Inside typo3.org

Categories: Association created by T3A Content Group
Team Lead Thomas Löffler and Product Owner Stefan Busemann give us an inside look at the relaunch project of typo3.org, extensions.typo3.org and my.typo3.org

Congratulations, the new typo3.org site is online! How did you celebrate?

Stefan: As soon as the last sprint ended, we hurried to make our train. As we made our way to the station, the Server Team launched the site. We were still waiting for the train when we realized the site went online.

Thomas:  At least we could toast with a cold beer on the train. When the first congratulations came in via Twitter, we were really happy.

When did you begin to work for the relaunch?

Thomas: We started after getting a look at a document created by the Marketing Team back in 2016. The plan was to create several websites to focus on different topics, for example, the extensions with the new TYPO3 Extension Repository. And my.typo3.org was planned to help build the community. So to answer your question, we started in the last quarter of 2016, and our first sprint was in November 2016 in Würzburg together with the Server Team. The basic infrastructure with GitLab and the deployment was decided back then.

What has changed compared to the old version?

Stefan: The most important and long overdue change is certainly the support for mobile devices. When presenting the TYPO3 project to customers, it was not very helpful that the presentation of the actual product was not responsive.
In addition, we now of course have a state-of-the-art environment with TYPO3 8.7, which offers our editors practical support. My favorite feature is the cropping tool, which allows me to choose the appropriate cropping and ratio for the different device classes.

Thomas: The new infrastructure also allows us zero downtime deployment including continuous integration. Changes to the functions are therefore much faster and more reliable than in the past.

What were the special challenges of a technical and organizational nature?

Stefan: We had the technical challenges under control relatively quickly. For example, we have several options for the development team to build a suitable development environment (Docker, Mamp, etc...). The main challenges were more of an organizational nature. The entire project relies on voluntary cooperation which meant we saw developers coming and going. This can also create technical problems. Especially in frontend development, the lack of a common thread repeatedly caused quality problems.

Thomas: We are still looking for a lead frontend designer, who would be responsible, to supervise the design, CSS and HTML implementation.

Who is behind all this work?

Stefan: Currently we are a broadly set up team. The core consists of 10 volunteers (we would be very happy about female support by the way). In addition, several teams (including Design, Server, Marketing, Documentation...) supported the relaunch during the nine sprints, as well as about 30 other volunteers.

Thomas: Yes, the Marketing Team created the basic structure to determine which website should be for which purpose. And we worked closely together with the Server Team the entire time. But we also had good cooperation with the Design Team, the Education & Certification Team and the people from TYPO3 GmbH.

How many sprints were needed to finish the websites?

Thomas: Until the new TYPO3 Extension Repository went live in August 2017, we had six sprints. Four more sprints and we were ready to launch my.typo3.org and to relaunch typo3.org. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the location sponsors (in no particular order):

  • Uni Würzburg
  • Uni Basel
  • punkt.de GmbH
  • AOE GmbH
  • dkd GmbH
  • cron IT GmbH
  • mehrwert GmbH
  • in2code GmbH

 What is the difference between typo3.com and typo3.org - or how do the two sites differ?

Stefan: That's easy to explain. The typo3.com site is the professional website of TYPO3 GmbH (a 100% subsidiary of TYPO3 Association). The GmbH guarantees the further development of the TYPO3 range of products and services and supports the community with professional service. The typo3.org site, on the other hand, is aimed at TYPO3 users and the TYPO3 community directly.

Are there any interesting key points or dates for us?

Thomas: We currently operate 19 GIT repositories and three live TYPO3 instances. The nine sprints lasted from November 2016 to April 2018. In July 2017 the first instance went live.  

What can we expect in the near future or have you already planned new features?

Stefan: The focus of further development is now on the new pages of my.typo3.org. Functions for the community will be stored there in the future. For example, a self-service area for members and event bookings is planned. The most exciting project for me personally is called "Visualize Contribution". We would like to make the voluntary commitment of individuals and companies more visible.

Thanks to Thomas & Stefan and all supporters for their great work!

(Interview by the T3A Content Group)