July 17th, 2017 / Boris Hinzer
Three times a year as part of our voluntary work for the TYPO3 Association, colleagues from the board, the Business Control Committee (BCC) and the Expert Advisory Board (EAB) meet for two days to discuss future projects and developments, update each other on the progress of our own tasks and above all steer the work on the TYPO3 project in the right direction.
Seeing how much us folks in the internet and IT industry love our acronyms, naturally the meeting has a neat little name to ensure everyone is aware of what it’s all about - in this case, “TYPO3 QSA”. A name that makes it immediately obvious to outsiders exactly what we are up to, right?!
TYPO3 QSA decrypted. Puzzle fans can skip the next section.
Well, perhaps it’s not so immediately obvious, but TYPO3 QSA actually stands for “TYPO3 Quarterly Summit of the Association”. But wait a minute, didn’t I just mention that the meeting was three times a year? So where does the “quarterly” come from?
To explain, the name TYPO3 QSA actually originates from an earlier agreement to meet four times a year. Over the last couple of years, however, there hasn’t been a need to meet so frequently, and so it was decided to meet just three times - but still to keep the name. Without giving too much away, we are actually currently considering a return to the quarterly meetup. The pace of development around TYPO3 - and by that I don’t only mean in terms of software - has picked up and there are a multitude of topics ripe for discussion and action by the group.
Historically the TYPO3 QSA meetings have taken place in various locations, usually at one of the many agencies within the TYPO3 community. But more recently it has become a common tradition to gather directly before or after a TYPO3 event. An advantage of this is that we can share initiatives directly with the community and get immediate feedback. This time we decided to hold the TYPO3 QSA together with the TYPO3 Developer Days.
To the TYPO3 Developer Days in Malmö, Sweden.
So from July 13th - 14th the bodies from the TYPO3 Association met just before and during the TYPO3 Developer Days (T3DD) to discuss the various topics on our agenda. Since 2017’s T3DD took place in Malmö, Sweden, I also had the opportunity to visit Sweden via a small detour to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Upon arrival I took a Swedish taxi from the airport to the hotel. After 20 minutes, and for what turned out to be a “bargain” price of around 95 euros, the taxi delivered me over the Øresund Bridge to my hotel. It’s a pity that it was too dark to see anything of the fantastic architecture of the bridge or even the sea.
Day 1 of the TYPO3 QSA
On Friday morning at 10am sharp we began the first meeting of the TYPO3 board and Expert Advisory Board. A group agreement as to the the agenda of the next few days was swiftly followed by a short but exciting update from Stefan Buseman on the current status of the relaunch of typo3.org.
Next up came Olivier Dobberkau and Stefan again, who presented a new concept for the restructuring of the TYPO3 Association. Particularly of note was the suggestion for a “TYPO3 Council”, who would support the team members with their upcoming tasks and help us to achieve the goals we had laid out together.
After a really very short lunch break of about 20 minutes where Stefan and I stopped for a bite to eat at McDonald’s, we returned just in time to attend the opening of the TYPO3 Developer Days and the two keynotes which were scheduled for 2pm.
Keynote by the founder of TYPO3 Kasper Skarhoj
TYPO3 Developer Days 2017 opened to a full house of more than 300 developers from all over the world. The first keynote was given by Kasper Skarhoj - founder of TYPO3 - who himself retired from web development a couple of years ago. Alongside the welcome, Kasper gave us an intimate and often funny insight into his much-changed professional and private life. His new vocation is the development of mini-computers, mostly for the music and television industry.
Kasper also showed us some photos of his initially involuntary but now increasingly sophisticated rabbit breeding programme. As is perhaps to be expected of a hardcore developer, he has transformed his garden shed into a veritable Rabbit’s paradise, fully equipped with various bunny home-comforts and modifications.
Finally, there was a Q&A session with the audience, made even more entertaining by the addition of a “throwable microphone”. The final very kind words from Kasper that “everybody should find something that inspires them” were perhaps chosen randomly but were nevertheless very fitting for an event borne from the TYPO3 motto “inspire people to share”.
Keynote 2: Current state and the future of TYPO3
Now it was time to get serious. Together, Benni Mack, leader of the TYPO3 core team and Mathias Schreiber, CEO of TYPO3 GmbH presented the technical features and figures of the current TYPO3 8 LTS version and gave us a sneak peek into the upcoming version 9 of TYPO3 CMS.
Since a variety of other blogs, Tweets and Facebook posts have already reported the highlights of this keynote, I’ll keep it short. TYPO3 v8 is excellent, version 9 will be even better. But the most important thing is that the TYPO3 core team around Benni has a whole lot of innovative ideas and prototypes ready that could become real game changers in the Content Management industry. Exciting things to come.
TYPO3 QSA continued …
The QSA continued around 4:15 pm with a proposal from Dominik Stankowski and Olivier for establishing a new budget process for the TYPO3 Association. The basic idea behind the proposal was to split the yearly available budget, which is mainly generated by membership fees, sponsorship and events, into fixed and variable budgets.
To explain, fixed budgets are yearly recurring costs, such as the TYPO3 trademark or bookkeeping. These budgets provide the basic financial security for the TYPO3 project and should be prioritized during the annual budget allocation.
Variable budgets, on the other hand, can be applied for by anybody within or outside the TYPO3 community and should be of a more innovative nature. An example could be the future development of TYPO3 in Africa, which could be initiated by organising or joining an existing event there.
Also on the topic of “budget process”, it was agreed that the participants would work on a more fluid budget process during the next QSAs. In future it should be possible to apply for a TYPO3 project budget multiple times a year instead of only on a fixed date as it is currently set up.
