TYPO3 Version 11.4—Into New Galaxies

Categories: Development, TYPO3 CMS Created by Michael Schams
We are almost there! The TYPO3 v11 release with long-term support is approaching fast. Today we proudly released TYPO3 version 11.4. This version marks the last phase of the v11 development cycle before the TYPO3 v11 LTS release. Read on to learn more about the last sprint release of the v11 series and what “feature freeze” really means.

We are confident that the TYPO3 v11.4 release is stable and can be used in most projects in production. The core developers, contributors, and testers put a lot of time and energy into stabilizing the system and making it robust and secure. Check it out: install the new version or run a test update of your existing instances. You find further details about the feature freeze at the end of this article.

Let’s look at the main changes, improvements, and features of the version 11.4 first. For more in-depth details check out the TYPO3 What’s New Slides and the detailed technical changelog.

Key Changes in TYPO3 v11.4

Backend UX Improvements

The TYPO3 backend received another round of user experience (UX) improvements. Let’s look at a few changes that will make the work of TYPO3 integrators and editors easier.

Filelist Module

Working with the Filelist backend module is now faster and easier than ever before. Each item in the file/folder list features a checkbox at the left-hand-side. Backend users can now check and uncheck items, toggle the selection, and execute actions such as edit metadata or delete a file easily.

In previous TYPO3 versions, users had to transfer the items to the TYPO3 clipboard first, before they could work with multiple files at once. We decoupled the selection of items in the file list from the clipboard logic in TYPO3 v11.4. The buttons to execute various actions appear once the first item has been selected.

In addition to editing the metadata of a file and deleting a file, we also introduced a new action. Backend users can now download multiple files or folders in one go by instructing TYPO3 to create a ZIP archive of them.

You possibly remember the “selectable columns” feature we added in TYPO3 v11.3 to the list view (see release announcement article). The same function is now also available in the Filelist module. Backend users can easily select the columns to be shown in the list. A feature that people were missing in TYPO3 v11.3 in this context is a function that lets users filter the list of available columns. Hold on! We have a surprise for you. Read on to learn more.

Columns Selector Filter

The columns selector in the record and the file list now features a filter at the top. Backend users can type a few letters in the input field to easily locate the columns they want to add or remove from the list. This filter becomes very useful in tables with many columns.

Keyboard Efficiency

Some users are convinced that they can more efficiently select and deselect list items by using their mouse and keyboard. Keyboard lovers will be happy to hear that TYPO3’s record and the file list now supports a few keyboard shortcuts to speed up the interaction. For example, press and hold the Shift key while you click the first and last item you want to select. This automatically selects all items between them. Use the Ctrl/Option key to toggle the current selection.

Improved Workspaces Module

The first sprint release of the v11 series—TYPO3 version 11.0 released in December 2020—included several changes and adjustments of the “Workspaces” backend module. In the release announcement, we pointed out that workspaces are one of TYPO3’s unique selling points. This underlines the importance of the module and its functionality.

As planned and promised, we improved the backend module even further. This includes Ajax requests which provides a better user experience and reduces loading times. Backend users can now switch between workspaces by using a dropdown menu at the top of the module. The overall visual appearance is more in line with other areas of the TYPO3 backend. On top of that, site administrators can now open the settings directly from the module’s header.

When reviewing staged changes in a large workspace environment, backend users are sometimes confronted with a long list they have to go through. This can be confusing and overwhelming. A new dropdown menu in the Workspaces module enables users to filter items for a specific stage, e.g. “Ready to publish”. The reduced list (that only contains the available/relevant stages of the current workspace, by the way) helps users to focus on their specific task.

Language Switch in the Page Module

TYPO3 is famous for its multi-language capabilities. We slightly changed the way users interact with the backend when working with frontend languages in the new TYPO3 version. The backend module Web → Page lets users choose which language or translation of a page and page content they want to edit. In previous TYPO3 versions, the default language (e.g. “English”) displayed all content elements of all languages.

To streamline the work for editors and translators, the selected language only shows the content elements of this language. Users can select the new option “All languages” to access all content elements of all languages if required.

Changes for Integrators and Developers

As with every other TYPO3 release, version 11.4 also contains changes for integrators and developers. However, due to the feature freeze, the focus is mainly on the stabilization of the existing code base rather than introducing new major features and APIs.

Our top priority for a feature freeze release is a robust foundation. This is more important than adding further cutting-edge libraries and technologies to the system. Having said that, TYPO3 version 11.4 also contains some improvements and exciting new features for developers.

New TCA Type “category”

Categories in the TYPO3 backend are a powerful function in general. The implementation of these has become much easier in TYPO3 version 11.4 because we’ve introduced a new TCA configuration to deal specifically with categories.

JsonView

The Extbase JsonView offers a convenient way to output data in JSON format. Typical use cases for this view are Ajax requests and RESTful APIs.

To reduce the configuration overhead for developers, the JsonView now accepts the “_recursive” property. This recursive transformation of properties eliminates the need to define each level manually. Developers can now simply apply this property to, for example, output comments that contain other comments as replies.

Extbase’s ObjectManager

Since we introduced Symfony's DependencyInjection component in TYPO3 v10 LTS, we have recommended that extension developers use this modern implementation that follows the PSR-11 standard. Now is a good time to classify the Extbase ObjectManager as deprecated in preparation for a removal in TYPO3 v12. This means that, for example, developers should not call the function “ObjectManager->get()” anymore.

