Bohanes learned some great lessons from this failure and shares them quite openly.

Startup culture is for exactly that – startups. Once you grow, there might be things you have to change in order to survive.

It sometimes doesn’t seem that way, just because it isn’t often discussed, but depression amongst founders is a serious issue.

If you’re already stressed out, some calender hacks might help you feel more organized and make room for yourself.

We <3

Want to stand out at JSConf EU? Adding sound effects to your conversations might help ;).

Imagine the great bard of Avon would have rhymed about being the prince of Bel-Air … Shakespeare Meets Top 40 Music in “Pop Sonnets”

If you feel stuck or in over your head, a walk might help you get a new perspective.

Poetic, useful and just the right thing if you’re a pro at killing plants: the Coniferous Clock.

Hue Grant – how come, nobody before thought of this?

Essential Tooling for a Small Modules World: Bringing Back the Excitement of Software Releases with grunt-semantic-release

tl;dr: Don’t release :floppy_disk: like a :monkey:, as it causes lots of :bug::beetle:. Do it like a :princess: using :boar::balloon:. Use the :clock230: saved and the :moneybag:made to :revolving_hearts:grunt-semantic-release.

A screenshot of the grunt release command in the terminal

This how easy it is to release software now. Yes checkboxes are pre-checked for you.

Before that at Hoodie’s: …

I begin with changing the version number in the package.json, which is not in sync with the bower.json, because obviously someone messed that up last time. Okay, just commit and tag this with the new version. But wait, should I use the vx.y.z or the x.y.z pattern? There were so many discussions about this, I am just confused. It had never been consistent anyways, so I just continue with pushing something. I forgot to use the --tags flag though. Luckily, I noticed immediately and the last step is just npm publish.


Five minutes later I realise the Travis CI build failed. I have invested an entire week to ship a new feature and now everything falls apart, because releasing a new version means I have to remember a gazillion steps and execute them in the exactly right order.

This happened approximately once a week at Hoodie, especially as we are currently maintaining over 50 repositories. You can probably imagine how messed up things can get when a lot of different people have to follow this fragile, lengthy and awfully repetitive process:

A graph of the error-prone "process" we used before.

The old process looks simple, but due to multiple human interactions it is error-prone.

At some point I was so fed up with this that I defined our requirements for a solid new process. It should be

  • automagic
  • supportive
  • forgiving and
  • bring back the fun and excitement of a software release.

Our requirements

  1. Simplicity: One and only one simple command to execute
  2. Maintainability
    1. Seamless integration with our current grunt setup
    2. Zero to no setup to make it maintainable with 50+ repositories
  3. Consistency
    1. Never release a module when the build/tests fail
    2. When the build fails there should be no need to rewrite git history
    3. Implicit SemVer compliance
  4. Permissions: Everyone with push access should be able to release
  5. Communication
    1. Automatically generate a changelog
    2. Make the changelog available on git/GitHub releases
  6. Fun: Gimme animated gifs

Existing solutions

There are quite a lot of (grunt) plugins that evolve around releasing software but except for 1, 4 and 5.1 nothing is solved to our satisfaction and above all not out of the box. So for example 1 is solved by grunt-bump, 4 is solved by Travis CI deploy hooks and 5.1 is solved by angular’s commit message guidelines and conventional-changelog, but it would already take forever to set this up for some of our modules and it doesn’t even cover 50% of our requirements.

The Hoodie Way: our own solution

This is why I decided to build a layer on top of the existing tools that solves all the remaining issues, but at the same time incorporates and configures the existing ones. Let’s have a look at the new workflow.

All I have to do locally now is type grunt release into the terminal. The task will analyse the changes made since the last release and suggest the next version – and that’s it already. Once I confirm, everything is taken care of by bots. No more error-prone humans necessary.

A graph of the new process

The new process is complex, but automated and taken care of by bots.

Instead of running the build and generating the changelog locally as before, this only tags the current HEAD with release-x.y.z and pushes it. On Travis CI, a special deploy hook recognises this, generates the changelog, runs the build (and everything else you want it to do) and finally creates a release commit with all the changes. This is important because Travis CI is a neutral environment where everything is freshly installed. No more “But it works on my machine”. As soon as this is pushed back to git, yet another run on Travis CI will finally publish to GitHub releases and e.g. npm. But you can basically configure every deployment target Travis CI has to offer.

As this is packaged in a single grunt plugin including an interactive setup script, it’s easy to setup a lot of modules and release them all in exactly the same way. There is no more confusion about tagname-patterns and it’s straight-out impossible to publish a broken build. I even managed to cover 6 – the fun part. Every time a new version is about to be released, a random superb-animal-codename is generated and, using the Giphy API, a matching animal gif is appended to the release body.

