Meet Jochen Weiland, TYPO3 Teacher, Contributor, Hoster, Germany (Application Podcast S02E09)

Categories: Community, Podcasts Created by Jeffrey A. McGuire
In this episode, I speak with Jochen Weiland, who has been involved with TYPO3 since 2002 and runs a full-service TYPO3 agency, We talked about his significant contributions to the TYPO3 documentation, how he learned the open source ethos from the TYPO3 founder himself, Kasper Skårhøj, as well as Jochen's favorite aspects of TYPO3.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player here, watch the interview video below, where you'll also find a full transcript of our conversation. Don't forget to subscribe and send us your feedback and ideas! 

The CMS of the Future: TYPO3

In 2002, Jochen read in an article that "the future of websites are content management systems." If that was the case, he decided he needed to know more about them. He tried several systems, but none were the right fit. Then he found TYPO3. "I fell in love with the system right from the beginning," he says. As he became more familiar with the TYPO3, he balanced his regular job with working on TYPO3, and then in 2006, decided to pursue TYPO3 full-time.

Jochen's company,, started as a hosting company (they now host 35,000+ websites), and they are also a full-service TYPO3 agency. They offer TYPO3-related consulting, design, programming, sales, and support.

What Jochen Loves About TYPO3

Jochen's long history with TYPO3 means he has plenty to say about his favorite aspects and features of the CMS. 

  • TYPO3's longevity and relevance: "It's really interesting and amazing to see the long-term view Kasper had when he created the system. Even 20 years ago, the system was very well thought out and detailed. Many of the components that he invented back then are still valid today."
  • The community: "The TYPO3 community is extremely friendly and helpful. When you see people's names in the extensions they wrote, and then you meet them, they are very approachable. You can ask them questions, and they will be happy to answer." 
  • Sophistication: "I recently worked on a very large tender, and they came with a catalog of about 1000 requirements. TYPO3 was able to accommodate 97% of the features that were requested. That made it even more clear to me TYPO3's sophistication as an enterprise content management system."
  • Flexible backend for administrators, editors, and integrators: "The configurable user rights are my favorite."

For improvements, Jochen says he'd like to see smoother onboarding. "There are always new people coming to the TYPO3 community. It's sometimes hard to figure out where the resources are, what user groups exist, and the official events happening." For a new feature, Jochen has a great suggestion: a multi-language page tree. "TYPO3 can work in so many different languages. Let's say you create a website, and your page tree is in German, but your editor is from Spain. It'd be nice for them to be able to see the page tree in Spanish," he explains.

Jochen’s Open Source Contributions to TYPO3 

In the early days of TYPO3, there was not much documentation to guide new users, which has led others, like Mathias Bolt Lesniak, to crash their first installation of TYPO3. Jochen wanted to fix that. "When I set up TYPO3 for the second time, I simply wrote down every step I needed to get it running, and then I published it. That was basically my first contribution." Jochen's setup guide, published in 2003, proved invaluable: people downloaded it more than 50 thousand times! Of this experience, Jochen says, "I just really liked the TYPO3 system, and I wanted other people to be able to use it."

Jochen's adoption of an open source way of thinking was put into practice when his company built a website for the city of Pforzheim, Germany. The town was running 18 websites and needed a CMS that could handle large-scale projects like theirs. During their time working together, Jochen says they published ~80 extensions for Pforzheim. What's more, the city got behind the concept of open source, too. "The city encouraged us to publish all the extensions in public repositories, so other people could use them and alter them." He continues, "That's what I love about open source. You're not dependent on one supplier, and you also have the chance to improve the code, and then all people benefit from those improvements."

Jochen's parting words: "The open source system really works when you give back something. That's one thing I learned from Kasper."

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Need More Reasons to Press Play?

Jochen also talks about the free YouTube tutorials his company maintains to help editors be more effective with TYPO3. As always, we round up today's episode with some rapid-fire questions on TYPO3, including our favorite 'Suggest-a-Guest' segment.


Application, the TYPO3 Community Podcast could not have happened without our special guest Jochen Weiland, b13 and Stefanie Kreuzer for our logo, and Maestro Patrick Gaumond for our wonderful, quirky theme music. 

And a huge thank you to the TYPO3 Association for sponsoring this podcast!

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Meet Your Host

Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire, Partner at Open Strategy Partners, helps organizations communicate and grow at the intersection of open source software, business, and culture. He connects the value and people behind the technologies to the people who need to know about them through inspiring conversations, keynotes, podcasts, and more. 

His approach to technology marketing—sharing the human context of complex technology solutions, and celebrating the expertise and success of their creators—has left its mark in business and open source communities over the last 15+ years.

Interview Transcript

This transcript has been robot-recorded and human-corrected. Somewhat. A little. No promises.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  0:00
Welcome to Application the TYPO3 community podcast.

