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Status of the Frontend Editor

September 21, 2017

Category: Community
Author: Mattias Nilsson, CTO at Pixelant

Contrary to some reports, the Frontend Editor is alive and well. However, we failed at communicating the story, and as a result misunderstandings have arisen. We would like to apologise for this, and hope this article will set things right.

Quality Over Speed

As in most software projects, we have hit a few snags. Instead of finding quick fixes, we have looked for proper long-term solutions, ensuring compatibility with the TYPO3 core. This has affected our timeline, but not our ability to reach the goals set. We hope you agree that delivering a good product late is a better investment of your crowdfunding contribution than to deliver a bad product on time.

Postponed Workspaces, Dropped Backporting

In two cases we decided to postpone or drop a feature entirely. We postponed support for workspaces (Phase 7) and decided against backporting the Frontend Editor to TYPO3 7.6 LTS (Phase 8).

Workspace previews are almost as cool as the Frontend Editor itself, and we cannot just throw our stylish Editor on top of the elegant slide-to-compare preview interface.

Backporting the Frontend Editor proved to be so challenging and time consuming that it would have affected our ability to complete the other features.

Current Status

At the time of writing, six phases have been completed. These are:

  • Phase 1: Basic Implementation

  • Phase 2: Inline Editable Content Elements

  • Phase 3: Drag and Drop

  • Phase 4: Resource Handling (Images/Files)

  • Phase 5: Custom Editing

  • Phase 7: Pagetree

We will revisit Resource handling (Phase 4), as we would like a more integrated and straight-forward user experience than the current modal pop-up. An improved Pagetree (Phase 7) was introduced in version 1.2 of the Frontend Editor, 11th September, 2017. It uses the same D3 component as the upcoming TYPO3 Backend Page Tree.

This leaves SEO / Accessibility Scoring (Phase 6), which is currently in concept testing. This is a non-critical feature, so we have decided to give it the lowest priority. At the moment, we are testing the TER extension cs_seo. It has been included in our t3kit project, which is a good way to play around with it outside of the Frontend Editor budget.

Important Facts

We have heard a few rumors in the grapevine, and if they were true, we would have been very bad people indeed. We are sorry that we made space for such rumors to grow. Here are a few facts answering some of the most common concerns:

The project is within budget. We have spent our time wisely, and have resources left to complete the project.

It does work, but not without configuration. The Frontend Editor will not work straight out of the box. If you are using Fluid Styled Content or other Fluid-based content templates, you have to modify these first, in order to enable editing. We are working with Claus Due and the Core Team, funding a non-breaking change to Fluid that will make it possible for extension authors to specify editable content. Read Claus’ gist

We are working to improve every feature. We cannot guarantee that every feature will be exactly how you (or we) imagined it, but hope it will be better than originally imagined. Our priority is to deliver working solutions, and then improve them.

The Frontend Editor can be used in production. We ship it with every website we deliver.

The Future of TYPO3 Crowdfunding

We hope you are satisfied with our explanations. We are still working to deliver on our promise. Things may not have turned out exactly how you wanted it, or you might disagree with our decision to progress more slowly. We accept that, but ask you not to let it discourage you from participating in future crowdfunding campaigns. A crowdfunding campaign is a powerful tool, enabling members of the TYPO3 community to join forces and achieve great things together.

Try the D3 Tree

Take a look at the new D3-based page tree. You can download the latest version of the Frontend Editor from extensions.typo3.org. There is also a preconfigured version available, as t3kit comes with the Frontend Editor bundled and ready to use.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Robert Lindh at robert(at)pixelant.se.


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