Claus Due, Fluid Man - TYPO3 is not only Enterprise CMS

Claus Due, Fluid Man - TYPO3 is not only Enterprise CMS

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series - 6! We have launched the TYPO3 initiative for business executives, professional freelancers, marketers, decision-makers etc. The ultimate goal, Inspiring people to communicate about TYPO3 eco-system by keeping the philosophy of OpenSource.

T3Terminal has been developed and is focusing on having a "Fruitful TYPO3 Eco-System". We have been interviewing and inviting TYPO3 business people to share their views to build a better TYPO3 eco-system for a better TYPO3 tomorrow. 

This week we have been honored by Claus Due, The TYPO3 Fluid man who work as professional TYPO3 freelancer.

Read the article where Claus shares his views about history and potential of TYPO3 and open-source community, and how we can build a better TYPO3 Eco-system together!

Let’s hear about his life in time, journey with TYPO3, and a lot more. Thanks Claus for your thoughts.

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man
  • Interviewee : Claus Due
  • Designation : Professional TYPO3 Freelancer
  • Topic : Together Building a Better TYPO3 Eco-system
Q1
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Hey Claus, Tell something about yourself to our audience.

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Involved with TYPO3 for 12+ years. Head maintainer of the Fluid engine. Core-merger with responsibilities in Fluid integration, caching and performance.

Q2
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First question, How did you initially get involved with TYPO3?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Started working for a company that serviced TYPO3 clients, then began making contributions in the form of extensions and later on, core patches.

Q3
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How do you contribute to TYPO3? How does your company encourage open source business practices?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

I contribute as core merger, maintainer and owner of relatively high-profile extension collections. I encourage clients to open-source their productions whenever this is appropriate, and select clients with preference for those that either publish the result of the work I do for them or otherwise contribute (in particular to TYPO3).

Q4
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As a TYPO3 Professional, What was your biggest challenge to building your TYPO3 business? Do you have any special tips & tricks for TYPO3 business people?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Time. It takes insane amounts of time to build a “brand” the way I did - through publishing extensions and maintaining them for more than a decade, through a decade of core contributions and involving myself as core merger. Basic tip (for those that wish to pursue the same road I used): involve yourself, stay committed and make sure your work is as high quality as possible. And if you have good ideas, share them!

Q5
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Over the years, the TYPO3 open source ecosystem has evolved. When you look back, Are you surprised or feel lucky with the overall success of TYPO3? Where do you see it going in the future?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Not surprised at all, though there have been troubling times (TYPO3 v5 and Neos schism). The overall success is due to persistence and taking responsibility, not luck. The future looks like increased adoption of things like PSR and external libraries to reduce the “not invented here” thinking and general size/complexity of TYPO3 as a product.

Q6
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Can you give us a sneak peek of TYPO3's future visions?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Reduction of technical debt, adoption of community standards like PSR, headless CMS.

Q7
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TYPO3 is 20+ years old OpenSource CMS, Although we have very little CMS Marketshare. eg., At present, TYPO3 0.6%, WordPress 63.6%. In your personal opinion, What do you think about what we majorly missed in TYPO3 journey?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

TYPO3 spent many, many years living within a community language barrier because an overwhelming majority of users are German which caused so much of the third-party sources of information and assistance to be in German language. This hasn’t significantly changed until quite recently - and it’s difficult to (re)gain traction in for example appealing to the US market. TYPO3 v5 failure also has had a negative effect on both old and new users.

Q8
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Unlike other CMS' where do you think the TYPO3 opensource ecosystem lags behind?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Personal view (opinionated): TYPO3 very much focuses on being the “Enterprise CMS” which almost entirely leaves out a grass-roots user base. The way grass-roots work is among other things by individual/small users getting used to the CMS and finding the strengths it has to offer - and then going on to recommend its use in companies they work for, agencies they have contact with, etc.

This is one area where WP did it exactly the opposite: appealing to the small users first and then increasingly becoming used for larger-scale operations.

Q9
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For people, it’s challenging to understand the philosophy of OpenSource and Business together. What’s your opinion on making a successful OpenSource Eco-system by maintaining the ethics of OpenSource?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Not sure what this question means. I don’t find it hard to explain to for example agencies that with FOSS you don’t pay with money, you pay with time (which you use to involve yourself, contribute patches, share visions, participate in sprints and so on). Nor do I find it difficult to explain how the source code being available publicly has the potential to increase things like security by allowing any third party to evaluate and suggest improvements.