Jochen Weiland  0:06
My name is Jochen Weiland, and this is Application the TYPO3 community podcast, sharing your stories, your project and the difference you make. Celebrate the TYPO3 community on application, that TYPO3 podcast meet the humans behind the technology.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  0:23
One, two. Welcome to application, the TYPO3 community podcast. I'm Jeffrey A. McGuire, you can call me Jam. And this is where we celebrate the TYPO3 community sharing your stories, talking about your projects, and the difference you make in around and with TYPO3 CMS. On today's episode of application, that TYPO3 community podcast I had the wonderful privilege to speak for more than an hour with Jochen Weiland, very well known community Cornerstone been in TYPO3 since 2002. We figured out and just an all around, great person to have a chat with and a great person to talk about TYPO3 we ended up talking a lot about how Jochen and his company, your violent component, how he started that and how their activities seem to focus over and over again on helping people get started helping people do better, more easily improving the usability of TYPO3. And we're gonna have a bunch of useful, interesting links on this episode in the show notes. I really hope that you get as much out of this conversation listening to it as I got talking with you today, enjoy.

Jochen Weiland. Welcome to application, that TYPO3 community podcast, you are one of the people that everyone I talked to says, Oh, you should definitely talk with you. And I say absolutely. on my list. Yes. And so finally we've made it in the middle of season two, I'm really, really thrilled to have you. How are you? How are you today? And how are you in general?

Jochen Weiland  2:20
Well, I'm I'm just very fine. We have beautiful weather outside. We had some technical issues this morning. But they are all fixed now. And everything is fine. No stress. I'm happy and I'm healthy and everything. Okay,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  2:36
so happy and healthy are key. And I think even I've learned that over the pandemic infinity have a year and a half or two years that we've just had. When you say you had technical difficulties, though, what are you talking about at your company? Yes.

Jochen Weiland  2:51
And some of them that are triggered by some outside sources, like Let's Encrypt root certificate issues. And that hit the world yesterday, still had to figure some things out.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  3:04
And you have to have I guess you have to have people on pager duty all the time, because there's running a hosting business that other people rely on, there's always something else, no matter how well you do your job. There's something else that's going to be coming up, right? How often do you encounter that sort of thing, actually, very

Jochen Weiland  3:19
seldom. And mostly these are, you know, outside events that we cannot control ourselves. Other than that our our systems are really running very stable from time to time, we have events coming to us that we have not foreseen and then it's of course critical that we can react very fast and fix issues. And

Jeffrey A. McGuire  3:42
so and just to give an idea of the scale, like I don't know the importance of your processes, how many roughly how many TYPO3 sites and or how many, how many websites you hosting right now,

Jochen Weiland  3:53
I really don't know the exact number but I think it's in the ballpark of 35,000 Wow. That is TYPO3 but we also host some other because we just provide our customers with the infrastructure and some people choose to run Magento, Drupal, WordPress and all the other things but I would say about 90% of the sites are running TYPO3.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  4:22
Now your company is called your violent punk net j And you are not just a hosting company. Just give us a brief summary of what else your company does.

Jochen Weiland  4:36
Actually we started as just a hosting company. Then we added some other services so we are basically a TYPO3 service provider so we every we offer everything that relates to TYPO3 from consulting, design, programming workshops, after sales, service and support. and things like that. So if it has to do with TYPO3 we probably one of the agencies can talk to. So it's basically we're a full service TYPO3 agency,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  5:11
a one stop shop,

Jochen Weiland  5:13
where you can say so yeah.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  5:15
How did you get involved with TYPO3? How did you discover

Jochen Weiland  5:18
that's actually quite a long time ago, it was sometime during 2002, when I read an article in a magazine, which basically said that the future of websites are content management systems, right? Since I was working with web sites for a number of years before, I said, Okay, if this is the future, then I have to investigate this and have to get familiar with CMS. And so I tried out a couple of systems. So I look what is available in the market. And I really forgot the names of the other systems, I've tried out the commercial systems that were available, then we're just you know, far out of reach from from a price point. So I was looking into open source software. And then after I've tried two or three other systems, I came across TYPO3. And basically, I fell in love with a system right from the beginning. Even if I look back from today, it's really interesting and amazing to see the long term view customer the advent of TYPO3 hab when he created the system. So it was not that he just put out some code and said, Well, this is it. But it was, even those 20 years ago, it was very thought out and put a lot of thinking and detail in into it. Many of the components that he invented back then are still valid and are still there, the code might have changed and been optimized, and things like that. But the structure of TYPO3 is basically the core is still there, which is also a big advantage when you want to upgrade from one version to another version, that not everything is changing from version to version completely as it is with some other software, the upgrade

Jeffrey A. McGuire  7:12
path has always been quite smooth.

Jochen Weiland  7:15
And it's getting even better later. Basically, from version to version, the upgrade path is become becoming easier. Except we have this one break between version 4.5 and version six, we're only introduced the file abstraction layer. Other than that, it was basically a smooth process.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  7:34
I like that perspective on caspers original work, because actually, the real key is the structure, right? The application layers and the decoupling and the organizing of the page tree and the data and so on. It was very sort of immediately modular and immediately open. And once it became extensible, you know, that's still the base we're riding on. that's a that's a great perspective. But tell me, you said you fell in love with TYPO3. What was it? What was it that you fell in love with?

