This Week in TYPO3 (2015, Week 41)

Categories: Community, This week in TYPO3 created by ben van 't ende
Excitement at the end of 2015 with the approach of the Long Term Support release of TYPO3 CMS 7 and the TYPO3 conference / TYPO3 Awards in Amsterdam. We look back at the Asian TYPO3 conference and explain why there is a great future ahead for TYPO3. What is SkillDisplay about? Themes readies itself for CMS 7 and hits the road with workshops.
Week ending Sunday October 11, 2015

November 10, 2015 - TYPO3 CMS 7 LTS

Just a month to go before the historic release of TYPO3 7 LTS (technically, it’s 7.6.0) on November 10, 2015 with all bells and whistles the community has been working on for the past 13 months.   A lot has been accomplished during that time with the latest milestone being the release of TYPO3 7.5. There were code changes, dozens of code sprints, constructive team meetings and things that were previously regarded untouchable. The team has picked up the right flow and with that development speed and the release of TYPO3 CMS 7 only seems to be the beginning of the TYPO3 renaissance. Feature freeze for CMS 7. This means, that, no new features will get in this release. The current status can be found on: https://forger.typo3.org/sprint/focus. These are the areas that are currently being worked and once finalized will be an awesome 7 LTS release: FormEngine, Routing, Extension ExtracBackend UI and EXT:form. As a special surprise Release Candidate 1 of TYPO3 CMS 7 will see the light of day during the TYPO3 conference on October 21. Feel free to initiate release parties in your local area. A WIKI page has been set up for you to let others know about your party and why you party: https://wiki.typo3.org/Release_Party/TYPO3_7

Why TYPO3 has a great future

In the light of the aforementioned renaissance it seems appropriate to quote some points from Stefan Bauer to this topic he put together after the motivating TYPO3camp Munich. His original article can be found on his company blog: http://blog.marit.ag/2015/09/14/7-gruende-warum-typo3-eine-grosse-zukunft-hat/

1. The community is alive!

The 200 visitors to TYPO3camp Munich this past September holds testament to the enthusiasm and dedication  of the TYPO3 community. The camp saw many high-quality talks.

2. A product owner with a strategical view

With the start of the TYPO3 7 series Mathias Schreiber positioned himself as dedicated product owner for a term of 2 years. Mattes is a veteran of the TYPO3 community and has a convincing vision, competence and the power to motivate.

3. Dedicated to “clean” code

TYPO3 has been operating in the enterprise market for at least 15 years and that brings specific challenges that systems new in the market do not face. The installations that have been there since that long need to be easily updatable, while at the same time the core needs to move to modern programming patterns. Since version 6.2 the old code base is constantly subject to  refactoring and modernizing "old" or "dirty" code areas.

4. Having the new generation in mind with T3Rookies

Stefan mentions the fact that 25% of the participants were new to this TYPO3camp and goes on to state that this clearly show how ‘attractive’ TYPO3  CMS still is despite its age. For students, trainees and students, there is a special program for the new generation called T3Rookies. T3Rookies is a private initiative that definitely is looking for your support, both financially and for providing internships. Not to long ago a group of T3Rookies went to Romania on an exchange program to build a website for a Romanian orphanage.

5. Focus on the user

After years of technology-driven development, the focus has now changed on the user. The user experience for TYPO3 7  is simpler and more intuitive. The high-contrast display of icons and input fields provide a clear and logical overview. Operation of the backend requires less footprint and is smoother than ever.

6. Marketplace

TYPO3 was one of the first projects to provide a free TYPO3 Extension Repository. Many authors provide their extensions free of charge to this TER. It is a well-known fact that a lot of enterprise functionality is developed that never makes it to TER. In the light of the upcoming changes to the role of the TYPO3 Association (TYPO3 Inc. ) a marketplace will be set up, similar to Apple's App Store or Google's Play Store for TYPO3 extensions that will act as an incentive to companies to sell this enterprise functionality.

7. Clarity in the TYPO3 project with the Neos separation

For many years the TYPO3 project lived together with Neos (formerly known as Phoenix). Neos was supposed to be the successor to TYPO3. For various reasons this During these years the situation was unclear and prevented real growth in both projects and communities. Neos separated itself from the TYPO3 community and created its own community effectively making the TYPO3 project about TYPO3 only. The move spawned strong motivation and renewed commitment in the community. Further development of the TYPO3 CMS Enterprise market leader continues in a steady pace.

