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This Week in TYPO3 (2016, Week 49)

December 20, 2016

Category: CommunityThis Week in TYPO3
Author: ben van 't ende
Keywords: snowboard, template, tt_address, t3kit, frontend

A wide range of companies have been contributing in various ways to the TYPO3 project in the past and are still contributing as is common for open source projects. Our whole infrastructure for instance would never have been possible were it not for these contributions. Once in awhile there is a company that goes the extra mile. In This Week we highlight 3 projects that are pretty meaningful to the community. We have a look at maintenance of one of the very first TYPO3 extensions. Besides that we report on more community highlights and events for the new year 2017

Past, present and future of tt_address development

Kasper Skårhøj started development of TYPO3 almost 20 years ago. He also introduced  ‘plugins’ like tt_address, tt_products, tt_news, tt_content, tt_poll, tt_board, tt_calender, tt_guest to TYPO3 version 3.3.0, where ‘tt_’ stands for typotable. Each having a number assigned to them. For instance tt_news had the number ‘9’. These numbers were the predefined CTypes for those content elements. Some of them you might recognise as extensions you might still use, even though at that time these were not really plugins. They were just there, no way to turn them off. These "extensions" were part of the core, but later extracted into extensions.

Introduction

tt_address might be one of those extensions you still use. It's a good and flexible base to manage records for any kind of contact, location, office etc to be used with a lot of extensions or to display that on websites. Kasper transferred it to Ingo Renner who managed it for several years. Last year Benni took over the further development and improvements. After some talks between Benni and Clemens Riccabona on TYPO3 conferences and the TYPO3 Slack channel, they concluded that tt_address should be a solid and stable one-stop-base for address-record storage and visualization.

This means that some features might not come to tt_address, as they might be out of scope, like nesting address-records. These features could be part of another extension, e.g. by connecting fe_users and tt_address with a relation. Most of the changes which need to be applied should be non-breaking, as not to annoy users of tt_address. However, some changes are breaking, and they must be applied to be future-proof.

Clemens tells us more:

tt_address version 3.2.1

The current version of tt_adress is 3.2.1. How did we get there?

It took quite some work to modernize the tt_address codebase and extension structure to get where we are. There is still more effort needed to bring tt_address to the conventions which have been introduced with extbase and autoloaders. Moving to the native sys_categories in favour of the ancient custom category code was done by contributors of our community working on version 3.0. 

  • A domain was included for tt_address PSR-2 coding standards were applied composer.
  • json was added
  • CA was moved to the new 'Configuration/TCA/Overrides' and there were some more structure-based non-breaking changes.
  • The extension is compatible now with TYPO3 6.2.2 up to 8.4
  • With version 3.0, all the social-media fields were added, and we ironed out some backdraws recently, like making the fields bigger (all the social-media fields are now varchar (255))
  • A common desire was to add the field "crdate", like almost all content-tables in TYPO3 have it. This was integrated with version 3.2
  • With 3.0 there were also added longitude and latitude fields to tt_address, but they were missing in domain and in TCA. This has now been fixed, and we also changed the datatype to what is suggested commonly for geo-coordinates
  • In version 3.2 the basic template (which is by now marker/pibase based) got annotations according to schema.org suggestions.
  • There was a bunch of bugs ironed out, most of them recorded in forge.typo3.org
  • We moved the development over to github: https://github.com/FriendsOfTYPO3/tt_address. If you want to contribute, fork our project and submit your changes as pull-requests.
  • At the moment we are about to move the open tickets in forge to the new github repo. If you have issues, please use github for submission! It is our goal to make github our one-stop resource for tt_address

Next steps

  • In the next few versions (maybe 3.5) we want to add a wizard for selecting geo-coordinates through a map, based on OpenStreetMap.
  • A custom eval in TCA for the geo-coordinates as the native ones are not fitting our needs completely.
  • Geocoding 'onsave', as well as a scheduler-task for geocoding a selectable number of records at-once.

