typo3.org relaunch status

Categories: Community Created by Gina Steiner and Soeren Schaffstein
typo3.org has seen several incarnations and some serious attempts for a relaunch. The last relaunch was stopped due to the fact that more than an optical brush-up was needed. This article gives you some insight in the history of typo3.org.
typo3.com, the ancestor of typo3.org, was launched in Autumn 2000. It was the first website in the TYPO3 universe and promoted TYPO3 as well as covered the needs of the developers. Later on in 2002 the website split into two domains and after a relaunch, including a new logo and colours typo3.com became the website to address end users, while typo3.org became the community hub. This first typo3.org was launched just before Christmas 2002 with the tag-line „developer.resource“: it offered management of the then brand new extensions, including a documentation framework based on Open Office Writer and a translation tool for extensions. The relaunch of the typo3.org website in February 2006 finally sported the new logo and design we know today. Yet it was not only about a fresh appearance, but also about improving the user experience by cleaning up the interface and introducing new interaction possibilities. Included in these novelties was a meta-navigation allowing to jump from one site to another and therefore also explaining the relevance of these different sites immediately - located at the top right of the new layout. Every relaunch brings critics after publication, so did this. And like in all critics you have to look for the basic messages. After prioritizing them, some enhancements were implemented in the website until August 2006. A general overhaul in technical and visual terms has been due since then. From Summer 2007 until Summer 2008 the first relaunch project called „typo3.reorg“ was attempted and aimed to rally everybody that felt a personal itch regarding typo3.org. This first typo3.reorg brought us the base of a new design on which e.g. the actual event websites are developed on, but was stopped in Summer 2008 due to lack of resources in the face of the towering task to rebuild the already massive typo3.org-website, both in terms of functionality and data. At T3CON08 the plan came up to start a second typo3.reorg attempt: this time it was put on a contractual bases, handing work packages to TYPO3 service providers all over the world. This plan was lead by an an external project manager but sadly died in Summer 2009 due to lack of output. In November 2009 dkd offered to manage the third typo3.reorg attempt with the goal to implement the meanwhile refreshed design of the event websites into typo3.org, restructuring of the existing content and cleaning up the backend user rights situation. This attempt was stopped in Fall 2010 by the TYPO3 Association. During the last Combined Steering Committee and Board Meeting (CosCob) the TYPO3 Association discussed the status of the typo3.org website. It was decided that more than the nearly complete optical brush up was needed by now. Therefore a "typo3.org-hands-on-week" (T3OW) will be announced. Having proven to be a recipe for success during the TYPO3 User Experience Week (T3UXW) already, comprehensive topics like "content restructuring", "image selection" or the "documentation section" are a lot easier to tackle. Additionally input from various people can easier be gatherered and discussions are more fruitful when being at the same place. The overall goal of such a week is to blaze the trail for all involved. Tasks include the union of various TYPO3 websites (www.typo3.org, www.typo3.com, association.typo3.org, etc.), rewriting of content and updating the suggested design. Since all these tasks need more time than expected the originally proposed layout dating back to 2006 will also be freshed up to meet the current style one expects when surfing the web. If you are keen to join and help, please stay tuned until we release details about the T3OW soon.