Jochen Weiland  8:07
I think much of it was the community that the, you know, meeting people at the TYPO3 snowboard Tour, which is a very famous event, which takes place almost every year. And so that you can actually talk to all those people who were working on the software, and it was just a collaboration and exchange of ideas, and things like that. So other than when you use some software and you don't know the developer, you have no idea what what he's doing beside programming or whatsoever. And it was very easy to meet all the other people there. They were very friendly from Casper to all the other guys that were meeting and and exchanging ideas and trying to bring the project forward. And when I said it, that I was fascinated what what Casper did back then, just recently I had a book in my hand which the title is TYPO3 CMS the enterprise content management system, and it was published, I think, in 2004 or 2005. Yep. And it's a quite a thick book, 400 pages or so. And when you go through the book, you find out that about 70% of what was written then is still valid. This is really amazing. I mean, even some of the code examples that are in the book are still working today. The underlying structure might be a little bit different but many things are still working today.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  9:47
I I'm asking myself what version of PHP that was and whether that's actually really strictly a good thing. But that's that's pretty amazing. And also I think my experience of technology. And open source is also, as you say, these are real people. And these are real people that you can meet and talk with. And understand, you don't just get a manual or a license or permission to like, go and use something, you can look them in the eyes and ask them what they were doing or why they weren't had like, and then become part of it too.

Jochen Weiland  10:19
And then you find out that they are actually very helpful. Because one of the things that that was missing at the at the beginning, was documentation, I remember when I first tried to set up TYPO3 for the first time I failed. And then I figured out, okay, I would need a server, not just a shared web space to run it, then then I rented a server, installed it and went through some struggles, because really there, I mean, today, there's lots of documentation, but then it was really very, very little documentation. So when I then set up TYPO3 for a second time, I simply wrote down every step, which which I needed to make to get it running. And then I published this. So this, this was basically my first contribution to TYPO3 to publish a guide on how to set up a server with TYPO3, when was that that was that was at the beginning of 2003. It might have even been 2002, I would need to look it up in the internet archives,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  11:31
right? It was a story that I absolutely wanted to talk with you about because I know the story, I believe that set you up for basically, who you are today and your company and everything right? You, you had difficulty doing this thing that you thought looked really promising. And you immediately your instinct was to share that recipe, right? And to give it to everyone. What was the sound like, when you publish that?

Jochen Weiland  11:56
Actually, the guide I wrote was was downloaded, I don't know, 50,000 times or whatsoever. So and I said, Okay, I really like the TYPO3 system and I just wanted other people to be able to use it. So when I published this guide, some people came to me and said, okay, you have all published this, but I don't know how to work with a shell or, you know, using bash commands and things like that, could you install it for me, I, I then made a deal with a company slunt and partner, or salon tech, they were later acquired had been acquired by one at one. And I had a deal with them that when I would get them a new customer, they would pay me a commission. And for the customer, I would then install TYPO3 for them for free. So it was like a win win situation. And

Jeffrey A. McGuire  12:56
oh, wow.

Jochen Weiland  12:57
So after a couple of months, I brought them a few 100 customers, and I got some money installing TYPO3 for them. So this is where this all started. And now then we have some at some point, the people said, Well, I would like to use TYPO3, but I don't want to rent a horde server can can you provide a shared hosting package, and then we created one, then some people also Okay, now, I have TYPO3, but I need someone who builds a website based on TYPO3. And this is when we got into the agency business. So when we really said okay, we are going to design program websites for clients. And so this started on a very small scale. And we really have never advertised this. So it was mostly liking like the the our hosting customers were coming to us and said, Well, can you do a project for us. So this is why also our our agency business is a little bit hidden on our website. And many people really don't know that we also do websites. But it has always been the case that we had enough business with for the resources that we had, so that we really never had to to promote this.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  14:21
And you have I mean, but you have quite a you have quite a few people working there. Behind the Scenes you've got and you've got designers and coders and all sorts of people there. So what we assign as

Jochen Weiland  14:32
front end back end developers,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  14:35
what was the first version of TYPO3 that you installed? And when was that?

Jochen Weiland  14:40
I think it was either 3.1 or 3.2 beta or something. It was sometime in 2002. It was definitely one of those early TYPO3 versions. Yeah, and maybe one or two years after customer made this

Jeffrey A. McGuire  14:59
opens. Which was 99? I think,

Jochen Weiland  15:03
yeah, I think 99 or 98. He made it open source we were somewhere have a time chart which we produce as opposed to so it shows the the, how TYPO3 evolved over 20 years and eight. It also has has the date on it when it was first published as open source.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  15:24
Okay, I'd love to see that. I'd love to see that maybe we can blend in don't have one, we will send Oh, thank you. And if you give me a digital version, I'll blend it in. As we're talking about it on the on the on the podcast video. Now, you install TYPO3, version three something in 2002. In 2003, you're like, Oh, I need to remember how to do this. So you wrote it down. And then had the bit of brilliant insight that you should publish it well, as well. You started getting giving helping people install it, you had a side business doing that? When did when did your your violent poke net? When did that start? Like how long was this transition from you helping people to turning this into a business,

Jochen Weiland  16:08
I actually registered the company in January of 2003. And, and then I operated it for three years as a side business or more like a hobby. And in the evenings and weekends, of course, I created a website for the company. I was working for them at that time. So I could use TYPO3 also, for my business than mine, also for my site business. But then in in 2006, I came to a point where I had to make a decision whether I continue working full time as a monitoring director of a company or whether I work full time on TYPO3, and I decided to switch full time to TYPO3. Then my first employee that I took with me from that company where we both worked, that's young, he's still with us today. So then we started with two people and then have grown over over time.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  17:16
Wow, okay. Now this, this question might not be perfectly appropriate for you, because of when you got into TYPO3. But if you could start over, would you would you take a different path in learning it?