TYPO3 conference (October 21 - 22, Amsterdam)

The most exciting TYPO3 event of the year is around the corner and will take place on October 21 and 22. The TYPO3 conference is coming to Amsterdam. 37 Speakers have been booked. On the second day there will be additional discussion panels on topics like: partner management, certification and product management, On the evening of October 21 the TYPO3 Awards will be presented in Gala style in the wonderful Beurs van Berlage conference location.

TYPO3 Award

The who-is-who of the TYPO3 world is going to meet on the red carpet of this former stock exchange of Amsterdam. TYPO3 projects and companies have been nominated in 10 categories. The nominees are:.

    Budget 2016

    The Expert Advisory Board has published the current collection of Budget Applications for the year 2016 on Forge. The budget requests are available and you are invited to comment on anyone of the budget requests. Please feel free, to comment on any of those. It would be good to have some feedback, either motivational or criticising the application.

    You can also contact the budget owner if you like, and if you have general questions, you can always shoot a mail to the EAB at eab@typo3.org.

    Themes

    The TYPO3 themes team, consists of Joey Hasenau, Petra Hasenau, Kay Strobach and Thomas Deuling. Joey and Kay merged there templating efforts in 2013. It was a good decision to work together and it has even spawned of a book, which is available in German. Efforts to get it translated into English are under way.

    The THEMES project was started as a means to provide a standardized way to deal with frontend output of TYPO3. The approach is very similar to themes in Wordpress or Drupal, with standardized data structures and renderers. Joey Hasenau stresses that “THEMES in TYPO3 is more than just downloading a ready made design, but it is a way of working together with a standardized shared package concept to reduce the workload for every TYPO3 user”.

    Themes uses Fluid to render the page template. Fluid provides a lot of flexibility. TypoScript or marker based templates are still optional, but not the recommended way.

    Themes comes with a set of extensions that provide a variety of functionalities for the bootstrap / foundation basis, css and javascript. A good number of themes have been acquired (read ‘bought’) by the team for universal use in a Theme TYPO3 extension. If you look for ‘theme_’ in TER you will find a number of Bootstrap and Foundation themes to install.

    More info on the bought licenses for Themes on Github: https://github.com/typo3-themes/themes/wiki/Bought-Theme-Licenses

    One remarkable feature is the possibility to render Less and Sass completely with PHP, so that you can adjust your layout with adjusting some typoscript variables. Kay wrote this extension, which you can find in TER: http://typo3.org/extensions/repository/view/dyncss

    Of course the team has got TYPO3 7 in mind and is working hard to get Themes inline with the new release. There are some nasty bugs to tackle and for the team it is not always easy to keep track of changes as Kay Strobach mentions when asked about progress. Kay also mentions there are  a good number of companies that use Themes and are extremely happy with it.

    The team has been heavily promoting their work doing workshops in Darmstadt and Neuss and most recently a presentation in Pisa, Italy.


    SkillDisplay

    The folks of SkillDisplay were very present at the past TYPO3 Developer Days. I knew Florian already as an active community member and there seems to be something very buzzing about SkillDisplay. Markus Gronemann and me bounced some mails around on the topic, which resulted in this article where Markus Gronemann gives all the details about this great initiative.

    SkillDisplay is a project initiated by the non-profit association Business Angels, which aims to build bridges between the education sector and the IT-industry. The project was initiated, because the founders noticed a delay between new technologies becoming best practice in the business world and them being actually taught on a practical level in the classroom. Of course there is a tight relationship to the TYPO3 project.

    The Group

    The group had its kick-off on september 23 and consists of Markus Gronemann (SkillDisplay Community, Partner & Media Relations), Florian Weiss (SkillDisplay Managing Director/co-founder and Business Angels co-founder), Martin Mair (Business Angels and SkillDisplay co-founder), Markus Klein (TYPO3 core developer/Reelworx GmbH), Andrea Herzog (T3Rookies), Thomas Weiss (pma Young Crew and Peter Pröll (TYPO3 Education Committee)

    Florian and Markus G. founded the "Business Angels" association in order to bring the IT industry and the classroom closer together. Florian came up with the idea for the platform that would eventually come to be known as SkillDisplay. The idea was also presented to some members of the TYPO3 community. The feedback was very positive with support offers from various members of the community.

