With TYPO3 version 10 around the corner, it is time to have a deeper look at new features. I often hear something like "those features are only targeting developers". Therefore I try to promote opportunities for agencies and users, provided by the new more technical features.
Expect a round up of ext:dashboard, new notification API, PSR-14 Events, and some more.
This block post should prove that TYPO3 sticks to his roots ans strengths. The biggest strength of TYPO3 is the basic idea of extensions. Do not build a single monolith, instead follow Unix philosophy. Each component should do a single thing very well. By adding clean APIs like PSR-15 or PSR-14 you can combine all those building blocks and create the system your client needs.
Also TYPO3 is going in a bright future. With all new standards and features, you can build awesome things. It is easier then ever to integrate stuff, leaving more time for other important parts, e.g. contribution to TYPO3.
What are you going to do with all the new awesome technical features? Which benefits will you create out of them for your customers or your own company?
TYPO3 version 10 has a new topic. Accordingly to the official news named "X Marks the Spot - TYPO3 v10.0 is here", "TYPO3 Version 10.1 - On the High Seas" and "TYPO3 Version 10.2 — Treasure Hunting!", the focus should be moved to everyone. Its not about the TYPO3 core team or any other team, its about the whole community. Everyone is involved and everyone can mark his own spot, sail on the high seas and find treasures.
This blog post should motivate you to find treasures and mark your own spot. Which feature will you find useful and what do you gonna do with it?
Did you know this website is running TYPO3 CMS v10.3 already?
PSR-14 Events aka. server side tracking ¶
It was never easier to attach code to events. This opens possibilities e.g. for easier logging or tracking. Wanna know how many people submitted your contact form? Or how many orders where placed? With GDPR and foreign services, this is the time to get back to server side tracking. With a very simple API, you could just attach any internal Event to the API and record what happens in your system. It should also be possible to attach any Event to your API. That could also open possibilities for error reporting. Improve your exceptions with information from past events. That way you always know what was going on.
Back in the old days people just copied and modified 3rd Party Extensions. With ease of PSR-14, it is even easier to add and use Events. Wanna add a new registered user to a 3rd Party Service, e.g. newsletter system? Just use EXT:form to register a user, use hooks or form finisher and submit the information to another system.
Agencies have a lot of customers. Those customers open issues, requesting features or reporting bugs. Some customers might have a service level agreement with some hours per month. Ever wanted to communicate all those information to your customers? Use the new dashboard. Create your own dashboards, connect your issue tracker and invoicing tool. Display how many issues are open, how many hours are used in the current month. Display open and payed invoices to your customers, right within TYPO3.
Combined with the mentioned server side tracking, or existing solutions like Google Analytics, you could also add important facts right there. No more need for your customer to log into multiple systems. TYPO3 can become the single system he needs to care about. Just integrate all necessary information. E.g. delivered newsletters, current solr index queue, etc.
Add some buttons to your widgets to allow users to take action. E.g. rank specific pages higher in a solr index queue. Or go into more detail in the system log, regarding current raised system errors shown in a dashboard.
The following screenshots demonstrate the current state of the dashboard.
PSR-15 Middlewares ¶
Sure, this one was delivered with TYPO3 CMS v9 LTS already, still this might be new to some of you, therefore I'll add my thoughts about that feature, too.
Middlewares are a stack of Code that is executed for each incoming request and outgoing response. That makes them more or less the heart of each web application. In combination with PSR-7 request and response, they allow developers to integrate more or less every clean system. For example TYPO3 can be run as a proxy before your shop system. Add some configuration and forward all incoming requests to your shop application. That way you can have a single entry point, and TYPO3 does not only handle multiple languages and websites, but also multiple applications.
The same reasons also allow the developers to integrate foreign frameworks, e.g. Slim or any other PHP framework. You need a website with an area where you build a web app, but maybe still need the layout and content of TYPO3? You could use a middleware and attach a php framework to integrate content. You could also use another framework to deliver an RESTful API or something else. Add some logic to a single middleware to detect whether requests should go to TYPO3 or your rest api integration.