Jochen Weiland  17:29
If I could, I would have started maybe two or three years earlier, when I started, the TYPO3 community was still very small. I mean, it would have been interesting to see what kind of difference it would make when I would have been able to start, let's say, on the day that Casper published it as a source.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  17:51
Yeah. I suppose on the other hand, I think that by the time you found version three, it was in recognizably useful shape, right? It was it was Yes, ready. And I wonder if you would have had that same expert experience with the versions before. My next standard question is something like, what what sort of trouble? What sort of pitfalls would you help people, other people avoid when learning TYPO3, but I think that you took that complexity and gave people a recipe to do it, what's the most interesting discovery you made about TYPO3,

Jochen Weiland  18:28
I think that what I struggled the most with at the beginning was understanding Typoscript. Because it's much more than just like a configuration system where you set some parameters, because it has like an object structure, like the C object, and then the standard rep properties of all those fields. And you really have to get this once and when you know this, and you know how to apply how to apply conditions and things like that, then you can really create very powerful systems. When you when you just say, okay, you're going to install TYPO3, and then you create your first website. Back at that time, that could be very frustrating. So let's say you installed TYPO3, and then you assigned a domain to your project, and then you call up that domain in your browser. And you get nothing but an error message. Yep, no template found, then it at that time, because it there was very little, very little documentation, it was quite difficult to find out. Okay, what are the first steps you need to do to that you see some results on on the screen. I mean, actually, it really took only two or three clicks that you needed to make in order to get a Hello World message on the screen. But that you could modify that message and make it a headline and things like that. So From that on when you first get something where you make a change, and you see it on the in the browser, from that point on, on, it's much easier. And then you need to understand how to do templates. And there were ways to just create a template by typoscript, or you could have a template file with some markers in it, which you replace with actual content and things like that. And this was one of the things we always wanted to make TYPO3 easier to use. Yeah, and when we grew our hosting business, we wanted to help our customers with this first step, so that when he ordered a hosting package with us, he would, we would make two installations, one installation was just a blank TYPO3 system. And I think it already displayed the Hello World message, but otherwise, it was really blank. And the other system was basically a pre made website, a template that the customer could use, where he could just go ahead and say, Okay, I'm just changing the logo, and then I put in some content, and text, some pictures, and then I have a website. And so this the sample template that we started, I don't know, it may be in 2005, or 2006, this has evolved with each maitra TYPO3 version, right? We always wanted to give people not just a template, because even in the early TYPO3 versions, you could select one of, I don't know, six pre made templates, the soccer game and, and the business template, and there were a few which didn't look very nice, but they worked. Yep. And we wanted to give people a really a best practice template, not just any template, but I really spent many, many years in the meantime to improve the template from version to version. And it's actually the same template that we are using as the basis for each customer project.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  22:24
or internal distribution as well. Yeah,

Jochen Weiland  22:27
it's at the beginning, we just use it internally, and then we made it available to our customers. And since a couple of years, we make it available on our website as a download for everyone. So whether that's a customer or not, so people can just download this, this template and we have many guides and and tutorials and videos on how to use it and how to adopt it to your needs. This is what what people are really, I mean using I mean, there's also the TYPO3 introduction package by Benji cot.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  23:05
Yes, I think he's made it even.

Jochen Weiland  23:08
Which I think is also a really great example on how to use TYPO3 Yeah, and he has many really nice technical aspects in it. But I think for a novice user, it is a little bit hard to get the concept, because he's using a lot of let's say a little bit more advanced techniques, where we said okay, someone was must understand that the data that is being displayed on page a is actually stored somewhere else in the page tree. And then it's, this is quite difficult to understand for people at the beginning. So we just wanted to make an alternative template where people could either use the the introduction package, which is also very nice. Or we could use our template, we change the template over time. For example, for some for a couple of years. We used bootstrap as as the foundation of the template, then only to find out that most people use only 20% of the bootstrap package. And 80% are never used. You still have all the load from from Yeah,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  24:22
yeah. Can I read the article about about how much of the internet on a given day was unneeded bootstrap A few years ago, it was pretty funny.

