Thank you Martin for Many Years of Dedication

Categories: Community, Documentation Created by Lina Wolf
Martin Bless has promoted reStructuredText and encouraged people to contribute to the Core documentation, helping extension authors make the switch. Photo: Private
Martin Bless has decided to step down as Documentation Team leader but he will stay in the team and continue to support us. Lina Wolf will become the new Documentation Team leader.

The TYPO3 project would not be what it is today without Martin Bless.

Back in the days, the TYPO3 documentation was written with OpenOffice, which made it a nightmare to maintain. A first effort to move to DocBook stalled. Then came reStructuredText and Martin Bless. Martin wrote scripts to migrate (as much as possible) the content from OpenOffice to reStructuredText. He then developed the current documentation rendering chain based on Sphinx, a tool written in Python. He also developed the Docker container that enables everyone to render the documentation locally or via a GitHub action or… you name it!

Moving documentation to reStructuredText made it possible to use version control, which in turn allowed us to receive docs contributions from anyone. Beyond the technical aspects, Martin helped a lot in promoting reStructuredText, encouraging people to contribute to the Core documentation and helping extension authors make the switch.

What the Community has to Say About Martin

Lina Wolf

“Martin helped recruit me for the Documentation Team and supported me very much when I was new, slowly gaining confidence, and when I became a co-Team Leader.

I will take over the leadership role from Martin now and am very grateful that he will stay on the team and still support us with his knowledge about both the documentation and the tools for rendering them.”

Sybille Peters

“My first encounter with Martin was after my first contribution. He warmly thanked me, and merged my contribution. This motivated me so much I kept contributing. He was always ready to answer questions on Slack and also respond to suggestions on GitHub.

Thank you Martin for your long and stable engagement and work for the TYPO3 documentation and the community. Documentation is so important and you helped to improve and evolve not just the documentation but the tools needed to render and maintain it.”

François Suter

“Martin brought a tremendous energy to the Documentation Team, when he jumped on the bandwagon following the decision to migrate the whole core documentation to Restructured Text. He developed many tools, step-by-step, with a very pragmatic approach to enable that migration. He has been consistently committed, supportive and joyful throughout the years, a pillar of the Documentation Team. Documentation is central to an open source project and thanks to Martin’s continued efforts - and with the support of a few others—the TYPO3 Documentation Team was able to rise up to that challenge and deliver documentation that is up to date and easy to contribute to.”

Olivier Dobberkau

“I don’t remember when Martin took over the work in the TYPO3 Documentation Team. It must have been a long time ago! I bow to the dedicated work he has achieved. Martin is a role model to others. Many thanks and see you soon.”

Susi Moog

“Martin has been a passionate maintainer of the documentation infrastructure for a long time—you could always rely on his strong efforts to keep the documentation chain up and running. What I remember most is how much energy he had running around on TYPO3 events promoting TYPO3 documentation, recruiting new members and teaching others how to use the tooling. Thank you Martin for all your work!”

Christian Kuhn

“After Martin took over the Documentation Team and moved all the documentation from OpenOffice to Restructured Text, he attended many events to train people on reST, and the ecosystem around it. Nowadays, reST is a no-brainer for documentation writers within the community, all core related documentation and the vast majority of extension documentation follows his established guidelines. With Martin being busy as a team leader and dealing with the rendering container, the team gained a lot of traction: The documents are better than ever with a huge amount of changes being handled. Thank you Martin for all your persistent work!”

Georg Ringer

“I had my first contact with Martin in 2015 while improving the documentation for EXT:news. I was inspired by his dedication for bringing the documentation to the next level and helping me with all my questions around reST. Thanks a lot!”

Daniel Siepmann

“The documentation was my first home within the TYPO3 ecosystem. The team consisted of Martin Bless back then and he allowed me to contribute back to the project. That was around 2018.

He explained reStructuredText and sphinx to me. He demonstrated the power and how to set up a custom website with this tooling. He also explained the setup he had built to support the community and project to self host and maintain the documentation for the Core and extensions.

We joined some Code Sprints where he started to migrate the setup from server and his laptop to Docker.

He was the only person for some time and always kept up the good work during the very long phase when there were nearly no contributors.

I can’t imagine where TYPO3 would be without him.

I guess he had a long successful journey.

I’m pleased I got introduced to the contributions by a kind person like Martin.

He always focused on the use cases of the project and community.

It was always about enabling people to contribute and improve the overall situation.

Thanks Martin.”

Benni Mack

“With pure dedication over years of desert in the documentation area, Martin revived not just documentation, but gathered motivated people around him. He found dedicated people by providing the right infrastructure, so content could be restructured, and a powerful search was added. My favorite part is the Edit me on GitHub button, by the way!”

Additional contributors for this article
  • Proofreader : Felicity Brand
  • Content Publisher : Mathias Bolt Lesniak