Top 10 myths about TYPO3 6.2 - demystified

Categories: Development, Community Created by Ernesto Baschny
This article aims to demystify some myths and questions that I am confronted with every time I talk about TYPO3 6.2 - like the T3CON in Stuttgart last week. TYPO3 CMS 6.2 is the upcoming TYPO3 LTS version to be released in December 2013.

1. TYPO3 6.2 LTS will be the last TYPO3 CMS release

Not at all. Despite the release of TYPO3 Neos by the end of this year, the development of TYPO3 CMS will go on, and we will see further releases. The release plan is not yet fixed as our current focus is in getting 6.2 LTS finished. The decision about the scope, motivation and roadmap for the next release (and also the election of it's Release Manager) will be specified during a kick off after 6.2 LTS release (beginning of 2014). Valid reasons speak for skipping one release cycle (which would be April 2014) and go straight for a next release in October 2014. If it will be "6.3" or a "7.0" depends on the outcome of this meeting.

2. TYPO3 Core was completely rewritten in 6.x and now nothing works as it used to

When first opening the typo3_src package of the 6.2 release you might wonder where are all the "old school" classes. There is not even a t3lib folder anymore. And you might think we have rewritten it all (finally) from scratch. Not really! With 6.0 we introduced the concept of PHP namespaces, and thus renamed all classes to a consistent set of names with according namespace. This means TYPO3 CMS is compatible with the "brand new world" of PHP 5.3 and later applications which don't share a global namespace but have globally unique class names. This tremenduous effort was combined with a complete compatibility layer so that even after this huge task of moving and renaming files and classes you can still use the old class names in your extension.

3. Extensions developed for 4.5 will not work on 6.2

Of course not. We still maintain a strong focus on backwards compatibility, but we also have a known <link http: projects typo3v4-core wiki coredevpolicy>deprecation strategy. So the Core API hasn't changed completely - in fact the core APIs are very stable. The 6.2 Core still supports most extensions that were written for 4.5 with no or little modifications. Extension authors can even decide to make their extension compatible with both branches at the same time (with the drawback of not profiting from the new cool APIs introduced in later releases). Most popular extensions already provide a TYPO3 6.2 compatible version. In most cases it's latest version is compatible with both 4.5 and 6.2 (RealURL, tt_news, News, CoolURI, DCE, Direct Mail, Formhandler, ke_search, SEO Basics, Solr) while in other cases the latest version only supports 6.x (i.e. Powermail, Gridelements), so you simply have to stick to an older version or check out if the extension has two separate branches (for example gridelements 1.4 is compatible with TYPO3 4.x and gridelements 2.0 compatible with TYPO3 6.2).

4. TemplaVoila cannot be used anymore with TYPO3 6.2

You will be able to continue using TemplaVoila with 6.2. The community is working on a compatible version, it's just not released yet (see <link http: issues>#49983). Since the current maintainer decided to not further develop TemplaVoila, integrators might look for a different solution for future projects - still it is up to every developer to use the tools he likes best.

5. tslib_pibase based extensions are no longer supported in 6.2

Not true: The class tslib_pibase still exists, even though it now has a much cooler name after the introduction of namespaces in 6.0: \TYPO3\CMS\Frontend\Plugin\AbstractPlugin. The old name still works because the Core registers a class alias for this. So all "old school" extensions and custom frameworks which are based on "pibase" will continue to work as before. It's not even deprecated yet, so it's still officially supported.

6. There is no way to migrate DAM records to TYPO3 6.2 with FAL

FAL (TYPO3's File Abstraction Layer) provides an access layer to files and database relations to these files, which was one of the foundations provided by DAM. One true myth is that DAM does not work with TYPO3 6.x. However, FAL is meant to provide an API that makes it possible to recreate whatever was possible with DAM. And to migrate the data from an old DAM installation, there is <link https: fnagel t3ext-dam_falmigration>a working DAM to FAL migration extension.

7. The backend in 6.2 is completely new

Once you try out 6.2 you will notice that the backend is not new, it hasn't even changed that much since 4.5. That means that the TYPO3 team's focus was clearly not on GUI changes yet. This also means that editors that are used to work with 4.5 won't have any problem at all shifting to TYPO3 6.2.

8. The new "TYPO3 7.0" backend "looks great" / "sucks" / "is missing XY" / etc

Jens from the UX/UI team presented <link https: wrybit status>the team's vision for a future TYPO3 version during the T3CON. The talk was titled "TYPO3 7.0" and thus caused some confusion due to the fact that this label was simply a placeholder for an upcoming version (and not specifically "the 7.0"). What's great in the approach Jens and his team took is that it is not meant as a "revolutionary" vision (we leave that to the TYPO3 Neos team - which are doing really great on that by the way) but evolutionary and thus manageable and doable in smaller steps. This is now the beginning of an iterative round of getting more feedback from the community, collecting and integrating changes in the concept, talking about the feasibility of the features and splitting the idea into manageable pieces. It's also a perfect time to get involved if you want to help modeling the future UX of TYPO3 CMS - keep an eye open for the upcoming "User eXperience Week 2014"!

9. The "smooth migration" project provides a big upgrade wizard which automatically upgrades 4.5 to 6.2

The goals of the <link http: projects typo3cms-smoothmigration _blank>"LTS Smooth Migration" project is to provide information, documentation, detect incompatibilities and work on real world scenarios on migrating from TYPO3 4.5 to 6.2 LTS. It's not an "all in one wizard" providing automatic upgrade for all areas. One important asset for the migration will be the <link https: nxpthx typo3-upgradereport _blank>Upgrade Report Extension which emerged from this project. Another important achievement of this project was the creation of the first <link http: news article announcing-the-typo3-smooth-migration-agency-sprint _blank>Agency Sprint which resulted in new input for the work to be done.

10. I need better hardware since 6.2 is 10 times slower than 4.5

TYPO3 6.2 might be slower, but for sure not by a factor of 10 times. In most regular situations the performance is similar to previous versions. The team is aware of certain bottlenecks and will improve performance before the 6.2 final release. Also I ask you to be cautious when interpreting benchmarks to avoid comparing apples with oranges or testing some irrelevant detail instead of seeing the whole picture. <link>Contact me (Ernesto Baschny, Release Manager of TYPO3 6.2) if you want to help out on this area.