Jochen Weiland  24:32
So we took out bootstrap and we made our own system. We got a much smaller footprint in memory and what what you have to transfer over to the browser and things like that,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  24:47
that not only makes someone's website faster. from today's perspective, it also helps you use less energy, right? It's a it's a more sustainable, it's a greener way to build the internet. So that's that's laudable, so Here's a quick call to action for everyone listening, if you want to see a best practices template for how to use TYPO3, and get started and in a clear, understandable way, go to And look for their introductory

Jochen Weiland  25:20
icon, I think you go to the TYPO3 menu and then it says TYPO3 template US version three, something like that.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  25:28
Okay, we will link to that in the show notes. And everybody should know that it's, it's designed to go, you know, go install it and play with it. And there's lots of documentation behind it, which is awesome. Thank you for that help. So there's a big theme with you, you're one of helping people get in and helping people start and helping people learn right from beginning, that's great. That's really, really cool. What is the coolest thing you've ever built with TYPO3?

Jochen Weiland  25:55
I think the one of the websites we really like a lot is the website of the city of Pforzheim, the city is running something like I don't know, 1718 websites plus their intranet. And they started very early with TYPO3. So they started what I think they started with version 4.1. Then they switch over to 4.5. And then we took over the project from another agency, though there was a European tender. And so we then made it to TYPO3 version 476 point two, then it also was switched over to a responsive design. And in the meantime, it's running with TYPO3 version 10. And this is a project where we have developed lots of extensions for all the things a city needs. The city of Pforzheim, they also wanted us to publish these extensions so that horriffic other people could use them and provide feedback or add ons or whatsoever. And so they are really one of the customers that live the open source thinking it's one that it's not that yet you get some free code, or some code for nothing or whatsoever, but also that the system really works when you give back something. Yeah. So and this is what's one thing that I learned from Casper, he, I think he was working for a French company, where he actually developed the template for loss system. And also, I mean, the company paid him to do this, but also the company said, Well, we want you to publish this, so that other people could improve on this. And then when other people improve the system, we can use those improvements too, right? This is one one of the real things that sets apart, I think free aware and open source, you know, yeah, for free, where you just take some code and for granted and you just use it. But for open source. Besides that you're not dependent on one supplier, you have the chance to improve the code and make it better and that all people then benefit from from those improvements.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  28:25
Hand in hand with that particular differentiator. The the open source thinking also leads to community building, I'm automatically helping everyone who uses the system if I make the system better. So I was wondering, though, with the example of the city of Fort time, I would love to have a list of of those extensions. And I definitely put, you know, just to show people, right, I want to link to that website as well maybe put a screenshot up. But I was wondering with for time, for example, did you have to explain to them that, no, we're gonna we're going to give the world your best ideas, and then the world is going to take those, but they'll make them even better. And you get the upgrades for free. Did you have to work on them to get them to contribute? Or did they already have that idea somehow,

Jochen Weiland  29:08
since they were already using TYPO3 for a couple of years before we took over the project? So they were actually living this open source thing, guys before we came on board?

Jeffrey A. McGuire  29:20
So you just got a perfect customer?

Jochen Weiland  29:23
Yeah, yeah. So we created all those extensions, and publish them and most of them are in the TYPO3 expansion x central repository, or some of them are on our GitHub account. They're all in public repositories. And I think so far we have published something like 80 extensions, which we see is also some sort of a burden because with every new TYPO3 version, people are expecting you to update and make sense compatible for the new version. So it's like, we now have already updated some extensions for version, TYPO3, version 11. But it really takes a couple of months, Toya all these, these extensions up to date. And so some major complex extensions that really need some, some work, because with each TYPO3 version, it's like the developers pulling some rug under our feet, like, we are deprecating, these are these features, then you have to find new ways to implement them with the API that's not there anymore. Sometimes this is not not visible from the outside, you know, like, I really don't understand it, technically, but they are putting away some of the the abstract classes from x space, where you would derive your own classes from but then they are putting away those abstract classes. It started with some easy things like paginator wizard, which it is not there anymore, and you have to implement your own patronato. And then I think Gail clinger implemented now, a new alternative paginator. But that should be in the core, actually, you know, but it's not yet in the core. And so with every new version of TYPO3, we have to struggle to update the code and make it better. And I can understand why do they do that, I mean, the the TYPO3 core team doesn't, they don't want to punish the developers, they want to make the code and the architecture even better. And they say, Okay, now we're, we want to use all these PSR standards for for PHP to make systems being working together from from different vendors, or whatsoever. So this is all very good idea. But it's a lot of thing that you have to change under the hood that it's working again,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  32:02
and there can be subtle gaps between perfectly logical and reality as well. One of the things that I like about type three is the balance between abstract extensibility, and practical things that I need every project for every client all the time. And I like that TYPO3. You know, it's a system for agencies to build client websites, of course, it's a system for anybody to build any website, but I feel that the core customer is the agency and agency websites are at 90% of the time, you need a good offering experience, you need a website, you need, you know, to have masses of data and and having a pagination system or whatever built in. Sometimes I just want to turn it on, I don't want to build it myself, I don't want to have that extra work, because it seems like a base feature. But I guess for you maintaining ad extensions, that's a lot. That's a big responsibility. That's a lot of technical debt that you've that you've volunteered for.

