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The Frontend Ecosystem Framework


This boilerplate helps you to easily kickstart new Frontend Ecosystems with the Biotope framework. Just mirror this repository, run the setup tasks and start developing. It depends heavily on biotope-build


1. Node.js and NPM

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime which will allow us to run a host of tools. In fact node.js even runs a tiny webserver which will enable you to browse the components of the frontend. NPM is the Node Package Manager and is only used to install yarn.

  1. Install as instructed on
  2. (On Windows if asked) choose to also install NPM and add Node.js to your path.
  3. Check the installation of Node.js and NPM by running node -v or npm -v from your command line.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PERMISSIONS: If you experience permission problems while installing Node.js (especially on Mac or Linux machines) never use sudo to install packages with npm or yarn Please ask your IT Admins to give you proper permissions or let them do the installation. See for instructions.

2. yarn

yarn is a Node Package Manager which will allow us to download and install required components for Node.js with ease See for details of this dependency manager

  1. Run npm install -g yarn to install yarn dependency manager 1a. (On windows) You can also get the installer from


After your are finished with the step before and everything runs fine, run these steps to get your project on the road.

  1. Open your command line / terminal / bash
  2. Navigate to the project folder
  3. Run yarn install
  4. To
    • start the development environment run yarn start
    • build the code for production use run yarn build

Custom Configuration

How to set up your personal boilerplate, with dependencies you really need.


This file lets you enable and disable certain tasks as well as specify additional resource folders.

resource folders To add additional resource folders, create the folders and add the paths to the global.resources array. The path needs to be prepended with a "/" and relative to the src folder. The default resource folder is "/resources"

component folders To add additional component folders, create the folders and add the paths to the global.components array. The path needs to be prepended with a "/" and relative to the src folder. The default components folder is "/components" If an additinal component folder is added create an additional resource Folder since every components folder nees its own corresponding resource folder.

tasks To disable certain tasks, simply set the specific task to false. At the moment the tasks that can be disabled are: "linting", "iconfont", "handlebars", "uglify", "cleanCss", "favicons", "cssStats". Per default all tasks are enabled.

uglifyExceptions You can add files which should not be uglified during the uglify task (e.g. files that are already uglified)

externalResources Add file paths of files that are needed for the build package. The path must be relative to each package inside node_modules.


We use different boilerplates to keep our code structure as homogeneous as possible.

JavaScript / TypeScript

jQuery TypeScript Plugins - Advanced

The boilerplate contains a local demo integration of the Biotope jQuery Boilerplate. See jquery.plugin.advanced.ts in the demo branch for a local demo.

For more information have a look at the repository:

If you are going to write generic plugins that might be useful in lots of other projects, please mirror the repository above and add them to our vi-plugins project.

For project-use only you can copy the structure into your local src/resources/ts/ folder.

jQuery TypeScript Plugins - Simple

The standalone jQuery TypeScript Plugin is a TypeScript port of the legacy jQuery Plugin boilerplate. See jquery.plugin.simple.ts in the demo branch for a local demo.

It includes the same features as the legacy boilerplate but nicely enriched by lots of TypeScript features like type checking and code completion. We also use the possibility to compile to ES5 or ES6. Depending on the projects browser matrix.

The corresponding pattern file can be found in /patterns/jquery.typescript.boilerplate.ts

Plain and simple jQuery Plugins (legacy way)

That is the plain legacy jQuery Plugin boilerplate.

The corresponding pattern file can be found in /patterns/jquery.boilerplate.ts


We compile the CSS stylesheets with a SASS compiler. To organize the code as efficient as possible we use the BEM methodology: see


run the boilerplate with yarn start

1. Our helpers

  • {{> partial}} - include a handlebars partial. Partials are automatically created from components and partial folders. The partials can be *.hbs or *.html. Example: For the file components/foldername/handlebarsfile.html use the partial identifier foldername/handlebarsfile.
  • {{bioInclude 'partial'}} - custom partial helper, allows the use of json data as files or a string
  • {{bioDef variable 'default value'}} - set a default value for a variable
  • {{bioText count max}} - a filler text with a variable count of letters and an added variance (max)
  • {{bioImg width height src}} - creates the image src path for generated assets. This helper only creates the path and the image itself. Example: {{bioImg 300 400 srcName.jpg}} gets to '_assets/generated/srcName_300x400.jpg'
  • {{#bioCompare left, operator, right, options}} – block helper to compare two values (left, right) with a variable operator.
  • {{bioMath left, operator, right, options}} – allows math operations between two values (left, right) and a variable operator. Example: {{bioMath 10 '+' 15}} returns 25
  • {{bioCode content}} – defines a code block to allow curly brackets for other frameworks. Use with {{{{code}}}} {{{{/code}}}} (4 curly brackets for literal string contents)
  • {{bioStringify object}} – Convert a JSON/JavaScript Object into a string for debugging
  • {{bioParseJSON data options}} – block helper to parse a String to JSON for debugging

Each intern helper from biotope-build is prefixed with 'bio'. Each project specific helper should be prefixed with an abbreviation of the project/client. This leads to a better distinction and prevents from conflicts with variables.

2. Folder structure

  • /src is where all of the actual frontend code is stored
  • /src/_assets holds static placeholder files like images, audio- and video files.
  • /src/_mock holds files that would be generated dynamically by the cms implementing the frontend and not explicitly corresponding to a component
  • /src/_config holds the js configuration file
  • /src/pages holds the base html files to create the index preview
  • /src/resources holds global resources: JavaScript, TypeScript, SASS/CSS and other files
  • /src/components holds reusable components and the corresponding resource files
  • /test is where we put automated tests for Travis CI


Travis CI Testing is used for automated boilerplate testing. It uses Mocha/Chai and checks the build process and compares the generated static files with there fixtures. To run the tests locally execute mocha test/travis/build.js from terminal. Install mocha globally.


run the boilerplate with yarn build If everything is correct, you will find a build version of your code in the dist directory. This contains among others a min and concat version of your js and css files


There is a gulp task for doing releases. Use gulp release --type=[major,minor,patch,prerelease] will do the following steps for you:

  1. update package.json version
  2. git commit the changed package.json
  3. git push
  4. set a GIT tag for this version
  5. coming soon: create a diff changelog from last version to this version


Line-break errors in eslint

If there are line-break errors in eslint, it may be because false line endings set by git. Try to check out the repo again. To prevent this check the git config "core.autocrlf".

gulp serve malloc error (Unix Only)

************** gulp(975,0x104c15000) malloc: *** error for object 0x10164201c: pointer being freed was not allocated *** set a breakpoint in malloc_error_break to debug **************

This is caused by missing sass files. Be sure you've done a bower install before yarn start.

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