Announcing TYPO3 4.5 LTS regular end-of-life (EOL)
April 15, 2015
Following the official maintenance policy and the one year extension of regular TYPO3 4.5 LTS support, the TYPO3 community now officially declares the regular TYPO3 4.5 LTS discontinued. TYPO3 6.2 LTS released one year ago supersedes 4.5 and is now the main and only LTS release officially supported. Next LTS will be 7 LTS to be released later this year.
A bit of history
Back in 2010 the TYPO3 Core team met before the TYPO3 Developer Days in Elmshorn to talk about the progress so far. 4.4 had just been released: A release very well shaped by the Release Manager Benni Mack. Many issues that were started at the TYPO3 Usability Week 2009 had been included (the “shades of gray” backend layout that we knew until 6.2), and many others were already in the path to be finished for the next 4.5 release.
By that time, we had already worked with a “6-month release cycle” since 4.4, so we started to get into a routine and having a good pace.
But we inspected what we had so far. While the 6 month release cycle was a good thing to get progress released in a regular and consistent base, it also meant that we deprecated older releases quicker. Users and customers were not used to this, as we in the past had maintained some releases for much longer (i.e. 4.1).
So while talking about the problem, the idea of having a Long Term Support amongst the 6 month releases grew naturally in our minds. What a big signal that would be in the CMS market! TYPO3 would be the first enterprise level open source CMS system offering an official LTS release.
And so we decided: 4.5 would be the first ever TYPO3 LTS release. To tackle this huge challenge of focusing on the goal the team elected a release management duo: Steffen Kamper and Ernesto Baschny.
The development phase was challenging. Knowing that such a release would probably be the biggest TYPO3 release for at least the next three years, many contributors stepped in and many really cool features were implemented or finished. Everybody wanted their contribution included.
Most prominent changes back then were finishing the projects started during the TYPO3 Usability Week 2009 (T3UX09): Backend usability, new page tree, global search, inclusion and usage of ExtJS. Along that, also the new Workspaces Module together with new features in this area, a new Extension Manager, many additions in Extbase and Fluid, Sprites, UTF-8 by default and many others.
During these active times we also made the first real official “real live code sprint” for a TYPO3 Core release: An example that we carried on and perfected further during the years that came after that (the TYPO3 contributors do an average of eight on site code sprints per year).
Having such a momentum of activity, new features and improvements popping up, it was clear that the release process wouldn’t fit into the “6 month” timeframe (which would mean October 2010). So we decided very early to allow three more months of development: the release date was settled on the 26th of January 2011.
The release of 4.5.0 came out as planned in time and was celebrated worldwide in various “Release Parties” - another milestone in the TYPO3 history, as this hasn’t been done before. After the release the stabilization continued in parallel to the next release development. The team did some very big releases with 4.5.1, 4.5.2 and 4.5.3 shortly after. So the product quickly gained a huge user-base due to the increased stability, as the upgrade from any older release was pretty easy: In 4.5 we decided to carry on all backwards compatibility legacy code to facilitate migration from older installations.
The (almost) last year
The story after that is probably known: after 4.6 and 4.7 came 6.0 and 6.1. And the success story of 4.5 along with it: The most used TYPO3 release ever. And then the time for the “next LTS” came: 6.2. And with that a promise that the team decided to stick to: Provide support for 4.5 LTS until at least one year after the next LTS had been released. Since 6.2 was released on March 25th of 2014, it means that TYPO3 4.5 LTS was officially supported openly for more than 4 years. With security and bug fixes and even performance improvements, we had a total of 40 releases (4.5.40 being the last one).
TYPO3 4.5 LTS support now officially ends.
The extended year (4.5 ELTS)
Recognizing the challenges of upgrading to later technologies for several legacy sites, an effort to extend the support is coordinated through the TYPO3 Association. If you are interested in this continued 4.5 support, please read the TYPO3 4.5 ELTS announcement or take a look at the ELTS plans.
I would again like to thank everybody supporting the release process and the long maintenance phase. Despite this announcement, TYPO3 CMS development is still rocking and TYPO3 CMS won’t really be superseded anytime soon, as long as contributors keep up the will, motivation and enthusiasm to carry on the legacy into the next level(s). Long live TYPO3!
Ernesto Baschny, Release Manager of TYPO3 4.5 LTS