TYPO3 Talk With Mr. TYPO3.org - Thomas Löffler

TYPO3 Talk With Mr. TYPO3.org - Thomas Löffler

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series - 3! 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.

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. T3Terminal has been developed and is focusing on having a "Fruitful TYPO3 Eco-System".

This week we have been honored by Thomas Löffler, the Professional TYPO3 Freelancer, TYPO3 Certified Developer, Editor, Integrator, and Owner of Spooner Web.

Explore the article where Thomas 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 Thomas for your insights.

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler
  • Interviewee : Thomas Löffler
  • Company : Spooner Web
  • Designation : Owner
  • Topic : Together Building a Better TYPO3 Eco-system
Q1
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Hey Thomas, Tell something about yourself to our audience.

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

I am 41, have a family with one son. I like football, reading Science-Fiction and coding. Born in Vienna, Austria, but I live now in Stuttgart, Germany.

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

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

A former friend told me about it. We wanted to create a company to sell websites. That was in 2004. My first job was then maintaining a TYPO3 shop for a small company in 2006. Some months later I got a request from an agency. There I learned a lot about PHP and TYPO3. Also, my first TYPO3 event in Munich was at this time. There I got in contact with the community.

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

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

I contribute by using TYPO3 and spreading the word. That’s what everyone can do easily by giving kudos to all people working and improving it. Also, I write extensions, doing updates and upgrades, attending events and giving talks to share my knowledge. Besides that I work as Team Lead for the typo3.org team which is maintaining and improving the all-known websites like typo3.org and the TYPO3 extension repository.

Q4
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When you look back, Are you surprised or feel lucky with the overall success of TYPO3?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

I am happy with the system and the community. I feel lucky and love nearly every second of my daily work. Even on weekends or evenings I grab my laptop to create code out of my ideas and thoughts.

Q5
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As a TYPO3 Freelancer, What was your biggest challenge to building your TYPO3 business?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

The biggest challenge was to get long term customers for having enough money every month to live a good and healthy life.

Q6
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Over the years, the TYPO3 open source ecosystem has evolved. Where do you see it going in the future?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

I like the integration of standard code and wide-spreaded libraries like Symfony and Doctrine. Also the possibility to create interfaces or to hook into the Core was heavily improved over the years.

In future, I want to see a system which is using many standards and helps developers to work with TYPO3. Also I hope to keep the advantages of TYPO3 regarding other CMS.

Q7
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Can you give us a sneak peek of TYPO3's future visions?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

An easy some-clicks installer, heading me to a big template integration tool and extensions which are maintained and easy to use.

Q8
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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 the TYPO3 journey?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

Regarding WordPress we miss nothing. WordPress is for Blogs, not for a multi-language company website with integrations to Newsletter and Product systems. We miss to spread the word outside of our DACH region. We would have a lot more market share when we would get much more people to use TYPO3 in e.g. United States. But we’re in a good way with the integration of Symfony/Doctrine to get in the developers heads. Also, we have some features that no one has yet.

Q9
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Unlike other CMS' where do you think the TYPO3 opensource ecosystem lags behind?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

We are lacking a good source for designs and templates. We shouldn’t go too far in the direction of WordPress where we need to put PHP into the templates. It should be possible to get a standard HTML/CSS/JS template into TYPO3 without big knowledge of these markup and programming languages. TemplaVoila was a good attempt for “I can click where the menu has to be”, but the extension missed other important things like a good data structure and a long term maintenance.

Q10
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If you could change one thing about the TYPO3 Eco-system, what would it be?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

Use another tool than Slack to share the knowledge there in public.

Q11
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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 Thomas loffler

You need to change the understanding of OpenSource in the society. OpenSource is often seen as “some code a few developers share”, but it’s quiet more. Everybody in the world is using OpenSource software and many don’t know about it. There must be more knowledge that OpenSource is better than closed source.

Q12
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Can you describe the intersection of TYPO3 and Open Source to the layman to better understand the relationship between them for new business interests going with TYPO3?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

With OpenSource and TYPO3 you can…

...see how experienced developers are writing code
...understand what is exactly happening during usage
...improve your own code
...extend the code
...meet people who share their knowledge and experience

Q13
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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 Thomas loffler

Global expansion is good and really important. We need more people spreading the word all over the world. Use it, talk about it, create an event to feel the community.

Q14
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As we are managing T3Terminal, TYPO3 Marketplace, what are some key factors that would attract you? What do you think about the T3Terminal.com?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

There were many attempts to create such a market place and I’m happy that you just created one. Sometimes it can be good to just do it and improve and adjust it later.

Q15
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What characteristics do you look for in a reliable TYPO3 Marketplace must-have?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

Quality and quantity. Many things to get, but also maintained and supported.

Q16
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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 Thomas loffler

I don’t know if it would be more popular when powered by Java or C. PHP is easy to use and learn, but years ago it was the programming language of the “script kiddies”. When we would have built it with Java or C, it would be possible to be more popular at companies. 

I think, PHP was the right decision.

Q17
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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 Thomas loffler

All of them together. No one needs a multilingual page with no possibility of extending it. The success came with the extensions, so everybody can extend the core and even publish it to help others.

Q18
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In your opinion, What’s the #1 mistake that you see TYPO3 businesses/agencies make?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

Wrong consultancy and therefore creating technical dept even before the website is going live.

Q19
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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 Thomas loffler

My mentors and heroes change over the years. At the beginning my eyes were on people like Kasper Skarhoj, Robert Lemke, Ingmar Schlecht, Michael Stucki to mention only a few. Today there are Benni Mack, Georg Ringer, Helmut Hummel, Nicole Cordes and Christian Kuhn. For me a hero is someone who looks over the tellerrand. Someone who just does something which is a big improvement for the whole community. This can be talks, code, visions and opinions. The community is not only coding, it’s far more than that.

Q20
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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 Thomas loffler

As I am not too deep into Core development my biggest challenge is to get into the new features and also breaking changes of the currently newest version. Also, other technologies are interesting and important for me to connect them with TYPO3, e.g. Continuous Integration and deployments

Q21
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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 Thomas loffler

My main source is Slack, but I like some websites and blogs like usetypo3.com to mention one. Best place to get help should be StackOverflow as this is public. Unfortunately there is most of the knowledge in a closed software Slack.

Q22
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Do you have any special tips & tricks for TYPO3 business people?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

Tell the truth, do not sell yourself to cheap. Even good developers are making wrong decisions and errors. Be open and find good solutions. Together.

Q23
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Would you suggest some ideas on how TYPO3 could be expanded globally?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

Create a possibility to use TYPO3 at a demo page and spread the word about the features and all the nice references/websites done with TYPO3

Q24
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Besides TYPO3, what's your favorite open source CMS/Tool?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

Unix

Q25
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Do you think TYPO3 still needs more active contributors? Especially in awareness, branding, and marketing.

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

We always need more active contributors. There is no “we have enough”. The community is strong in development but in the last years we got many marketing, design and branding people inside. So, there is good progress.

Q26
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Last but not least, Apart from TYPO3, What're the things you love to do?

TYPO3 talk with Thomas loffler

Playing games, reading, having time with family and my community “family and friends”

Many thanks to Thomas 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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