TYPO3 Marketplace presentation
Now onto another exciting subject. Over the last few months and largely under the cover of secrecy I’ve been working on a hot new topic for the TYPO3 project. With so many avid TYPO3 fans in attendance, the TYPO3 Developer Days seemed the perfect opportunity to let the “cat out of the bag” as it were. I am talking about the TYPO3 Marketplace. During an allotted session during the conference, I took the opportunity to show interested participants the current state of development and reveal more about a dedicated crowdfunding campaign that had started that very day.
TYPO3 Marketplace - in a nutshell
So what is the TYPO3 Marketplace all about? In a nutshell, the TYPO3 Marketplace should become THE central place to go for any software, services and offers related to TYPO3. It should be a platform that fosters an exchange between suppliers and customers and provides a space where supplier partnerships can be promoted. When people think about TYPO3, they think about software, but with the TYPO3 marketplace, we want to go further. Too often, integral parts of the TYPO3 ecosystem (such as jobs, events, workshops, hosting etc.) are advertised locally rather than centrally. The TYPO3 Marketplace should be become a real market for all those services, and in being so, help support and shape the TYPO3 project further.
Due to some ambiguity about whether the crowdfunding platform StartNext would unlock our campaign in time, I unfortunately wasn’t able to hand in my session in time for the T3DD call for papers. However, thanks to the flexibility and gratefully received support of the orga team I was given the opportunity to present the topic at 6:15 pm.
(image courtesy of Marcus Schwemer, blog typo3worx.eu)
I kicked off my talk with a short video which we, the TYPO3 Marketplace initiative, have created to explain the idea behind the marketplace and to promote the crowdfunding campaign on StartNext.
Defying the rule of not doing live software demos during presentations, I showed everyone what the Marketplace initiative have been working on so far using a live prototype based on Magento 2.
During the session, I was able to demonstrate “proof of concept” via already-integrated functions such as product listings and detail views, the section for customers (including purchases and available downloads) and the supplier section featuring sales statistics, the management of products and supplier profile set up.
In anticipation of many questions, I concluded the presentation with a small Q&A session, which was gratefully received by the participants. From what I can tell, the initial reception to the TYPO3 Marketplace project was very positive, and the audience as open to and excited as us about the enormous potential of the initiative as we are.
If any readers are interested in supporting or obtaining further information about the project I suggest following the crowdfunding campaign on StartNext. The campaign runs until October 11th, 2017 and has the goal to generate at least 55,000 Euros to build an initial version of the marketplace. More functions will be added using so called “stretch goals”. The highest forecasted development cost lies at 125,000 Euros and would enable many further functions, all the way up to a complete integration into TYPO3 CMS.
Day 2 of the TYPO3 QSA
On the second day of the TYPO3 GSA the members of the TYPO3 Business Control Committee (BCC) Jochen Weiland, Ingo Schmitt and Roberto Torresani joined us for the first agenda item of the day: a presentation from Mathias Schreiber - CEO of the TYPO3 GmbH - on the current development status of TYPO3 GmbH, a daughter company of the TYPO3 Association.
Mathias presented the many milestones reached since the last meeting. The evaluation and introduction of a comprehensive CRM, planning and execution of the TYPO3 partner program, “emergency” support for planning and support of several TYPO3 events are just a few of the many important tasks being tackled by the team from Düsseldorf.
One of the larger projects on the horizon is the TYPO3 Agency Meetup Days. These will take place in September and are now open for registration for the members of the TYPO3 Association.
Following on, Alain Veuve, TYPO3 Association board member and as CFO of the TYPO3 GmbH responsible for regulating the company’s finances, suggested that a regular report of these should be given to the extended board of the TYPO3 Association.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you the TYPO3 Association
At the TYPO3 QSA participants’ request the T3DD team once again kindly provided a stage for the TYPO3 Association. Shortly after the morning’s lightning talks, each Association member had the chance to individually introduce themselves to the event attendees and give a short update on what they were currently working on. For the first time, this presentation shone a spotlight on the individuals behind TYPO3 who take care of issues such as the trademark protection, legal queries, budget allocation, training, certification and the communication around the TYPO3 brand.
After a short break and back in the meeting room, the next topic at the QSA meeting was the ongoing cooperation with a PR agency. The goal of this collaboration is to strengthen the presence of TYPO3 primarily in the DACH region but also internationally in the specialist technical press.
Next up was the question of how to galvanize the international TYPO3 community, at which point Mathias Bolt Lesniak introduced a new contributor concept. Many different approaches were discussed, including the introduction of one or more community managers or a TYPO3 mentorship scheme. These ideas aside, all participants unanimously agreed that as representatives of the TYPO3 Association we must take it upon ourselves to actively represent TYPO3 more visibly to the outside world. Our public introductions earlier that morning had been a good example of how to do so. We vowed that, in future, we should continue to actively approach newcomers to TYPO3, reveal ourselves at other open sourcesystem events as TYPO3 Association members and consciously drive discussion and answer questions about the CMS.
The final point on the TYPO3 QSA agenda was the individual commitment of those present to TYPO3, specifically relating to the various upcoming topics for 2017/2018. Each representative stated in turn what their focus would be how much time they could invest weekly.
At about 5pm the TYPO3 QSA was rounded off with a final feedback round, which for all participants was overwhelmingly positive. Up next for the group: a return to the quarterly meetings. In the coming weeks we will agree on an exact location for the next QSA so we can continue to work together for the TYPO3 Association and the entire TYPO3 project.