Jochen Weiland  33:00
Actually, when we when we upgraded the the Pforzheim website from TYPO3, version eight to 10. So we skipped nine. Oh, wait, they update from eight to 10. And we had this large spreadsheet of all the exemptions that are in use. Some are from the tear from other people providing those extensions, and we needed to wait until their extension is compatible with version 10. We also paid some of the other developers to update their extensions or if we took over some extensions where the register painter didn't want to do it anymore. So it's okay, we are going to continue that. It was really pretty large spreadsheet with all the versions and Do you

Jeffrey A. McGuire  33:47
ever have a conversation where you have to convince someone to use TYPO3 or do people come to you already wanting it.

Jochen Weiland  33:55
And most cases, people are coming to us and they have already made the decision to use TYPO3. In some cases, especially with some tenders where the CMS is not being set yet. So they they have their definition on which features they want to have on the website. I recently worked on on a very large tender and they came with it with a catalogue of about 1000 requirements and Yep, for each requirement you have to say okay, the CMS does provide this totally or partly or not, and what are the limitations if it's not fully supported and things like that. And I for myself, I was astonished to see what features are already in TYPO3 into standard version so it's like you know, versioning and editor rights and configurability and workflows and that you can learn Logging that you can see who has made when which change to the Konya auditing built in, already there were in most other systems, you would need to add this. And this was like, TYPO3 would do 97% of all the features that were requested. Already there, there are since many years and what made it clear to me how sophisticated TYPO3 is, most people are not using workflows and versioning and things like that, so they never get in touch with those features that you would need for an enterprise content management system. Knowing that it's all there, yep. And you can rely on those things you just know that they work that's really very, very nice.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  35:50
Yep. And that those things are in the core which means that there are people that that take care of it and they take care of the security and you really can rely on those I think it also means that if anybody wants to respond to a tender for a government or a publicly funded institution or a university where they have these requirements of auditability of records keeping of trends or also in you know, highly regulated industries TYPO3 goes in with the structures already in place to deal with that kind of requirement which is really cool. It's not that other systems can do it but I have also seen in many occasions that TYPO3 oh turn that thing on and set this thing and it's and you're ready to go so then as a service provider that saves you the work you make you you prove that it can do that but then you can actually go and build something more interesting right with your time

Jochen Weiland  36:39
but sometimes it's also we had an interesting case just a couple of weeks ago, one of our customers and the guy we were working with he said okay he has a new role in the company and he is now the it auditor and he would like to have any TYPO3 a pre predefined role that he would basically would be a super admin so he can see everything in the system so that he can do his audit but he should not be able to change anything so like a read only super admin and I said I said okay this is this is very interesting and I discussed this with our developers but they knowing the the internal working of TYPO3 they very quickly told me or explained to me why this is not so easy and it's it might be almost impossible to just make such a role because you would need to change so many code in different parts of TYPO3 to make this work so that we said okay, then it was just an idea. But other than that, I mean I have also like one feature that that our customers requested and for time for example, they wanted to have this for the website and where I cannot understand why this is not yet available in an enterprise content management system is when they have hundreds of editors and they are always uploading pictures. What they wanted is that when an editor uploads a picture that he has to set a checkbox where he says yes we have the rights to use this picture on the website right so and that you record who has set this checkmark and otherwise if you are not setting the checkmark you cannot upload the picture we have made this as an extension so we have added this to TYPO3 this feature but this is one thing I would really love to see in the core because it's a feature so many people know what would really like to use when because people are often sued for use pictures that I have copied from somewhere while you you found this picture on your hard drive but you don't know where you got it from whatsoever. And I would have put make those legal things a little bit easier

Jeffrey A. McGuire  39:12
on open strategy partners calm I would extend that with a field about the details of the license. I am very careful about the pictures we publish on the site. And I hope that doesn't trip me up later. I'm very careful about it and I credit the artists or the photographer and you know give enough information to know that it's fair use or an open license or whatever. But I would say yes we have the rights and then you can either say you know because we bought it from Getty or because it's Creative Commons or whatever and then like

Jochen Weiland  39:44
and also yeah when when you acquired an image and you may have paid for that and so you've got the license to use it. If you could put that license to the image because sometimes license are changing. So an image that you may have licensed five years ago, the license might have might have changed in the meantime. And you would then more proof that you have already purchased this either the old license, and there are many, many things that that can happen. And they can become very expensive. So one of

Jeffrey A. McGuire  40:22
my projects at an old, pretty much previous company, we got in trouble, or someone tried to get us in trouble for using some music that I had bought the rights to, it got to the point where, for some reason, we bought the license a second time, just so that they would stop. But I wish I wish I didn't have to, you know, so I'm making a feature request for this license details field on your extension. let's shift gears a little bit, talk about the TYPO3 community,

Jochen Weiland  40:55
it certainly has evolved. I still like it very much that some of the old people are still there. So people you have been knowing for 1015 years, and they are still working with the project. Some people of course, moved on to some some other systems. But there are always new people coming to the TYPO3 community where I think perhaps the, the onboarding could be a little bit improved. Because when you when you come to, to the TYPO3 community or to the TYPO3 ecosystem, it's sometimes hard to find out. Where are the resources? And where do people meet? And what are the all those user groups and the official and in official events? Exactly. So I remember the times when when we had this snowboard tour, first of all, I mean, we had sometimes we had over 100 participants, but always some new people. So it's interesting to to get them into the community. But for example, if you say okay, there's this snowboard tour, and then people say, Okay, I have to snowboard if you want, if I want to attend, and people don't know, no, you can also use your skis, or you just spend time with a group and you'd round you neither do snowboarding or skiing, you just want to be let's say you have this coding workspace, where you can spend if you want the whole day, right and then but eat with the other people in the evening. And