Planning the future

  • We want to include an extbase controller and a basic FLUID template, featuring a list-view with basic filtering by e.g. group, first-char of name a detail-view ** a map-view, optionally connectable with the listview
  • Translation of tt_address records. This is also a common desire, as far as we can see, and it should go along with moving from the old language-xml files to the new xliff format.
  • We will most likely deprecate the old pibase based class and templates at some point in future, as soon as extbase/fluid code is considered to be stable

Three Projects That Will Seriously Benefit You

Swedish TYPO3 company Pixelant is one of big TYPO3 companies in the Northern regions (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland). I talked with CEO Robert Lindh over the past few months on several occasions and to lead developer Jozef Spisiak and Mattias Nilsson more specifically about three ongoing projects. Pixelant is working on front-end editing, a starter kit and a user oriented TYPO3 manual.

Robert describes Pixelant mission as: “We believe that through the internet, the world is changing in an ever quicker pace and it's only by sharing we can keep up. Internet is for everyone and we believe that everyone should have equal ability and right to use the internet to communicate their ideas and thoughts.”

Frontend editing

As a matter of fact TYPO3 already had front end editing of sorts before any other CMS. We are talking the year 2000 here. TYPO3 featured backend forms in the frontend, a very rudimentary and not very user friendly way of editing in the website, pictured below, but editing in the front end nonetheless.

 

These days we have grown accustomed to a seamless editing experience like Medium for instance offers. The past years TYPO3 has been steadily developing towards a system that is user friendly for editors, while remaining a strong enterprise solution. One of TYPO3’s strengths is its granular access rights, which allows the full administrative backend to be scaled down to a more editor friendly environment. Despite that scalability the traditional backend can be pretty discouraging for those editors that simply want to add content accompanied by some pics.

Aloha

Efforts for adding true inline editing to TYPO3 already started years back with the integration of the Aloha editor. At that time the team working on Neos (at that time the supposed successor to TYPO3) already integrated the Aloha editor. Georg Ringer started this effort and was soon joined by Pixelant to develop the product further. Lead developer Jozef Spisiak lets us know that Aloha worked pretty good for TYPO3 CMS 4.5 and they had some success with TYPO3 CMS 6.2, even though a version for 6.2 was never released to the extension repository, due to bugs and missing documentation.

The 6.2 version was also the last effort with Aloha, before CKEditor came into play. Jozef says: “The reason we switched from Aloha to CKEditor was twofold. First of all we were not really happy with progress and browser support of the new Aloha 2 editor. On top of that there were some issues with the licensing model, which was supposed to be changed later on. Seeing the Aloha 2 editor has been discontinued makes me feel it was a great decision.”

Crowdfunding Frontend Editing

Jozef introduced the idea, with some mockups and screenshots, at the User eXperience Week 2016, where he went with his colleague Phat Hoang. A crowdfunding campaign was introduced late May with the goal of getting 50.000 euro together. The campaign drew quite a lot of attention and managed to reach its goal in time with a total of 118 backers pledging well over the intended goal. It shows people’s confidence in the team behind the campaign and the need for frontend editing.

The Pixelant team doing the work consists of Jozef, Mattias Nilsson and Dmytro Hrynevych. The team is working in very close cooperation with the TYPO3 core team. The team talks to core team leader Benni Mack on an almost weekly basis. CKEditor is not only the choice for frontend editing, but will also be the default backend editor for the next TYPO3 Long Term Support version 8LTS. Especially in this light it makes a lot of sense the teams are in close contact to avoid duplication also know as re-inventing the wheel.  

The project consists of 9 phases of which phase 2 (Inline editable content elements) was reached on the 5th of December. The team confided in me saying they are on schedule, even a bit ahead. Until now the development of the frontend editing extension will be done in a separate extension until it's fully compatible with the TYPO3 Core for 8LTS (April 3, 2017).

The fe-editing repository is public and hosted on github under Pixelant company github page: https://github.com/pixelant/pxa_feediting

T3KIT

We talked about re-inventing the wheel earlier and the same collaborative mechanisms mentioned also work for the T3KIT project, although not in the form of crowdfunding. T3KIT has been developed in house by Pixelant to kickstart their projects, but has gained quite some adoption over time. Well known TYPO3 companies like Web Essentials and dkd have jumped on the bandwagon.

T3KIT is a package with which you can easily start a TYPO3 project AKA website. A lot has changed since the time where a TYPO3 installation left first time users bewildered with the for many all too familiar ‘Template not found’ message.

