TYPO3 Neos – Ready for production?

30 June 2014 Comments Off

TYPO3 Neos logo

TYPO3 Neos is the next-generation open source content management system made by the TYPO3 community. Neos is based on the PHP framework TYPO3 Flow.
There was & still is a lot of hype lately around the new TYPO3 product, TYPO3 Neos, that makes many people ask one simple question: Is TYPO3 Neos ready for production? For different clients, with different needs, for “impossible” projects?
Many TYPO3 agencies ask if Neos is ready for production. We will try to answer, from our direct experience gathered while implementing several Neos projects

TYPO3 Neos hands on - Case Study #1

Naturally, we were excited when we saw the first opportunity to propose TYPO3 Neos as a solution for a small local institution that had an old website on a deprecated platform. The reason we chose to go with TYPO3 Neos was a combination of eagerness to try it on a real world project and also because it really fit well with the needs of our client. Our client’s editors were people who weren’t technical at all, people from the medical sector. TYPO3 Neos is a perfect candidate for simple editor:

  1. Simple editing method
  2. Short learning period
  3. No training required
  4. Intuitive use

Having experience with TYPO3 Flow was also a factor when we made the decision for TYPO3 Neos because the CMS itself is no more than a TYPO3 Flow application.

TYPO3 Neos 1.0 was the starting point for us and during the development we saw how easy custom elements can be created with the power of nodes & TypoScript 2.0. But what hurt us the most was the acute lack of documentation. Finding the right documentation was not a matter of looking into wikis, but mailing lists or even IRC chats on Freenode channel #typo3-neos
That can be really frustrating, but with lots of coffee & patience that can be overcome.

The project didn’t hit us with any surprises and development went really smooth despite that fact that it was a new CMS for everyone involved in the team. Version 1.0 was buggy especially in the backend, problems usually occurred with the editing of content, most of the times exception were thrown if the user deleted content in some cases.
After delivery we were surprised that the client didn’t need any training, everything was so intuitive for him that content was added by editors without any help / training from our side. Impressive.

TYPO3 Neos hands on - Case Study #2

Another project that came to us as a explicit request for TYPO3 Neos, gave us the opportunity to test drive the freshly released TYPO3 Neos 1.1. We must say that the Neos team did a great job making a more stable version, problems that usually occurred in backend were fixed and a great improvement in performance was very welcomed. Also, some new minor features were introduced, like node type switching, which was badly needed for editors.

But the localization & translation are still missing from the backend, although the foundation was set already in 1.1. For now, the easiest way to do multilingual websites with TYPO3 Neos is to use the old fashion way that was used also early on in TYPO3 CMS, different page trees for each language. The TYPO3 Neos team promises to deliver Content Dimensions, an alternative to the translation handling that currently exists in TYPO3 CMS. The content dimension concept is the foundation to work with different content variants and have a very flexible localization solution in Neos. The user interface to work with content dimensions and translations will be part of the next version (1.2).
For example, you can have more than languages, you could make variants of a content element for people ages 13 -25 and other variants for people ages 26 +. This cool features will help websites present relevant information not only by language, but also depending on the website user characteristics.

Getting back to our project, integration of template was easy and even if the website was multilanguage we managed to get by the missing translations infrastructure quite easily.
Since the website was responsive, we needed to target different devices and here our experience with Flow / Fluid kicked in. This is one of the advantages of TYPO3 Neos for agencies that are working with Extbase / Fluid / Flow is that even if they never touched it, it will feel familiar and custom plugins will be no more than simple packages. But most of the time you won’t need dedicated plugins, like extensions in TYPO3 CMS. Nodes & Fluid are extremely flexible that in most cases you won’t need a plugin.

TYPO3 Neos & Deployment

Another aspect that we love about TYPO3 Neos is deployment. Having from the start each website as a Flow package is just awesome, during development and also after. Working with a team under VCS is extremely easy and once you are done, all the content can be exported into a single XML file. No database dumps, we just installed a fresh Neos on the clients server and installed the package, et voila! Everything was working perfectly.

Production ready can have different meanings for different people, but some key factors are still missing:

  1. Translation / localization
  2. Multi domain support
  3. Documentation

Once all the above are stable and in good shape, we can state that TYPO3 Neos is indeed production ready.

Conclusion

TYPO3 Neos is already good for small presentation websites, we are glad to see how easy the inexperienced editors get to manage the content with Neos and we believe that given time it will have a bright future.

We believe in the power & concepts that TYPO3 Neos brings to the CMS market and with the new skills we acquired, we are ready to deliver TYPO3 Neos projects!

Author: Tomita Militaru

 

JSCamp Romania 2014

23 June 2014 Comments Off

Thanks to Arxia, I had the opportunity to attend, on 3 June, the JSCamp Romania conference. This was the first edition and took place in Bucharest. JSCamp Romania goal was to gather experts from across the field of front-end development, to bring the attendees up to speed on the latest open-web technologies.