Get this for your own package

Obviously, the whole plugin was initially tightly coupled to the needs of Hoodie, but I extracted a general-purpose gruntplugin and published it to npm (using itself) last week. Say hello to grunt-semantic-release, or say hi to its repo on GitHub.

A screencast of the grunt release workflow

Join the discussion!

This module aligns with our efforts to provide essential tooling for a small modules world. Another one we built with this goal in mind is Ubersicht.

We would love to hear your thoughts, not only about grunt-semantic-release, but about tools you (would love to) have for your work as module author. Chime in on the discussion in the comments, on Hoodie’s or my personal Twitter or in the Issues.

Productive cooking of AngularJS Plugins with ice cream – TGIF (43)

Thank Grohl, Gauss, Glob, Galileo and Science it’s Friday! The week’s (almost) over, and these are our reading recommendations, curated for you by Julia and Lena, for your weekend or a lazy afternoon. Enjoy!


Open Source

On the business value of open source: “If you said 20 years ago, that there would be this huge thing and everybody would work for free and they would give things away for free, you wouldn’t have believed it.”

Sascha Brink is writing an AngularJS Cookbook to help you speed up your work process when using the framework. 85 percent are already done and ready to be read and you yourself decide, what you want to pay.

Our amazing Hoodie-Community-Member Stephan wrote a grunt-semantic-release plugin this week, and you should check it out (you can also find it on GitHub).

PouchDB 3.0.4: Night of the Living Attachments

Apache CouchDB 1.6.1 is out. This and more news in the new issue of the CouchDB Weekly News, September 04, 2014


Not exactly useless, but not really practical either: “The uncomfortable” plays with the semiotics of original items while re-imagining them in an uncomfortable way. (more…)

Plants with personal opinions implementing Cookie laws: TGIF! (42)

Thank Grohl, Gauss, Glob, Galileo and Science it’s Friday! The week’s (almost) over, and these are our reading recommendations, curated for you by Julia and Lena, for your weekend or a lazy afternoon. Enjoy!


Open Source

Much like processing, p5.js is a JavaScript library that aims to get artists, designers, educators and beginners into coding.

The CouchDB Weekly News, August 28, 2014.


In case you’re thinking about remodeling your portfolio, here are some tips that could help it stand out as a single-page website.

A carefully chosen use pattern can help users get comfortable using your service more quickly.

Big heads is a really good series of skype interviews about illustration. (more…)

The power of technology and superheroes on vacation: TGIF! (41)

Thank Grohl, Gauss, Glob, Galileo and Science it’s Friday! The week’s (almost) over, and these are our reading recommendations, curated for you by Julia and Lena, for your weekend or a lazy afternoon. Enjoy!


Open Source

At the Open Source Startup Summit building an Open Source community and founding Open Source companies were topics.

There are Open Source alternatives for many typical government and business software needs.

The CouchDB Weekly News, August 21, 2014

An introduction to PouchDB that shows you how to replicate your first CouchDB database to the browser.


Sure, you already know how much an em is, right?

If you know your weaknesses, there are ways to get around the psychological traps that hold back web designers. (In it there’s also a nice link to a video on shy developer syndrome…just so you know.)

“Working from home successfully is dependant on treating it as seriously as working in an office.”

Still at the beginning of your career? Even if you just want to know the experiences of others 5 questions for 100 designers is worth a look. (more…)

Reverse engineering snowballs, raising quality and going forward: TGIF! (40)

Thank Grohl, Gauss, Glob, Galileo and Science it’s Friday! The week’s (almost) over, and these are our reading recommendations, curated for you by Julia and Lena, for your weekend or a lazy afternoon. Enjoy!


Open Source

The topic of the fourth Open Source hangout was “How to Run an Open Source Project, Big and Small. (If you want to dive straight into the topic, just skip the first few minutes of the video.)

Good documentation is essential, if a project should be used by a wide audience. Maybe building Markdown-based developer docs is an option for you?

The CouchDB Weekly News, August 14, 2014.


At least this graphic designer’s resume is completely honest.

You shouldn’t really work for free anyway, but if you have too, here are some tips on how to turn it into paid work.

Five things UX and UI designers could learn from Wes Anderson.

Designers can help make sense of big data.

X to Close: The origins of the use of [x] in UI design. (more…)

Reflections on offline first and blogging about the complexity of fruit salad trees: TGIF! (39)

Thank Grohl, Gauss, Glob, Galileo and Science it’s Friday! The week’s (almost) over, and these are our reading recommendations, curated for you by Julia and Lena, for your weekend or a lazy afternoon. Enjoy!


Open Source

The Linux Training Scholarship Program is accepting applications until the beginning of September.