Little did people know how to work with typoscript to create a template back then. The TYPO3 3.x series actually included a few very basic typoscript templates, like tmpl_green, first uploaded in 2003 to TER.

The road to a proper starter kit was long and paved with many different experiments, usually dying down, because the project was only applicable to one specific project or the original authors did not provide access or encourage others to participate. All too often authors develop on their own and just do not have the time to join forces with others.   

The T3KIT initiative seems to have found common ground among users and it gets even better. T3KIT uses the Themes extension that is in itself also a combined effort of two templating projects that joined forces years back at TYPO3camp Hamburg 2012. The TYPO3 Themes project is run by Joey Hasenau, Kay Strobach and Thomas Deuling. The guys have even written a book about ‘Themes’ which ...

dkd CEO Olivier Dobberkau says: “We have joined the T3KIT project as we think it's necessary to create and maintain a community standard for TYPO3 CMS projects. T3KIT offers a wide range of ready to use presets that can be expanded and customized. At dkd we will maintain the search functions based on Solr. Additionally we will support the use of T3KIT in Clouds such as Platform.sh and Microsoft Azure.” he further adds “T3KIT enables us also to accelerate the way we can create a concept for costumers. A team of 4 colleagues are responsible for the close contact with the T3KIT technical community”.

webessentials’s Dominik Stankowski explains why making their own starter kit failed: “At Web Essentials we fell into the same trap thinking that we also needed our very own starter kit for direct customers or for the few agencies which were lacking their own. And we quickly thought our own setup was the best of all (since we invested a lot of time and money into it – we felt it was worth something... you get the point).”

The T3KIT repository is public and hosted on github: https://github.com/t3kit

TYPO3 manual

TYPO3manual.com is an online manual for editors working with TYPO3. It is not so much focused on technical aspects and rather user/client oriented. Pixelant originally started it for their clients and made it available for the public. Currently it has translations in German, Swedish, English and Dutch. A French version is in the works.

The website also features few english and german tutorial video’s and will see more in the future.

You can see these three projects are quite different by nature. One crowdfunding, one pure collaborative and a project that could perhaps be combined in the future with already existing documentation efforts.

This is ‘MEET TYPO3’

MEET TYPO3 is a new TYPO3 Business/User event series, very similar in focus to the very successful Meet Magento series.  MEET TYPO3 saw its first event in Hamburg on April 13, 2016.

MEET TYPO3 is THE event for agencies + clients, first contacts, decision makers, marketeers and hard-core-developers. The event features a special designated area with top notch speakers from the TYPO3 community and features a number of booths with TYPO3 professionals that answer questions, show demos and give insight into live solutions and use cases.

MEET TYPO3 is a portable format for a business event to be hosted in any city. The initiator sitegeist started off with a german version in Hamburg. MEET TYPO3’s main goal is to generate more publicity and business interest in TYPO3.

Why attend MEET TYPO3?

Interested agencies that already know TYPO3 meet there to learn more about the highlights of the latest LTS version and the future vision.

It’s going to be just as exciting for clients, who think about using TYPO3 as a potential CMS or who already work with TYPO3 and would like to see interesting case-studies to see what else can be done with the newest version.

Agency deciders have the chance to see where TYPO3 is superior to other CMS and benefit from the experiences of other agency managers.

Online-marketing-agencies and also advertising agencies can try the usability, see online-marketing cases and examples for fast landing page-campaign-development.

But also TYPO3-expert-agencies and high end developers will get their money’s worth having exchanges with other TYPO3 pros.

In addition to the live-stage and TYPO3-expert-bases there will be an mini-expo-area where agencies or hosting-companies will be happy to answer any questions.

If you want to organise a MEET TYPO3-Event in your city, please contact meettypo3(at)sitegeist.de for more details.

MEET TYPO3 NETHERLANDS

On April 20, 2017 Meet TYPO3 will be organised in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The organisation already has an impressive line-up of speakers amongst which Mathias Schreiber, Olivier Dobberkau and Dutch speakers Ric van Westhreenen, Matthijs Goense, Hans Olthoff and Jos Kruis. The location for this event will be the Oceanium in Blijdorp Zoo.