Jeffrey A. McGuire  42:34
you know, and you can enjoy being up in the mountains. Yeah,

Jochen Weiland  42:37
of course, I just heard that there will be the next snowboard tour in Switzerland in March of 2022. So

Jeffrey A. McGuire  42:47
Where, where, where, where, where

Jochen Weiland  42:49
it will be in lax. Again, as far as I know, I haven't been there, I want to go this definitely want to go this time THREE TIMES IN LAX, where we basically rented the whole hotel, which is up in the mountain on top of the mountain. So Wow, at 5pm, that gondola stops, and then you're alone on the mountain. And that's,

Jeffrey A. McGuire  43:14
that sounds like my TYPO3 friends. So tell me please, your favorite thing about the TYPO3 community and maybe what you think people who haven't heard of TYPO3 yet what they should know about it,

Jochen Weiland  43:29
they should know that that TYPO3 community is extremely friendly and helpful. Sometimes you see people's names only, you know, from from their mentions in the code. And then you meet those people. And then they see Oh, they are actually very nice and friendly. And you can ask them questions, and they will be happy to answer. It's not like this big gap between those little ways they owe. And you know, like even the king of TYPO3, Casper, I mean, he was always very approachable. So you know, you could just have a beer with him, and then discuss things. And of course, you have to ask, so you have to find those people. But you should have no fear to contact, let's say the developer of an extension and say, I've got this idea to make your extension even better. Now to perhaps implement this, or I have written some piece of code and have a look at the code. And perhaps if you like it, put it into the exception. This is what we see all the time that people are making pull requests for our extension, so they want to add some features. And so the extensions get better and better again, we have an extension to display Google Maps on the website. And then a couple of years ago Google Map said okay, from now on, you'll get each month you get some credit where you can show The maps free of charge. But if you go beyond the limit, you have to pay, right? You get a certain number of API calls or something right? Can Yeah, can we can we use something other than Google Maps? So we made a configurable switch and the extension where you can just switch between Google Maps and OpenStreetMap. And so all your settings remain valid. And so this is how extensions evolve over time.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  45:27
How about little round of quickfire questions? Yep. So use one word to describe TYPO3. Great, what are your favorite features of TYPO3,

Jochen Weiland  45:39
the configurable user rights or editor rights?

Jeffrey A. McGuire  45:44
What feature Would you like to see to add it to TYPO3, the license image licensing checkbox and an end field, right? That we just talked,

Jochen Weiland  45:54
I really would like to see a multi language page tree. Oh, I mean, TYPO3 can work in so many different languages. But when let's say you, you create a website in German, and you have all this, you have this page tree, which is a really nice feature of TYPO3, and the in the tree, all the the page titles are in German. And then you have an editor from Spain, he can see the whole TYPO3 back and in Spanish, or whatever other language, but the page tree shows all the German page title. So even if if a translation is available, it's not shown in the Patreon, the app would be a nice feature.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  46:37
I want that feature to that. That makes so much sense. And yes. Now,

Jochen Weiland  46:43
I know that someone had had been working on this. It never made it to the core, as far as I know.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  46:49
But it makes a lot of sense. Okay, now, what feature Would you like to see removed from TYPO3

Jochen Weiland  46:55
removed? Oh, I really don't know. Every every of those features, I know has some legitimate purposes. Purpose. I think what and this is one of the things where many people struggle with TYPO3, if they don't configure the editor writes correctly. Yeah, the editors are overwhelmed with all the features and links at icons and whatsoever, and they get frustrated and confused, because there's so many things to do. But people don't, very often the, the creators of the system, they don't take the time to configure the user, right, so you can reduce it and put everything away that the editor doesn't need and make it very slim, user friendly backend. And

Jeffrey A. McGuire  47:44
people can do their jobs better that way. And, and the problem is that when you build a site, and when you build sites every day, for people, you don't see that complexity, all you see is your workbench, and the things that you know, and the things that you have to use anyway, and you forget that this thing has dozens of modules on the left, and the whole page tree and all of everything that applies in you know, you have a picture of this system, right. But the person who logs in at a publishing house, or wherever they need to, they need to upload and edit some images, they need to put in the text, they need to read the legal approval, whatever it is, you should give them three buttons. And they'll thank you for it. Because they'll go in and they'll say, I need to do this. And this is on my thing. And now I've done it. And that's clear. And the less confusion you can offer, right, the more simplicity you can offer them, the happier they're going to be. And you know, the better work they'll do. So that's, that's great.

