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Outlook on the upcoming months

by Leo Feyer – Current issues

The coming months will see a lot of activity around the TYPOlight project. Some changes – like reworking the online manual – have been on the agenda for a long time, others are the results of the discussions at this year's user meeting. What is certain is that our focus must not only be on developing the CMS itself, but also the project as a whole.

Open Source throughout time

It has been almost 25 years since the incorporation of the Free Software Foundation and the release of the first Open Source project. A lot of things have changed since then, not only in terms of quality and reputation of the applications, but also regarding support and project management. Ticket systems, RSS feeds, forums and live chats have replaced the classic mailing list that was used to provide community support a long time ago.

Nowadays, more and more Open Source projects are managed by companies (e.g. Sun with MySQL or Varien with Magento), who – thanks to the "sales channel" Open Source – rapidly gain market shares and often offer professional services (especially support) in addition to their software. In 5 or 10 years, the quality of documentation and professional support are likely to become more important criteria than the actual range of functionality of the application.

This, on the other hand, means that TYPOlight needs to catch up, given the fact that most parts of the online user guide have not been updated since 2006 and there is no support alternative to the forum. Most participants of this year's user meeting shared this opinion.

Revision of the documentation

Revising the documentation is the highest priority apart from further developing TYPOlight. Over the next months, the online documentation will be reworked and integrated into the main website, since the original wiki idea of working collaboratively on the user guide did not catch on.

Improvement of the community support

The forum as the main platform for the community will be further expanded and improved. It is intended to enhance the structure by adding subcategories, to commit more moderators and to remove the request assistant.

In order to relieve me as core developer from the main work, the forum will be taken over by members of the TYPOlight team and will not run under anymore. The forum is moved mainly for liability reasons and definitely not because we were planning to shut it down, as already speculated.

Professional support network

Besides the classic community support, it is intended to establish a professional support alternative that acts as a counterbalance to the support services of commercial Open Source vendors. A number of options have been discussed at the user meeting, from which a ticket system that is run by the TYPOlight partners seemed to be the most suitable as a first step. The system shall be launched before the end of 2009 and meet the demands of commercial users e.g. regarding guaranteed response times.

At this point, I would like to emphasize that this is meant to be a support alternative for commercial users who cannot afford to search the forums or wait for a reliable answer for hours. Please save us the discussion on whether this is going to replace something or discriminate against someone, because both is not the case! It is a strategic decision so TYPOlight remains marketable even in 10 years time – and thus an important step to keep it "future-proof".

Relaunch of the project website

In the course of these changes the project webseite will be relaunched again in summer 2009, which also includes the development page where we are switching from Trac to Redmine. Since TYPOlight uses salted passwords from version 2.7, this change as well as the relocation of the forums will most likely require to reregister (further details to follow).

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Comment by Cyril Ponce |

Is that the new forum and wiki will be open to other languages than English an German ?

Comment by John Brand |

Hey leo, please post the link to the new forum on the old one, or here, as this page doesn't have a link to the community forum either.

Comment by Nina Gerling |

They'll post the link to the new forum on friday as soon as it opens for registration :)

Comment by tony |

Hi, will you use an existing forum engine or will it be a forum developped for Typolight ?
I'm curious... :)

Comment by Nina Gerling |

It's going to be an existing forum engine. You'll get more info on friday ;)

Comment by Jimmy Rittenborg |

im really excited about this!
A really big thank to Leo and the team for taking it all in the right direction!

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