[TYPO3-core] [TYPO3-ect] Announcing TER cleanup process

Jigal van Hemert jigal.van.hemert at typo3.org
Tue Jan 29 22:42:06 CET 2013

TER "cleanup"

Everybody recognizes this situation: you're looking for an extension 
with a certain functionality and after you've installed it all kinds of 
errors appear about missing functions or even worse, you only see a 
blank page. Further investigation shows that the extension isn't 
compatible with your TYPO3 version.

For a long time extensions can set the TYPO3 version(s) they are 
compatible with. Unfortunately not many extension authors use that 
setting. You could take a look at the date of publication, but even that 
won't be a sure sign.

The plans
To reduce the chances for such problems some things will change:

1. the dependency setting in an extension for a TYPO3 version (or a 
range of versions) will become mandatory; this means that extensions 
without a dependency for one of the currently supported core versions 
will be rejected during the upload.

2. extensions without a TYPO3 dependency setting or with a dependency 
for none of the current TYPO3 versions will be marked as "outdated".

3. "outdated" extensions will not show up at first in the TER search 
results; you can activate a switch to also show "outdated" extensions.

4. "outdated" extensions will be clearly marked in the Extension Manager.

The schedule
- Announcements in as many places as possible (end of January)

- Mails to extension authors to notify them of the changes (February)

- Patches for TYPO3 Extension Manager to display "outdated" extensions 
differently (beginning of February)

- Rejecting extensions without valid dependency during upload (August 
1st, 2013)

- Marking extensions without (valid) dependency in TER (beginning of 
August 2013)

- Hiding "outdated" extensions in TER search (beginning of August 2013)

Definition of an "outdated" extension
An extension is called "outdated" if it has set a dependency for TYPO3, 
but none of the versions it depends on is actively maintained. For 
example: it has a dependency for TYPO3 4.0-4.3; all these versions are 
'end-of-life' and this extension is clearly not designed to work with 
any current TYPO3 installation.

Because a lot of extensions don't have a dependency set, we have to 
expand the definition a bit in the beginning: extensions which were 
uploaded before the release of the oldest, currently maintained TYPO3 
version are also "outdated". If an extension was uploaded before the 
release of TYPO3 4.5 it was obviously not tested with that version.

And in the (near) future...

Shortly we will have a 'gap' in the range of supported versions: 4.5 
(LTS), 4.7, 6.0. This will mean that the check will be a bit more 
complicated, but the basic rule will remain the same:
check if there is a match between the range of TYPO3 versions set in the 
dependency property and the currently maintained versions.

Implications for integrators
If you search for extensions in TER after August 1st, 2013 these 
"outdated" extensions will not show up immediately. Only if you activate 
the option to include "outdated" extensions they will be included in the 
results. It is still possible to download these extensions, but you need 
extra effort.

If you search in the Extension Manager in the list of extensions in TER 
the "outdated" extensions will not show up.

If you try to install an "outdated" extension (uploading it in the EM) 
the behavior will depend on whether the TYPO3 dependency has been set or 
not in the extension. This is the current situation already.

If an extension you currently use is marked as "outdated" there is 
really no problem. It works for you, but it might not work in newer 
TYPO3 versions. You could ask the extension author to update the extension.

Please note that also not-"outdated" extensions might fail with a new 
TYPO3 core version. If the extension is compatible with TYPO3 4.5 it is 
not "outdated", but it may be incompatible with TYPO3 4.7 you want to 
upgrade to. Checks to see if your installation is upgrade-ready might be 
a nice feature for a new tool.

Implications for extension authors
If you try to upload an extension without a dependency for TYPO3 or with 
a dependency which is outside the range of currently supported TYPO3 
versions your upload will be rejected and an error message will be 
shown. Simply add to ext_emconf.php a dependency for the version(s) you 
tested the extension with:

   'constraints' => array(
     'depends' => array(
       'typo3' => '4.5.0-4.7.99',

You can set the minimum for a version of TYPO3 which is not supported 
anymore, but then the maximum must be within the supported range. You 
cannot set a maximum outside the range of supported versions.

What happens with "outdated" extensions and their keys?

Really, nothing much. They will remain in TER, but not as visible as 
they were before. The extension keys will still remain with their owners.

If you upload a new version of an "outdated" extension it will appear 
again in the search results, because the dependency is set for one or 
more of the currently maintained TYPO3 versions.

Security issues and "outdated" extensions
The security team will give more attention to extensions which are 
actively maintained. If a security issue is reported for an "outdated" 
extension the normal procedure will be followed.

Future developments
The information about the TYPO3 versions an extension will work with can 
be used for other features of the TER and the Extension Manager.

In the future it will be possible to search for compatibility with a 
specific TYPO3 version.

It would also be possible to show in the EM the list of extensions in 
the TER which are compatible with the installed TYPO3 version.

A check to see if all installed extensions are compatible with a new 
TYPO3 version before you perform the upgrade would also be possible.

More information
The Extension Coordination Team [1] handles this operation. See [2] for 
the wiki information. There is a mailing list / newsgroup 
"typo3.teams.extension-coordination" to ask questions and discuss the 

[1] http://forge.typo3.org/projects/team-ect
[2] http://forge.typo3.org/projects/team-ect/wiki/TER_Clean-up

Jigal van Hemert
TYPO3 CMS Core Team member
Extension Coordination Team Leader

TYPO3 .... inspiring people to share!
Get involved: typo3.org

More information about the TYPO3-team-core mailing list