It is a country specific event so most talks will be done in Dutch.  

First TYPO3camps in Venlo, Netherlands and Vienna, Austria

A new year and a new series of TYPO3camp starting with early bird TYPO3camp Venlo. TYPO3camp Venlo will be held on Friday March 10 and Saturday March 11. It is noteworthy that this international TYPO3camp will be held for the fifth time already. The organisation also announces Domani as new and pretty awesome location smack in the middle of Venlo.

Join this first TYPO3camp of the year conveniently situated near the German border! Get an impression of last year’s event by reading TYPO3Camp Venlo 2016 on typo3.org.

Join TYPO3camp Vienna in the heart of Europe and have a great TYPO3 event. You'll get 2,5 days worth of networking, learning, socializing, and connecting. You could present yourself as a freelancer or company: Give a talk, organize a session!

  • 24 - 26th March, 2017
  • University of Vienna
  • Warm up party Friday, 7:00 pm
  • 130 participants from all over Europe
  • For all questions regarding sponsoring, please contact us on t3cvienna@gmail.com

Both TYPO3camp Venlo and TYPO3camp Vienna are international camps.

T3BOARD17 is coming to Tyrol!

One of the oldest and most traditional events in the TYPO3 universe is the TYPO3 Snowboard Tour. Last winter with the 15th anniversary of the event, it took place in two different locations. One location being Whistler, Canada and the traditional European one in Zillertal, Tyrol.

Clemens Riccabona explains what the coming event will be about:

For the coming year, 2017, we will converge everything into one single event again. T3BOARD17 will be held in Pitztal, Tyrol, from January 29 to February 5. The Pitztal and its illustrious skiing region, Pitztaler Gletscher (Glacier of Pitztal), perfectly fits our needs and we could guarantee for snow!

Through the years T3BOARD has been one of the official TYPO3 events alongside the TYPO3 conference. Beside skiing and snowboarding during the day evenings are filled with sessions in barcamp style if you wish, or we play some games (werewolves are most likely to be met ;)). Last year in Zillertal most of us took a break on thursday until late noon, and we worked and discussed together. Everything is possible in this unconference setup.

For the coming event we are planning a toboggan (canadian sled) evening (on an illuminated run) like we had last year.

Our accommodation will be a 4* Hotel again, including half-board, a small SPA area with Sauna and infrared-cabins, WiFi and much more. The rate of € 799,- includes the accommodation (bed in a room with one mate of our great community, 7 nights, half-board), a 6-days skipass valid for 4 different skiing regions and all taxes.

For more information, please visit the dedicated website https://t3board17.typo3.org and follow us on Twitter @T3Snowboard, hashtags #T3BOARD and #T3BOARD17.

Join us and be a part of the fun!

TYPO3 User eXperience Week (T3UXW17)

T3UXW17 marks the fifth anniversary of this user experience week. As in 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2016, the TYPO3 User eXperience Week 2017, from March 25 to April 1, will be a week dedicated to the improvement of the usability of TYPO3.

The Wald und Sporthotel Festenburg is located in the middle of nowhere.  You can simply ease out from irrtitating noises and stressful environment. Only surrounded by forests, the hotel resides in the Nature Park Harz, which is famous for its landscape and world heritage Upper Harz Water Regale.

Room reservations and travel costs are covered by sponsoring and T3A budgets. You are more than welcome to sponsor yourself though.

You can apply for participation until the end of February. Soon after the closing date you will be informed if your application is accepted.

T3UXW is a breeding ground for community collaboration based on inspiration and innovation. Events like this mean a lot for the TYPO3 community and give a lot of motivation for jointly dealing with TYPO3 CMS issues that will give our CMS a competitive edge.

Of course there is always more

One source to keep a close eye on for TYPO3 community news is Marcus Schwemer’s blog typo3worx.eu. Marcus has a nice overview of English and German TYPO3 blogs, a calendar of upcoming events and regularly posts new articles. The blog started a series called Friends of TYPO3 with as a first an interview with Tomas Norre Mikkelsen. Also really valuable is another new format called “TYPO3 Reading List”.

Nepomuk Gasteiger compiled a list of 10 resources to start with TYPO3.


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