2021 - a year in the HedgeDoc project

Today is the last day of 2021.
We — the HedgeDoc developers — want to use this opportunity to summarize what we have achieved this year and what the plans for 2022 are.

2021 — some facts

As we wrote this post, we tried to remember what happened in 2021 and had a look at some statistics:

What did we achieve in 2021 for HedgeDoc 2?

Until some days ago our history page stated that we had the plan to release HedgeDoc 2.0 in 2021. As you can see we didn’t succeed with this wish and changed the tentative release date to 2022. But we want to use this opportunity to tell you about the current state of 2.0:

Currently, the development for 2.0 is split into two repositories on GitHub: The main hedgedoc repository for the backend and the react-client for the new frontend.

Both parts of the application have been rewritten and re-structured from scratch using current technology like NestJS as our backend framework, Next.js as our frontend framework and Yjs as CRDT implementation for real-time-editing.
We put a lot of effort into testing and code safety by using code quality measures like lgtm.com, type-safe development using TypeScript and heavy testing — with Cypress and with Jest.

Despite not being fully usable, both parts of HedgeDoc already have reached a near-alpha state. There are still some critical points which wait to be implemented like real-time-editing and the “marriage” of frontend and backend, but we’re making good progress on those too.

The private API (for use by the frontend) and the public API (for automation and external tools) of the backend are already usable for managing notes, users, and uploads.

The frontend implements nearly all features the current version already has (and some more). You can check out our constantly updating UI demo at hedgedoc.dev. However, this version uses a mocked API and therefore does not store anything.

While working on HedgeDoc 2, we realized that the user experience (UX) of HedgeDoc 1 is not always great. The interface is cluttered with buttons, there are features hidden in non-obvious locations and the intro page seems like an unfitting advertising webpage.
Therefore, in May 2021 we started the search for a UI/UX designer to improve these points. We found some designers, which were wiling to help us despite not being members of the HedgeDoc community per se and us not offering any financial compensation (HedgeDoc currently does not have any funds at all). We had some very productive video calls and discussed aspects of the project with them, but sadly they needed to attend other projects, and we haven’t been able to continue our cooperation. We’re very thankful for everything they did and want to thank them at this point especially.
Of course, we’ll continue our attempts to find a designer and to improve the HedgeDoc UI regarding accessibility and general UX.

What are our plans for 2022?

We can’t promise you that 2022 will be the year of the HedgeDoc, but we’re quite optimistic.
At the moment we’re working on the connection of the frontend and the backend and on real-time editing.

Thanks to our community

We want to thank each person that is part of the HedgeDoc community (Yes, this means you!) and especially our contributors that helped to further improve HedgeDoc in the last year:

  • Abhilasha Sinha
  • AIAC (translator)
  • Alexandru Văleanu
  • Amit Upadhyay (translator)
  • Atef Ben Ali (translator)
  • Bogdan Cuza (translator)
  • Chasethechicken
  • Danilo Bargen
  • Diem Duong (translator
  • Edi Feschiyan (translator)
  • Gabriel Santiago Macedo (translator)
  • Gergely Polonkai (translator)
  • Heimen Stoffels (translator)
  • igg17 (translator)
  • Klorophatu (translator)
  • Longyklee (translator)
  • Martin (translator)
  • Matija (translator)
  • Matthieu Devillers (translator)
  • Mindaugas (translator)
  • Nika. zhenya (translator)
  • Nikola (translator)
  • Nicolas Dietrich
  • Nis (translator)
  • ProttoyChakraborty
  • Quentin Pagès (translator)
  • rogerio-ar-costa (translator)
  • Sandro
  • sanami (translator)
  • Sergio (translator)
  • Tom Dereszynski (translator)
  • Tiago Triques (translator)
  • 상규 (translator)
  • uıʞǝʇuɐϽ (translator)
  • UwYFmLpoKtYn (translator)
  • Uchiha Kakashi
  • Vincent Dusanek (translator)
  • Александр (translator)

We wish the whole HedgeDoc community a happy new year 2022!
~ The HedgeDoc developers