Beside that awesome possibilities, middlewares also ease to adjust your request and response. E.g. adding specific header or resolving data. Let's say your TYPO3 is running behind a Proxy, e.g. Cloudflare or Varnish. The middleware can add further information that can be used by your Proxy. They can also resolve information added by the Proxy.
That were all very technical features, that would allow to integrate further systems and approaches. Yet there is another more basic example. In "PSR-14 Events aka. server side tracking" we already talked about server side tracking. A middleware is a perfect place to add basic page view tracking to your system. Just add an DB Entry for each request, with all necessary information. Adding Symfony Expression Language and you already have a black list configuration at your hand. E.g. disable tracking for active backend logins or crawler.
Notification API with actions ¶
The notification API was extended. Some might know the new feature from iOS or other operating systems. Each notification can now have attached actions.
Imagine an error in your TYPO3 installation. Instead of showing an exception, show a nice error page and raise a notification. Attach an "open issue" action and let the user create an issue in your issue tracker. Combine that one with ext:dashboard to display all those open issues and their current state.
It also allows you to make users decisions, without loosing context. One of our customers has a backend module that exports TYPO3 content to filesystem. There might be situation where things go wrong. Right now we display a modal with some actions. In future we could use a smoother user experience. Instead of a disturbing modal interrupting the current flow, we could display an notificitation which has actions attached.
Fluid based PageLayoutView ¶
There was some love in a specific PHP Class, the PageLayoutView. This class generates the output of the "Page" backend module. I guess that module is the most used module within TYPO3. More or less all developers, integrators and editors work with this module. It is one of the biggest benefits for Editors. The module displays a mock like version of your frontend and allows to place content exactly where you wanna have it.
Still it was very old and integrators had a hard time to add custom preview for more complex content elements. Also extensions like Flux and Gridelements adjusted the module to make user experience better and to add nested content elements. Some people like that, some don't. There are different approaches to the user needs.
With the upcoming LTS v10, this situation was changed. After a refactoring improving the code base, a rewrite was done. Beside the original implementation, a new feature toggle allows to switch the implementation. Integrators can now change every single part through Fluid, as the whole module is now generated through Fluid. Adding a custom preview is just a matter of adding the Fluidtemplate and configure template paths, as done for the Frontend. Also each existing template can be replaced. Custom renderings can be added in addition, in order to allow developers to add custom PHP code upfront to prepare data, e.g. add information from an API.
Native nested content elements ¶
Beside all that awesomeness, which will make live of integrators easier, and improve user experience of editors, that might come with another feature: Native nested content elements.
Thanks to the new code base, it is possible to configure layouts for content elements. That layout will be passed as structured information to the mentioned fluid templates. This allows native rendering of nested content elements inside the page module. A very long wished feature comes true for all developers, agencies and customers.
Some of you might ask: What about the structured content initiative? They still work on a big picture improving the overall editor experience for the upcoming versions. And they are in tight contact with developers working on that parts. Saying that, it is what makes TYPO3 great, a community effort.
Example extension "tracking" ¶
In order to test combinations of those features, I've created the extension "tracking". You can check the extension on GitHub: https://github.com/danielsiepmann/tracking and find further information on a separate site.
The extension demonstrates how to collect data from requests, and displaying such data through new widgets. It already combines EXT:dashboard and PSR-15 middlewares. Also PSR-11 dependency injection is heavily used.
Thanks to Kevin Appelt. The paragraph regarding "Nested content elements" was split up from "Fluid based PageLayoutView". Also a note was added that this feature is not yet released, together with further information.
Further reading ¶
Check the release news
- TYPO3 News "X Marks the Spot - TYPO3 v10.0 is here"
- TYPO3 News "TYPO3 Version 10.1 - On the High Seas"
- TYPO3 News "TYPO3 Version 10.2 — Treasure Hunting!"
- TYPO3 News "TYPO3 Version 10.3 — Almost There"
- Development Roadmap and release dates
And official documentation
- TYPO3 ChangeLog
- PSR-14 Events at docs.typo3.org
- Request Handling / Middlewars PSR-15 at docs.typo3.org
- Notification API at docs.typo3.org
And further resources