The event kicked off with the Robert Nyman, a Technical Evangelist for Mozilla and the Editor of Mozilla Hacks,  presentation Five Stages of Development. He talked about the Five Stages of Development as a Kübler-Ross model (Five stages of grief) and how to overcome these. In the second presentation of the first session, Build Your Own AngularJS, Tero Parviainen showcased the build of a simplified version of the Angular’s dependency injector, in an effort to make us understand what the injector does.

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The second session started with Sebastian Golasch’s presentation The glitch in the game, in which he presented different tools(Visual regression, CSS tests, Perf, Monkey tests) for detecting glitches, failures and weird behaviour in web pages and apps.The second session ended with Phil Hawksworth presentation Static Site Strategies .He talked about how to build faster and more dynamic sites, without the need for complex back-ends using emerging tools and services.

After the lunch break, Martin Kleppe showed us in his presentation Minified JavaScript Craziness how to write complex JavaScript programs with less then 1k of code or bypass security with programs that use only six different characters to write and execute code. Peter Muller presentation The No Build System Build System about manipulating and optimizing web pages and web applications, ended the third session of presentations.

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The last session started with Patrick H. Lauke’s presentation Getting touchy – an introduction to touch and pointer eventsHe gave us an introduction on Microsoft’s pointer events and showed us why it’s not good to use only Touch events, now when there are a lot of hybrid devices. The conference ended with Vince Allan’s presentation Braitenberg and the Browser about using JavaScript to build Braitenberg Vehicles and other natural simulations in a web browser.

A big thank you goes to the organizers of this conference for a very good organisation and also for the speakers and their very interesting talks.

 

 Author: Leonard Keresztesi

Arxia at T3DD14 in Eindhoven

23 June 2014 Comments Off

We’ve just returned from the TYPO3 Developer Days held in Eindhoven the Netherlands. The T3DD is one of the most important events in the TYPO3 Universe gathering together more then 200 developers from different countries and continents. It’s the place where you can meet almost all the core developers of TYPO3, TYPO3 Neos and TYPO3 Flow. Our team was represented by László Bodor and Tomiţă Militaru, both TYPO3 integrators and extension developers.

Tomi and Laci

Although not there physically, our colleagues Alina Fleşer and Daniel Homorodean were also there in pictures (see below)

Alina and Daniel

The event started on Thursday 19th of June with an opening speech from Patrick Broens followed by Ben van’t Ende and Olivier Dobberkau. The opening session featured an interesting community building moment. Ten veteran TYPO3 people become so called buddies of 10 newcomers into the TYPO3 world, it’s an interesting idea and it will probably help the newcomers to integrate into the TYPO3 community more easier.

After the opening ceremony the workshops kickstarted in full force in the different rooms of the TechniekHuys. Even from the first day it was obvious that there is a very big interest in subjects related to TYPO3 Neos (full rooms at almost every Neos related workshop). Due to the nature of the T3DD (having several parallel tracks) we could attend only a limited number of workshops but from what we’ve seen there was quite some number of interesting workshops. The true value of the T3DD is that these workshops are held by people who actually created that feature, extension or product. This way the attendees can direct their questions directly to the developer and can get a qualified opinion on the subject. The first day ended with the the lunch and some socializing.

Friday I’ve attended the THEMES workshops and Tomiţă went to the Flow/ Neos contribution workshop. The THEMES project aims to bring interchangeable themes to the TYPO3 world just like other CMS’s do so and this is a subject i was always interested in. The workshop held by Kay Strobach, Jo Hasenau and Thomas Deuling presented the progress of the project so far. And then we’ve even created a theme in the second part of the workshop based on the bootstrap package done by the developers. When the themes extension will be mature enough and a distribution will be available with some prepackaged themes and extensions it will be much easier for newcomers to kickstart their website with TYPO3 and some themes. The second day ended with the coding night where people could work on different bugs and features from within the TYPO3 family of products (TYPO3, Neos, Flow) and extensions.

Photo credits: R. Kuthe – @mixedpixel

On the 3rd day it was Flow / Neos time for us. First the Flow beginner workshop with Robert Lemke – although I’m not really a beginner anymore but i attended to pick up maybe some new things or best practices. Then in the afternoon we’ve attended the TYPO3 Neos Advanced integration workshop held by Christian Müller and Sebastian Kurfürst. This night was the social event night which started with a barbeque just outside of the TechniekHuys and then continued with the soccer game Germany – Ghana projected on a big screen. Unfortunately for the audience Germany only managed a draw 2-2 with Ghana. Remains to be seen who will be the winner of group G on Thursday when Germany meets the USA. Of course the social event wasn’t just about the game, there were lots of discussions, beer, wine and whatnot.

Unfortunately for us we had to leave after this night because on Sunday morning we’ve had our plane back. We have to thanks to the organizers for this great event which gave us the opportunity to learn more, to meet nice people from the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. Also a big thank you for all the sponsors, especially jweiland.net , domainfactory, aoe and networkteam.

Greetings to all of you from Cluj Napoca – The heart of Transylvania and we hope to see you all at TYPO3 East Europe in 31 October / 1 November 2014.

Author: László Bodor