    The Tool

    The first version of the SkillDisplay extension was coded during the late summer weeks of 2015 (and is now being refined and extended) and currently is in use at the HTL Wien3 Rennweg during the closed-beta phase for the 2015/16 academic year.

    SkillDisplay is not a learning tool in the classic meaning of the term, but is a tool that presents learning paths on various topics with links to external resources for each new skill.

    Educators and industry partners have the ability to confirm skills for certain users (for example if a user completed a test in school or accomplished a task while working for a company). The idea is that users don't have to put their skills into their CV (i.e. "I have basic Photoshop skills") but can refer their profile on SkillDisplay and their skills are a.) displayed to a much finer scale (i.e. knows how to work with filters, masks and macros, if we stay with the Photoshop example) and it is also visible who certified that the user knows it (himself, an educational institution, an industry certificate or somebody the person has worked with).


    "My SkillDisplay" view for the user (in this case, myself). It features all of our current SkillPackages (=learning paths)

    The platform is put together by experts in the respective fields that they cover together with input from educators so they also fit a specific curriculum and can be used in class.

    The goal of the platform is, that students (and eventually, everybody) can use SkillDisplay to obtain further knowledge about a variety of topics and can then display the skills they obtained (hence the name) on these topics on a variety of levels (called tiers in the context of SkillDisplay).

    The lowest tier is one where people can self-confirm certain skills (as in "I know how to operate the WYSIWYG editor in TYPO3"). The second tier encompasses skills as confirmed by an institution, such as a school or university in the context of a course or test. The highest tier is the confirmation of a set of skills through obtaining an industry recognized certificate, such as the TYPO3 CMS Certified Integrator certification. In addition to these three tiers, there is also the possibility of obtaining confirmation from a company the person has been working with, called a practical tier (such as an agency confirming that a person knows how to operate the WYSIWYG editor, as that was part of his or her assigned task during a job, project or internship).

    [detailed view of a skill, in this case the "Installing TYPO3 via Install Tool" from the "Integrator" SkillPackage ]

    SkillDisplay is currently being used with three classes (all three are in the fifth and final year of this school) in two subjects: Content Management Systems (web engineering) and Project Management (information technology projects, ITP). We also had a launch event on September 23 at the University of Applied Science bfi Vienna, which was attended by more than 70 people (mostly students and teachers) from various schools in Vienna. Among the speakers at this event were Peter Pröll of the TYPO3 Education Committee and Andrea Herzog of the T3Rookie project.

    For web engineering, we were able to reach an agreement with the TYPO3 Education Committee (see http://typo3.org/news/article/typo3-to-cooperate-with-the-education-project- skilldisplay-in-austria/ for more information), for project management, we are working with the PMA (Project Management Austria) organization.

    The Present

    Right now, SkillDisplay features learning paths ("SkillPackages") on the curriculums for the TYPO3 Certified Editor and the TYPO3 Certified Integrator certifications, as well as one that features certain modules from both SkillPackages to be used during the course of the academic year at the HTL Wien 3 (as there will be too little time to talk about everything during class, but students can obtain more knowledge on TYPO3 via SkillDisplay if they are interested in the system).

    We are still constantly improving the platform, and are currently overhauling the design and user interface/user experience and adding additional new features. During late spring of 2016 we will also start our public-beta phase and invite teachers from other schools and academic institutions to try out the platform in order to eventually use it in the course of their teaching.

    We are also being supported by IMST ("Innovationen machen Schule Top" - "Innovations make schools great") an Austrian educational initiative at the University of Klagenfurt which also closely works with the Austrian Ministry of Education and acts as a scientific advisory group for technical/scientific projects in education.

    The platform is currently in a closed-beta stage, but there is a (German language) news section on our website and we are on the main social media platforms as well. We do live reports from our events on Twitter and Instagram and post most major news on Facebook and Google+, plus we're on LinkedIn as well. We're happy if anybody wants to get in touch with use, whether it be individual developers, agencies, or any companies looking to work with us either in developing SkillPackages or offering practical skill certifications.

