TYPO3 Talk with Tomas: Author of EXT.crawler

TYPO3 Talk with Tomas: Author of EXT.crawler

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series - 20!

This week we have Tomas Norre with us this week for interesting TYPO3 Talk! Tomas Norre Mikkelsen is a Danish Developer at AOE in Germany. Tomas is also a very active contributor within the TYPO3 community and one of the maintainers of the TYPO3 Crawler. Tomas also has a passion for Continuous Delivery and DevOps.

The TYPO3 Talk with Tomas is interesting, so grab that cup of coffee to explore TOmas's insights into his views, the history and potential of TYPO3 and the open source community, and how we can build a better TYPO3 ecosystem together!

Let's explore his journey with TYPO3 from then to now, and much more!

  • Interviewee : