A lot of things have happened in the last few months.
First off we had to take some time off after 6.2 LTS because it’s been a huge effort to make that release happen.
But we did not really quit, we merely took the time to take a closer look at our workflows, team structure, overall motivation and most important of all… our vision for the future.
For a long time our stakeholders have asked for a (new) vision of TYPO3 CMS. This seems trivial at first sight, because how do you build a product without an idea what you’re trying to achieve?
But with TYPO3 Neos around the corner things got tricky. So although we worked hard all the years and did massive, important changes to the codebase not that many things became visible immediately.
And like all huge changes, they come with a certain amount of side-work that has to be taken care of. Oh, and of course the next LTS version had to be done because you don’t want to stick with PHP 5.2 forever, do you?
So now after necessary groundwork has been done since TYPO3 CMS 4.5, we now have the freedom to build something that can be a lot more visual than before.
We are extremely grateful for the work the Release Managers Helmut Hummel, Benni Mack and Ernesto Baschny have done in the CMS 6 series. Without their focus and dedication we could never have built anything serious and future proof.
Now we can finally fully concentrate on our main stakeholders - editors and integrators.
After all, why build a CMS if not for editors?
Releasing Version 7.0
Following our new release cycle, TYPO3 CMS 7.0 is the first sprint release on our way towards the final 7 LTS which will be released in fall 2015. 7.0 will not receive regular bugfix releases, an upgrade to 7.1 should be installed after its release in around 8 weeks instead - see our roadmap for more details.
First off, it’s the fastest release in TYPO3’s history. At its current state it already features twice as many merges in the same timeframe into the current codebase than previous releases did.
The main focus was to clean up the backend - both technically but also visually.
The “new” core will be running Twitter Bootstrap (yay) under the hood. This way we can approach the evolution of the TYPO3 CMS backend in a much more “app” style fashion.
So the backend will feel more like a full-blown application, and the groundwork has been set. Buttons that initiate actions are clearly marked as such, the color scheme is more streamlined and in general comes with less distraction. By using a new icon set all action icons come ultra-crisp even when scaling up the backend or using hi-dpi or retina displays.
Speaking of scaling, the first important steps have been made to make TYPO3 CMS’ backend mobile ready, which is targeted for CMS 7 LTS. But instead of just resizing things the backend will reduce the amount of options to reflect the work of an editor and only shows necessary options really helpful on the current device.
Next up we started our crusade to make the HTML markup of the backend more clean and semantically ready. What sounds rather technical at first is in fact a very big deal in favor of editors - simply because the backend will behave much more organic. Things that pursue a certain task act much more predictable even if they are visible in a different context.
The same thing goes for all forms in the backend - the true heart of TYPO3 CMS.
We are currently working on a new, better markup for form fields - which will pave the way for adding a lot of accessibility features in TYPO3. Funnily this is a task that several people declared to be impossible. We decided to just do it.
It is pretty obvious that these changes are the biggest change to TYPO3 CMS’ backend since when Kasper removed the “Classic” backend back in 2003.
Of course it is very hard work, but we have a passionate and talented team and great concepts up our sleeves that we will integrate into the core of TYPO3 CMS over the next versions.
We have a lot of work to do, but we clearly showed already what can be achieved with focus, dedication and most of all passion for you, our users.
In the future we plan to spend even more time on removing all the little things that make your daily work annoying. This applies to editors just as much as to integrators building extensions to enrich TYPO3’s functionality.
You will spend less time configuring things and more time building your actual applications. As an editor you will see that your everyday work will get you towards your goals faster and the system will behave more intuitively than ever before.
Apart from all these things we know there is functionality which needs to be improved like working with files (FAL) or language handling. These things are on our agenda and we are working hard to make these happen.
In case you need some extensions that are not compatible yet with CMS 7, we ship an extension called "compatibility6". See the news article for more details.