Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series - 9!

This week we're honoured with interview from Benni Mack, our very own Project Lead of TYPO3 Core development and one of the driving forces behind the TYPO3 renaissance from last years.

Explore the interesting article where Benni shares his insights about his views, 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 journey with TYPO3, and a lot more!

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!
  • Interviewee : Benni Mack
  • Company : b13
  • Designation : Chief Technology Officer
  • Topic : Together Building a Better TYPO3 Eco-system
Q1
image

Hey Benni, Tell something about yourself to our audience.

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

Most people with a TYPO3 background know my name from working on TYPO3 day and night. However, I’m actually working for a company b13.com where we’re building web-based solutions for customers around the world. Most of the time, we’re using TYPO3.

Q2
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

Back in 2003, I started as an editor using TYPO3 as an undergraduate to earn money on the side for paying my bills. I then worked at an IT company that built websites with a Java-based CMS, but they slowly moved towards TYPO3. I learned a lot about using TYPO3 as an integrator. However, in 2006 – awaiting the next TYPO3 release, I approached Ingmar Schlecht (the Release Manager back then, great guy!). I checked if the planned “AJAX-based page tree” would make it into TYPO3 v4.1. He responded with “nobody came forward yet, do YOU want to do it?”, and this is how everything started for Core development. I didn’t know anything at all about Core development, but gave it a try.

Q3
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

Mainly I plan and steer the product, and the development of it. But large parts of my TYPO3 contributions naturally revolve about keeping in touch with various stakeholders and developers. In my day-job, I identify and fix bugs related to TYPO3 and our Infrastructure. In the end, I’m the one (together with Oliver Hader) being held accountable for new TYPO3 versions, so I’m the one doing the actual release of new TYPO3 versions.

Q4
image

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?

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

From a business perspective: In 2015 my company decided to go “all in” with TYPO3 and focus only on TYPO3, not any other CMSes or Open Source Solutions. Since then, it’s been mostly going upwards, because you aren’t distracted with other technologies in your day-to-day work, becoming more efficient. In 2018 b13 went to a global, solution-based and english-first communication strategy that pays off. So for all the business people: It’s all about dedication, believing in the product, and participating in the evolution of TYPO3.

Q5
image

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?

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

I’m very happy and lucky that TYPO3 is still around the corner, which undermines my feeling that the foundation that Kasper Skaarhoj built with his ideas and concepts will continue to last. To be honest, I didn’t expect this back in 2010, but today, I’m confident that TYPO3 will still be used in 2030.

Q6
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

I can only speak for myself, but I’m 100% sure that TYPO3 will evolve into a slicker, and easier-to-use content management system, making TYPO3 a CMS for everyone, a claim I’ve coined in July 2020. TYPO3 should in fact be usable for everyone, without having to attend workshops to understand how to use it, or how to build websites. As you can imagine, a vision is something that won’t happen overnight, but I define it rather as “the light at the end of the tunnel”.

Q7
image

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?

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

First: I don’t think TYPO3 has little market share. The market is just HUGE! If I see hundreds of thousands of installations, every change that I make will have an impact on millions of editors! And that’s not credit for me, but for the TYPO3 community, building so many cool web applications with it. I do believe however we’ve missed coming up with concrete solutions for the decision makers. This might be because there are a lot of techies in our community, scratching their own itch (including me), which is also a great strength at the same time.

Q8
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

I believe it’s not the code, but the actual solutions that TYPO3 offers - there are so many use-cases for TYPO3, which people just don’t know about. We don’t tell these stories. An example: TYPO3’s conferences are built for agency owners and community members, but not for “Hey, all artists who created their own website with TYPO3, get together for a meet up”, and there are so many facets around people using TYPO3, it’s just incredible. Part of it is covered by the universities with the Academic committee, but I think there are 100 more areas we could take about. So, we’re missing a positive communication to the outside world of what TYPO3 is capable of already with TYPO3 v10.

Q9
image

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?

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

These are two topics for me: I build and maintain TYPO3 further because it fulfills a need inside of me, so it’s truly on a personal basis. What makes it “successful” is not just the person building the tool, but if others can make their lives easier by using this Open Source Software.

Q10
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

I’m happy that people within the TYPO3 community and TYPO3 Association are putting this as a priority. However, you also need local parties involved: As with TYPO3 in 2002 when it picked up popularity in Germany, you always need first-movers who are excited to learn and to try new things out.

Q11
image

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?

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

It’s great to see T3Terminal filling a place within the TYPO3 ecosystem, which was not available before. T3Terminal helps people to find quick and common solutions for their problems, which have been solved by others already!

Q12
image

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?

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

PHP might not be popular among all developers, but it certainly is successful and wide-spread. I think PHP is part of TYPO3’s DNA, and for a good reason.

Q13
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

Extensions. Without extensions, TYPO3 would have never been that flexible or scalable to succeed for so many different use cases: Don’t just think of multinational websites, but of smaller websites, Intranet solutions, E-Mailer or Marketing aggregation platforms which are powered by TYPO3 in the background. They are not.

Q14
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

The hardest part for me in recent years is the fast-pacing rise and fall of JavaScript frameworks and build tools. This just doesn’t fit with a Long-Term-Strategy of TYPO3 where we want to ensure that the system is maintained without having to update libraries all the time. That’s one of the reasons we haven’t incorporated frameworks like React, Angular or Vue.js. Including such a library is doable, but keeping it up-to-date and stable for years is another story.

Q15
image

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?

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

My friend Daniel Goerz has built his reputation with usetypo3.com - a great blog with super-detailed references explaining sophisticated TYPO3 features in a way that even people like myself can understand it! Of course, check out b13.com/blog for more insights about TYPO3. But StackOverflow is a great resource if you need help.

Q16
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

Yes, of course! Contribution is not just about development, that’s what’s important. My UX colleagues created great designs and concepts for TYPO3 Backend, and that’s their contribution to TYPO3. If you only have developers, you might miss the most important parts.

Q17
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

There’s no favorite CMS other than TYPO3, but I’m glad to see solutions like Sulu, standing on the shoulders of Giants like Symfony, to build a very flexible CMS for developers to work on.

Q18
image

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

Interview with Benni: TYPO3 for Everyone!

Family, Friends, Espresso and Jesus.

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

If you too 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 for next exciting T3Interview :)

Post Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

×

Name is required!

Enter valid name

Valid email is required!

Enter valid email address

Comment is required!

Google Captcha Is Required!

Be the First to Comment

TYPO3 Talk With Anjali : Journey With T3Terminal

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series! Check out the Interview with Anjali Bhatt on TYPO3 For Everyone!We have launched the…

TYPO3 Talk with Luisa: Head of Marketing Team

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series! Check out the Interview with Marc on TYPO3 For Everyone!We have launched the TYPO3…

Interview with Jochen Weiland

TYPO3 Talk Jochen Weiland - Past & Future of TYPO3

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series - 2! We are excited to launch the TYPO3 initiative for business executives, marketers,…

Stay up to date with our recent TYPO3 Blogs, news, & updates