Meet the Hoodies! In the next two months, we’ll be giving talks in Bonn, Edinburgh, Berlin, Istanbul (all details here). Looking forward to meeting you there!

The CouchDB Weekly News, August 7, 2014.


Investing some time in a style guide can save you time, money, and even frustration.

On the search for inspiration, vintage movie posters can teach you a thing or two about design and composition. (more…)

Hoodietime! Events and Conferences with Hoodies in August and September, 2014


Pic: Lena Reinhard, license: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

There we go: travelling again! We have already given Hoodie- and Hoodie-related talks at 24 meetups and conferences this year and had a great time there – it was amazing to meet so many new people and see their interest in Hoodie, and we’re looking forward to the next events. <3

Especially September will be an even more exciting time for us: it’s the time of JSFest Berlin, a full week of conferences and events for the community. As many of us are part of the orga teams there (e.g. of JSConf EU, Reject.JS, CSSConf EU and up.front), chances are you can meet us there.

If you want to give a Hoodie talk yourself and need slides or support, ping us, we’re happy to help. There’s also a list of all talks (incl. videos, if available) given before.

So, long story short: this is where we’re going in August and September: (more…)

Waiting for Friday and TGIF! (38)

Thank Grohl, Gauss, Glob, Galileo and Science it’s Friday! The week’s (almost) over, and these are our reading recommendations, curated for you by Julia and Lena, for your weekend or a lazy afternoon. Enjoy!


Open Source

Puppet Labs Community Manager Dawn Foster is an avid reader and talked at OSCON about what science fiction can teach us about building our Open Source communities.

Open source projects are better when they take advantage of a greater range of experience in the use and development of software. So it’s always good to encourage diversity.

Reminder: fullfat DB is going away

PouchDB Levels up

The CouchDB Weekly News, July 31, 2014


What web designers can learn from Disney.

If you’re preparing for your next conference talk, keeping in mind the basic principles of presentation design might be a good idea.

Even if we hope it doesn’t happen, here are some tips to make sure your client doesn’t cheat on you.

CSS Ice Cream

The Web and Development

“Eloquent JavaScript” is an introduction to programming with JavaScript and can be read in its second edition online for free.

When it comes to scaling CSS projects, specificity can be quite a tricky thing to deal with.

Web components are great, but not every browser handles them the way you would want them to. Polymer and X-Tag are two projects that offer help.

“When the code is under 2,000 lines you can write any tangled garbage and rely on your memory to save you.”Norris Numbers

“The web is a — primarily neutral — tool for humanity. When you look at humanity you see the good and the bad, the wonderful and the awful.” –  Tim Berners-Lee on creating the web: ‘I never expected all these cats’

Enriched Backend as a Service: a post on the spectrum, including i.a. Hoodie

The Tech World and Culture

Sexism in tech really is a global problem.

In his talk on open source and social change, Paul Fenwick also muses about inequality and ignorance in tech.

“How do you sniff out culture smells and determine if a company’s work environment will be toxic to you? A large part of this depends on what you expect for your work environment, but there are a few questions you can use to screen companies.” – Getting hired without getting burned: Sniffing for culture smells

“A certainty, like death, taxes. One day I will leave. I don’t know what will be the last straw, although I might tell you, if I was sure I could trust you, what weighs down the balance. I don’t know what I will do after, or when it will be. I just know that it will happen.”The day I leave the Tech Industry

Government Spying Undermines Media Freedom and Right to Counsel – Human Rights Watch: US: Surveillance Harming Journalism, Law, Democracy

The Business

In his personal blog, Travis CI’s Mathias Meyer already wrote quite a bit about customer support. At Help Scout he gets back on the topic by stating “Everyone should be feeling the customer’s pain”.

Customers deserve to know what’s done with their data. Privacy Notices is an open source project that provides developer with easy to understand short-form notices for their apps.

“Good leadership today means listening more, and encouraging feedback instead of discouraging it.”

Not just something for freelancers: How to end the working week properly.

“For every story you hear about investors behaving badly, there are far worse stories that many women wouldn’t dare to tell.”This is what Techs ugly Gender Problem really looks like

We <3

In 2011, screenwriter and producer Charlie Kaufman held a lecture, in which he tells you what it is you have to offer.

Create your own band and produce some nice weekend tunes. For hours and hours and hours … you might even get to see some bonus clips with the right combination of elements.

Remember how people used to hack systems in older Hollywood movies? Now you’re also able to type complete nonsense and see actual commands on screen.

Lonely people are screwed. We desperately need other people, but studies show our brains can make us unpleasant company. – Guess I’ll go eat Worms

Great Moments in Science (if Twitter had existed)


We wish you a great and sunny weekend!