Read more about the Symfony-based solution in the TYPO3 documentation and study the comprehensive changelog to learn more about migration options.

Feature Freeze Reminder

TYPO3 v11.4 marks the last release before TYPO3 v11 LTS (long-term support) in October 2021. Extension developers are advised to review and test their extensions and update the code base to support TYPO3 v11.

Composer Mode Improvements

With TYPO3 version 11.2, we set the course for the future in regards to the management of extensions with the PHP-based dependency manager Composer.

In TYPO3 version 11.4, we took another major step forward and removed the requirement of the well-known file “PackageStates.php” for composer-based TYPO3 installations. This file stored the information about active packages in the system. As the same information is managed by Composer, this change removed the redundancy. All extensions added to the system by Composer are now considered to be active. This also allowed us to remove the functions to activate and deactivate extensions from the Extension Manager and also from the TYPO3 CLI.

To set up a newly added extension with Composer, we recommend to also execute the TYPO3 CLI command “extension:setup” to, for example, execute database schema updates.

We already mentioned in the TYPO3 v11.2 release announcement that we aim to get rid of the proprietary ext_emconf.php file in the future. The aforementioned changes allow us to achieve exactly this. Composer-based TYPO3 installations don’t need and in fact ignore this file from now on. However, extension developers may keep this file for the time being in case they want to retain compatibility with TYPO3 instances in non-Composer mode.

It should be noted that these changes only apply to TYPO3 instances that use the Composer-based installation method. This method is the officially recommended way to install TYPO3.

TYPO3 Caches

TYPO3 achieves excellent performance thanks to its well-designed caching framework. During automated deployments, for example controlled/executed by scripts, the TYPO3 command line interface (CLI) is an essential tool. Two new commands for the TYPO3 CLI let integrators and administrators clear and warm-up the caches:

  • bin/typo3 cache:flush
  • bin/typo3 cache:warmup

We also identified two cache backends where new solutions are more optimized and offer a better performance. Therefore they supersede existing backends which are now marked as “deprecated” in TYPO3 version 11.4: the “Wincache” and the “Pdo” cache backend. Integrators are advised to switch to a different backend.

HTTPS by Default

The average HTTPS traffic across all platforms in May 2021 was almost 90%, according to Google’s Transparency Report. Therefore, it is only logical for an enterprise content management system like TYPO3 to specify “https://” as the default scheme for as many components as possible.

When users enter an URL in the CKEditor (TYPO3’s default rich text editor), TYPO3 automatically converts the domain into a link (to be precise, the “AutoLink” plugin of the CKEditor takes care of the conversion). The resulting link now uses “https://” as the default scheme. Editors can, of course, manually adjust the link and change the default scheme to any other value, for example “http://” if required.

TYPO3 developers and integrators find a similar feature in the Fluid ViewHelpers “<f:link.external>” and “<f:uri.external>”. Both use the secure scheme since TYPO3 v11.4 by default. The parameter “defaultScheme=” can be used to overwrite the default.

Feature Freeze

The TYPO3 version 11.4 marks the feature freeze for the v11 cycle according to our roadmap. From that time, no new features are planned until the LTS release in October 2021. This means that from the point of the feature freeze to the final LTS release, the Core Team and all contributors are focused on testing, polishing, and refining the source code and system. Some exceptions allow us to complete and/or improve existing new features that we added recently though.

We now encourage agencies to consider using TYPO3 v11 when building production sites. This in particular applies to projects with long development timelines.

Extension developers should now look closer at the changes and improvements we made in all TYPO3 v11 sprint releases. We would like to encourage developers to get familiar with the changes and publish v11-compatible versions of their extensions, if not already done so. If you also update and polish the documentation, you might be in for an award.

The more extensions that are compatible with TYPO3 v11, the more likely the LTS-release will be accepted and installed by the community. Help us to maximize the adoption rate of the upcoming TYPO3 v11 LTS release by publishing a compatible extension before the release.

Many TYPO3 integrators are excited to learn more about the new release and its benefits. You can leverage the improvements and start updating your existing TYPO3 sites to v11. Also keep in mind that the support of TYPO3 v9 LTS will likely end with the release of TYPO3 v11 LTS in October if you haven’t purchased the official extended long-term support (ELTS).

System Requirements, Support, and Maintenance

TYPO3 v11.4 requires PHP version 7.4 or 8.0. Apart from the PHP version, the system requirements remain the same as outlined in the previous TYPO3 v11 release announcements. The same applies to our support and maintenance promise.

Download

You can install TYPO3 in various ways. Our recommended approach is setting up a project using Composer. Alternatively, you can still download and extract the source packages at get.typo3.org. You find further details at get.typo3.org/version/11.

What’s Next

TYPO3 v11 LTS (also known as version 11.5) is scheduled on 5th of October 2021 according to the roadmap. Since we are tracking on schedule, it is unlikely that the dates will slip.

Keep an eye on release party announcements and similar events. Please note that the official advice is still that no physical meetings should take place in the Association’s name until further notice. But this will not stop us celebrating the next masterpiece of software development in the open-source CMS market. There will definitely be online events, demos, talks, and virtual parties.

Additional contributors for this article
  • Copy Editor : Mathias Bolt Lesniak