Frontend Editing a.k.a Backend-less work for editors has been a long awaited feature for TYPO3, and after Pixelant’s successful crowdfunding campaign last year, people are eager to start working with this feature.
For us as TYPO3 Core team, Frontend Editing plays an important part for the ease-of-use for TYPO3. It adds a missing piece which has been neglected for too long. On the other hand, the source code of TYPO3 has seen a continuous clean up and streamlining process especially with TYPO3 v7 and even more with the development cycle of TYPO3 v8 in the past 2.5 years. Some major reworks, like streamlining the TYPO3 Backend UI, the usage of fluid templates (with fluid_styled_content) are already paying off for site developers and extension developers. A lot of recent changes are related to the handling of translations and cleaning up the configuration of the Rich Text Editor, which eventually lead to the integration of CKEditor as new default Rich Text Editor for new TYPO3 sites.
One of the key features of CKEditor is the so-called inline mode, which acts as a real WYSIWYG editor, to be used in the new Frontend Editing extension developed by Pixelant.
The original plan of the TYPO3 Core team was to integrate this next generation of Frontend Editing into TYPO3 v8 LTS. However, refactoring and simplifying the RTE parsing (including a new linking syntax), as well as finding a better solution for configuring the new CKEditor from within TYPO3 took us too long. The groundwork is there now, but including Frontend Editing in its current state into the TYPO3 Core was simply too late for v8.
Additionally, some features we consider important in Frontend Editing are not yet ready to be added to v8 LTS. Having Frontend Editing in TYPO3 Core right now would mean that any new features could only be added for v9 development cycle. This would deny new Frontend Editing features for the v8 LTS version.
For us, Frontend Editing means that an editor does not have to see the TYPO3 Backend at all for regular editor work. Some functionality like modifying meta-information on a page in a flexible way, or handling complex cropped images etc. with the File Abstraction Layer needs more time.
That’s why we (Core Team and Pixelant) decided to continue developing the Frontend Editing extension on the GitHub repository FriendsOfTYPO3/frontend_editing for now, and to release a first stable release to TER right in time with TYPO3 v8 LTS. This way, we can continue adding features to the Frontend Editing, and move it to TYPO3 Core once it’s feature-complete.
Feel free to try out the extension now already, with the basic inline editing functionality together with TYPO3 v8 master, give feedback on GitHub and join the development.