Jochen Weiland  48:41
I mean, one of the problems with that is a TYPO3 is extremely configurable. So you can define everything, you can change the text of every label in the back end, and so on. And some people who have really the, the will and want to configure it perfectly for editors, they come to some point where the editor say, Well, I can't use this or this feature. And then the administrator, he goes into this system and says, well, it works for me. Rather than configuring it correctly, he says, well, let's give this editor administrator rights, and then it works out.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  49:27
Right, and then you're back to the same problem. I do feel my own experience as someone who's commissioned someone to build sites for me, and in my other otherwise, in my perspective, I think that you do that everyone does better when you deliver a site with the user rights thought through and you give people the absolute minimum functionality to get their job done, and it's always better to turn something on for them later than to give them Something that could break the site. Tell us one cool trick that you've learned.

Jochen Weiland  50:06
So many in TYPO3. I mean, one of the things like that I like so much is that they are always different ways to accomplish something in TYPO3, so that people like the editor is normally working in the page module. And I have seen editors that are always working in the list module, which is a completely different approach to it. But it works. It's always interesting to see how other people work with TYPO3, because you can always learn something or even that you say, Oh, this is a feature that has been there for 10 years. I haven't discovered it yet. So right. I remember I did once in cars who made that TYPO3 conference in 2007 or so I can't give a presentation. But on 20 things you don't know about TYPO3, for example, you can set bookmarks and TYPO3, for example, if you have ever over and over always to edit the same set of pages, just bookmark them. And then you have your bookmarks like in the browser, you have a bookmarks in your TYPO3, and you just click on it, or that you can when you log in, you can customize what should be your initial view on. Right, which menu Do you want to be in, match that to your job. Let's say you have a news editor, and TYPO3. And he has to do news over and over again, you can create a menu entry in the left menu, which says Create new news yet he clicks on it. And he immediately is in the form where he can put in his text for the news. He doesn't have to select the page, it's already predefined and things like that.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  51:56
So that so this is exact this actually is goes full circle to what we were saying about make a user interface for each role so that it helps them right. People who only moderate comments or people who only create news articles or whatever, that's the button they should see. That's a perfect example. Awesome. It's

Jochen Weiland  52:15
basically really to improve the workflow for the editor. Yeah, and I have heard complaints. One owner of an agency sent me once Well, he had been working with a certain CMS for many years, a commercial CMS, CMS. And there were 17 steps involved for an editor to create an article until it's being live on the website. And he said TYPO3 is so much easier. It's only five steps. Oh whatsoever. But and then if you talk to editors who say okay, we are using this five steps, but isn't there some way to streamline this and make it even easier? And this is really where then you have to think about how can you improve this?

Jeffrey A. McGuire  53:05
Fantastic. So a couple of last things. We have a little thing that we like to call the suggested guest who do you think the community should meet and get to know that I should meet and get to know and talk with on this podcast?

Jochen Weiland  53:19
There are many interesting people you already had a lot of people on in the previous episodes, but I think you haven't had yet. Thomas Leffler, spoony? Yes. Moody's photo web. Yeah, I think he should be one of your next guests, is working on the TYPO3 orc website and he has worked on many projects, and

Jeffrey A. McGuire  53:42
also a great person to spend time with. So yeah, thank you. Absolutely, yes.

Jochen Weiland  53:48
Okay, may I add one last thing, our effort has always been to make TYPO3 easier to use. And what we have done, I think it started with version 4.5. We made a video tutorial for editors. So how to work as an editor in TYPO3. I think the current TYPO3 version has something like 59 episodes. Wow, you can pick exactly what For example, I want to insert a table in my website, how do I do that, and then you just watch this five or 10 minute video I saw and we have those cores. It's completely free. It's on YouTube, Vimeo on our website, the torque tutorial is in German. But if you use YouTube and you switch on the captions and the translation, then you can get the idea of what is that so I'd love

Jeffrey A. McGuire  54:44
to link to that. I'd love to link to that. So we're in the show notes. I think we're going to be linking to information. So the city aforetime website and maybe some of the extensions that went into that, and the starter template that you offer and the introductory package that Benji cut me 10s these tutorials about how to how to use TYPO3 as an editor sounds like a fantastic addition to that as well. So thank you so much for that. I'm so glad we finally got this chance to record this conversation. And it has been way too long since we actually saw each other in person. But maybe we can meet in Switzerland in March 2022. That would be good idea.

Jochen Weiland  55:23
Super, very good idea.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  55:25
All right. Hey, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for all your amazing contributions and your dedication to to sharing everything you learned with other people. It's I think it's made a real difference to the project and in the world. So thank you so much for all of that.

Jochen Weiland  55:42
You're welcome.

Jeffrey A. McGuire  55:44 
Thanks to the TYPO3 Association for sponsoring this podcast. Thank you b13. And Stephanie Kreuzer for our logo. Merci beaucoup Patrick Gaumont, TYPO3 developer and musician exraordinaire for our theme music. Thanks again to today's guest. If you like what you heard, don't forget to subscribe in the podcast app of your choice and share Application, the TYPO3 Community Podcast with your friends and colleagues. If you didn't like it, please share it with your enemies. You can find show notes, links and more information in our posts on Remember, open source software would not be what it is without you. Thank you all for your contributions.

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