The main idea to sell: sure, you help others instead of helping only yourself - but this also works in reverse - others help you instead of only helping themselves.

Q10
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What do you think of the global expansion of TYPO3? What do you feel the TYPO3 OpenSource Eco-system needs most?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Personal view (opinionated): less focus on being “The Enterprise CMS” and more focus on becoming more accessible and appealing to smaller users who in turn can help drive up the demand for and spread of knowledge about TYPO3 as more than just an “Enterprise” CMS.

Q11
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As we are managing T3Terminal, TYPO3 Marketplace, What do you think about the T3Terminal.com? What are some key factors & characteristics that would attract you?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Seems like a nice site, but the idea of a monetised marketplace doesn’t really appeal to me - and I am completely outside of the target group with no current or future need for what is offered. I do however quite like the idea of selling prepared templates for creating sites, since this is one of the things that has increased WP popularity in ways we’ve never been able to do with TYPO3. Writing good Fluid templates for TYPO3 normally requires a significant amount of developer-level knowledge (creating extensions, writing data processors, ViewHelpers, knowing how to place template files and so on) so this is something that I’m sure will appeal to people creating smaller sites - which is exactly an audience that I believe we should do more to attract.

Q12
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TYPO3 is built on PHP. PHP was established and it’s easy to understand. There was a huge community for PHP already. How important was that “TYPO3 was powered by PHP” for its popularity?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Given that PHP is not only the most wide-spread programming language for web delivery, it is also often picked as the starting language for beginners. Together these gave TYPO3 a foot in the door to appeal to a large base of developers and the opportunity to gain exposure in junior developers - but unfortunately a large part of this potential was missed by TYPO3 asserting itself as “Enterprise” grade. So, being PHP based has been important for popularity but could have been used even better.

Q13
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There are extensions, multilingual, multisite enterprise CMS, ease of use, among all these, what attributes for the TYPO3 success?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Multilingual/multisite appeals to enterprise users and is a main focus. Extensions appeal more to smaller users who don’t do, or don’t have the capacity to do, in-house development. Ease of use is unfortunately the one aspect that is most lacking (or to some extent even a detriment to success).

Q14
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Who is your open source mentor/hero? Can you name some people (at least 5) whom you follow to get knowledge and updates of the TYPO3?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Since start: Benni Mack, Oliver Hader, Georg Ringer. More recently: Alexander Schnitzler, Mathias Brodala. No longer active (sadly!): Dmitry Dulepov, Ingo Renner.

Q15
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Today what are the most recent challenges you are facing developing TYPO3 and Open-Source technology? The technology has changed so much.

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Keeping up with deprecations caused by removal of technical debt - which is hard, but necessary, and which will be a factor for many years to come.

Q16
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What are some places, blogs, and online communities you would recommend to our readers that you think are the best places to get help about TYPO3?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Usetypo3.com for blog articles that go in-depth. StackOverflow section for TYPO3 where help is given quite fast in most cases.

Q17
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Would you suggest some ideas on how TYPO3 could be expanded globally?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

See above re: target audience and becoming more inclusive by not isolating TYPO3 as “Enterprise”.

Q18
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Do you think TYPO3 still needs more active contributors? Especially in awareness, branding, and marketing.

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

More active contributors, yes. In awareness, branding, and marketing - not so much. In UX, architecture, and removal of technical debt - absolutely!

Q19
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Besides TYPO3, what's your favorite open source CMS/Tool?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

There are many, but I have a special fondness for Lucene/Solr. In general, Apache Foundation software is hugely important.

Q20
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Last but not least, Apart from TYPO3, What're the things you love to do?

TYPO3 talk with Claus Due : Fluid man

Brewing beer, playing games and consuming logic-based philosophy.

Heartily thanks to Claus for taking the efforts and time to conduct these interviews and sharing your views. 

One more thing, if you want to share your views regarding the TYPO3 Eco-system, you are more than welcome. Feel free to reach us or drop us a message in the comment section below.
 
Also, thanks to all Post Status readers, we will see you at the next interview. Till then stay tuned :)

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