    The Future

    Another pillar of SkillDisplay is working with companies that use or develop the skills offered on the platform on a daily basis, both for developing or improving new SkillPackages and also to support us by working with students and thus with certifying skills for our practical tier. We are always looking to add new partners who want to work with and get a direct line of some of the brightest young minds of tomorrow and hope to diversify the SkillPackages on the platform into areas such as programming, virtual and physical server administration, storage administration, databases, cloud and infrastructure/platform as a service solutions, network administration, popular office and design suites, IT security but also non-technical or basic computer skills such as typing, bookkeeping, business administration or even cooking and crafting.

    Our final goal is to provide easy access to new skills, not only for everyone in education (starting at the primary school level all the way up to the university level and beyond) but for everybody interested in obtaining knowledge and learn new skills, tricks and trades.

    The team also has SkillPortal on their roadmap, which would eventually allow companies to search for candidates with a certain skillsets or for students to search for jobs that are tailored to their current skillset, motivating students to accomplish a few more things to land an internship with an employer they'd like to work with.


    CMS-Garden Unconference 2015 (Essen, October 30 - November 1)

    The first official CMS Garden unconference will be a barcamp in a place we all know too well, the Unperfekthaus in Essen. Session proposals are also accepted beforehand. Usually there will be someone willing to hold a session on a proposed topic. The barcamp format needs little organisation and is a fertile ground for sharing of expertise. Let yourself be inspired, educated, enthused!

    The Unperfekthaus in Essen offers a variety of rooms in different size, creative atmosphere, a rooftop terrace, kicker table and many more highlights. The entry fee includes a flatrate for coffee specialties and cold drinks and there's a tasty buffet all day long.

    The event itself is free, but the Unperfekthaus charges a consumption fee for flat-rate drinks (depending on the duration of your daily stay) plus a variable fee for the food buffet (between 7 and 33 Euro per day, see www.unperfekthaus.de/restaurant).

    The CMS Garden UnConference needs your support. Please contact sponsoring@cms-garden.org.

    Report on the TYPO3 conference Asia (Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 20-21, 2015)

    Webessential’s Ward Claes reports on the TYPO3 conference Asia.

    After the success of the first conference in 2012, TYPO3 Web development aficionados once again converged in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for T3CON15 Asia.

    The two-day conference featured presentations from renowned international speakers from 14 different countries including US, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, China, Japan, Singapore, India, Denmark and more. Topics included TYPO3, Neos, Flow and had a special emphasis on Agile software development practices like Kanban, Scrum, kaizen, Mgt 3.0 and more. Some of the speakers included Mathias Schreiber, Aske Ertmann, Helmut Hummel, Joshua Partogi, Kiro Harada and Sebastian Helzle.

    T3CON15 Asia has been a great opportunity for TYPO3 friends and colleagues globally to grow and strengthen relationships. The conferences are part of the Web Essentials drive for ever higher standards in Web Development in Asia and generating Social Impact.

    The sense of community was what pushed this conference beyond the traditional learning experience. Speakers and participants mingled like a group of friends coming together to openly share all their best ideas. The conference provided an intimate atmosphere ideal for pool-side networking and valuable collaborative idea sharing.

    Social activities during the conference days included a meet up drink, a dinner cruise on the Mekong complete with traditional Khmer music and dancing from DKD, a bike ride exploring the Cambodian countryside, and a highlight for many was undoubtedly the much-Tweeted Khmer bbq party feast, complete with beer towers taking pride of place in the center of the table. Mathias Schreiber from TYPO3 surprised everyone at the end by generously footing the bill!

    The conference was followed by a WebDev & Agile Student Event where over 300 young Cambodian students were introduced to TYPO3, Neos and Agile.

    The whole conference would not have been possible without its Gold Sponsor: Sitegeist. Their early support provided the organisers with the confidence to go ahead with the conference.

    This Tweet from Mathias Schreiber posted after his return from Cambodia sums up the group feeling:  “I’m not sure if @kasperskaarhoj is fully aware of what an incredible thing he started and formed with #TYPO3. It changed the life of 1000s”

    See you all at the next T3 Asia conference in Phnom Penh - Cambodia!

    Read Nicki Uhlback from the TYPO3 Education Committee's blog post: http://blog.nimius.net/2015/09/typo3-konferenz-asien/

        Big thanks to Stefan Bauer, Markus Groneman, Ward Claes, Kay Strobach and Joey Hasenau for their contributions.

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