[TYPO3-core] (New) TYPO3 CMS Vision

Jo Hasenau info at cybercraft.de
Fri Aug 29 17:27:48 CEST 2014

> This thread is open for the topic "vison for TYPO3 CMS" and is a base
> for further discussions, ideas and feedback on the next larger and
> long-term steps with TYPO3 CMS. Please hand in your feedback in an open
> but also constructive way. Try to be specific if phrases tend to be
> unclear (e.g. "TYPO3 needs to be cooler" - what exactly?).
> Ok, let's start now! Thanks in advance for your input!

Dear TYPO3 enthusiasts.

I followed this thread for a while, just trying to moderate it here and 
there, but holding myself back from shooting too fast. I think the 
original question was about a vision for the product, and this is why I 
had to find out first, if I actually have got such a vision and how it 
might look like.

Another reason to wait a bit longer is, that I am a developer as well, 
as most of the participants here. And as the thread clearly shows, 
developers tend to concentrate on HOW things should be done, when the 
question should be, WHAT our goals are and what we want to achieve with 
our products. On the other hand I have been a designer before I started 
programming 14 years ago, so one of my favorite sentences is the famous 
Steve Jobs quote: Design is not just how it looks and feels like - 
Design is how it works.

But again "how it works" should not be mistaken as a question about the 
underlying frameworks or programming paradigms, it is about how our 
products work for the people, who are actually using them. They just 
don't care, if the code is object oriented, domain driven or procedural. 
For them it doesn't matter, what kind of JS framework we are using or if 
it is vanilla JS. The only thing we have to make sure to satisfy their 
needs is, that the tools we have to offer are first choice. First choice 
for managing the content of their web application, be it a plain 
website, an intranet solution or an e-commerce tool. So I think it is 
quite promising, that many of the statements in this thread are about 
focusing on the users of the product again after having satisfied 
developers for quite a while now.

My vision for the TYPO3 products is, that they will become the most 
valuable tools you can get to do any kind of content management, even 
outside of the web content management scope. To reach this goal, we must 
focus on certain major tasks, with the most important of them being 
accessibility. And in this case it is not just about users of 
screenreaders being able to work with the backend of a CMS, it means 
that everybody should be able to work with our products in the most 
intuitive way, regardless of their personal abilities and regardless of 
the device they are using.

For the moment we don't have to discuss the technologies to reach that 
goal, but of course the technologies of the devices we have to serve. So 
our products must be touch enabled, still they have to be usable without 
a mouse or a touch screen just with a keyboard or voice control and of 
course they have to adjust themselves to different screen sizes, color 
blindness, contextual stuff and available bandwidths.

And we could even go a step further, so that people are not just able to 
work with these products but they really want to do it, because they 
enjoy working with them. We have to make the interface more inviting, 
intuitive and less technical. Still it should satisfy power users as 
well and offer them features to become really fast in mass editing and 
other huge tasks. We could define different personas and think about 
their needs to define certain modules, which can be enabled on demand, 
so that the product can be adjusted for different scenarios based on the 
skill level of the user who is currently logged in.

For the actual development process my vision is, that we will develop 
new features as system extensions which will ship with the core, but are 
deactivated by default. They should be clearly marked as exprimental or 
alpha until they are really usable in production, but they should be 
shipped with the core, to enable people to test them without having to 
setup a fully fledged development environment. Of course they will have 
to use some tools to give feedback, but then again we should accept the 
good old DIFF attachments again, instead of forcing people into our 
bureaucratic processes.

Features should be removed after the deprecation phase only but never 
before we have their replacement production ready, unless the feature 
has to be removed completely anyway. This will ensure that we will 
always have a feature complete product up and running and people won't 
complain about broken stuff in half baked replacements anymore.

Finally I would like to repeat my statement of the communication 
workshop, we had in Altleiningen last year: I really would like to see 
less perfectionism and more pragmatism in the way we treat our code and 
the people, who are providing it, be it on a paid or voluntary base.

One of the major problems I see is, that there are too many different 
views of how the perfect code or the perfect product would look like. 
This is why there is a lot of time and energy wasted in discussions 
about things that actually don't matter, neither for the average 
developer, nor for the average designer and definitely not for the 
average user of our products. The products have to be usable and fast in 
the first place, since this will fit everybody's needs. Anything else is 
much less important than most of us might possibly think.

Instead constantly trying to achieve, what purists would consider to be 
100% in their personal domain, we should try to get just 80% of these 
visions but do it together as a team. Still the result would be better 
than the percentage we got with the latest releases, even though I have 
to admit, that the current LTS version seems to be on the right track 
again after all.

There is a lot of work to do - so let's do it together :-)

Have a nice weekend everyboy


Die Kunst zusammen unabhängig zu denken
The art of thinking independently together.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johasenau
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TYPO3 cookbook (2nd edition): http://www.typo3experts.com

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