Interview with Kasper Skårhøj

Categories: Community Created by Thomas Hempel
Thomas Hempel from the newsteam made a small interview with Kasper Skårhøj about the the new release and the future of the community.
Hello Kasper. I don't think you need to introduce yourself. ;-) So first of all... How are you and your family? Kasper:
Fine! We are all at home these days, Rie taking care of Amelie and me working from home. Amelie is now the fixed name. :-) Thomas:
That's nice to hear. You where a bit silent the last days... Did you made some holidays after the release of 4.0? Kasper:
I had holiday BEFORE 4.0 ;-) Since Amelie was born April 1st I was off for 14 days beginning then. Luckily I had all my assignments done on the 31st of March ;-) The release of 4.0 taking place while I was spending time with my wife and newborn also shows how independent a structure we now have for development; essentially, Michael Stucki and the core team did this on their own! Thomas:
And what did you do since TYPO3 4.0? Kasper:
The last two-three weeks I have actually been working with TYPO3 most of the time, but not on development. During the phase with 4.0 I had to postpone tons of issues related to leading and what comes after 4.0 and I have been dealing with that. I have also spend some time to work with different new ways of drawing up the TYPO3 community structure in my mental understanding and I think it is essential for me at this point to stop for a moment and take a birds-perspective on everything. So, I have processed hundreds of emails, skimmed mailing lists, organized topics and projects in trees and spread-sheets to organize my understanding of the TYPO3 community in order to recognize the blind spots I want to attend. Thomas:
That sounds very busy. Did you come to a result? Will there be any changes in the community. Or is there something you want to change? Kasper:
There is no radical change in sight in terms of turning things upside down. We are like a tree growing wild which needs some cropping here and support there in order to reach the shape we want. Some branches on the TYPO3 works really well and we should look at that success. Other branches are dead and we should understand that failure. And then we must look at what branches we need which is not there and use our experiences to create them. This will be very challenging. Thomas:
What do you fear? What would be a wrong way of growing? Kasper:
I think the single greatest mistake we can make in regard to the TYPO3 Association and the funds we have now is to think that we can buy TYPO3. Substitute volunteers for paid programmers is like removing sunlight and rain from the tree we are trying to grow. We should spend our funds on means to get those results which doesn't come by natural motivation. But summing up: We are not talking about "roling heads". Its simply a question of beginning to nurture this tree we have. And I think everyone will be happy to see this happen. Thomas:
And what do you think how long this will take? Kasper:
A year from now at least. Thomas:
Seems to be this will become a very interesting year 2006! Is there anything else you thinking about? Kasper:
I think very much on the mission statement we have. To Jointly Innovate Excellent Free Software Enabling People to Communicate. While "Excellent Free Software" is a natural value for us it becomes less and less my personal ambition. What I see is an excellent group of skilled programmers in our community who must have part of the sun and rain. Old trees like me must not shadow over the rest of the garden. Now, I can already see people shaking in their pants; Is Kasper resigning? No, of course I'm not! I'm redefining what TYPO3 means to me personally to make sure it is still a project I burn for. And I think I'm burning more and more for the "Jointly" part and of course our ultimate target group "People" whom we wish to "Enable" to do something essential, "Communicate". As I suggested in my keynote at T3CON in september I think our mission statement can help every community member to reflect over his or her special role and passion. And its our passion that is our success! Thomas:
Okay. Let's come to something else. When can we expect the next podcast. What will it be about? Kasper:
Yeah, soon! My difficulty since march was that 4.0 took precedence Thomas:
... of course ... Kasper:
And I want to do it properly, so since I was working in a completely different brain-mode I couldn't comprehend to do it. I really intended it to be very regular. I should even have posted a message about it. But I better realize that podcasting might be with irregular intervals since I just KNOW that I'm not able to do it in some periods where my brain is deposited elsewhere ;-) However... I have lots of material recorded from the snowboard tour. And I'm not in lack of topics! During may I will publish some podcasts showcasing 4.0 features. I will also see if I can get edited some of that snowboard tour material for publishing in those times I'm absent ;-) But the media, podcasting, is interesting and something I am still passionate about. And my recent investment in editing software somehow pressures me to do it also ;-) Thomas:
So we can be curious!? :-) Apropos TYPO3 4.0... A lot has changed. I heard something of "more changes than in the last 2 major releases together". What is your favorite feature of the current version? Kasper:
Workspaces of course! But I made it, didn't I! Thomas:
:-) Okay... what is your favorite feature beside workspaces? Kasper:
I think that workspaces, DBAL, DAM, TemplaVoila, Workflow - every one of these technologies are important to some and completely irrelevant to others. The greatest thing about 4.0 - even exceeding workspaces - is that finally we had a successful result of a team effort! I know this is on the meta level, but for me this is the really important thing that tells me more about hope for the future than any technology we have applied. Thomas:
After 4.0 the roadmap says there will be 4.5 and 5.0 but in the mailinglists there was a discussion of dropping 4.5 and just starting developement of 5.0 in order to have a longer time for developement without doing things twice for both branches. What is your oinion about this? Kasper:
There is no simple answer to that! ... I understand the arguements for jumping directly to 5.0. It is very tempting even intuitive to do so. What happens to most of us when we think of what 5.0 could be is that we want to exchange every spare part in the TYPO3 ship at the same time, here and how for a new and modern one. We have to get real and understand that this is not possible without a very well controlled process. Basically: The ship must be able to do service while we are reparing it! In this light, ignoring 4.5 is suicide if you aim for 5.0 as that shiny thing, all new. On the other hand we don't want the slow death of old technology and of course must face the necessity of 5.0. So now I have outlined some perspectives that guides my thinking on this issue. How the actual road will be is something we will have to determine based on informed debate between proponents of each view. I hope we will choose a path everyone can accept and subscribe to the logic in. But I'm sure that all of us must swallow a camel or two. I guess that is the closest I can come to a blurry answer ;-) Thomas:
A very good answer as I think! Well, thank you for this very nice and interesting interview! All the best to you and your family! Kasper:
You are welcome! I will have to run to the shops now because we have a barbeque coming up to night in the garden - its spring time! All you nerds; there is a life out there in the sun also... Bon Weekend. Thomas:
Have fun Kasper:
you too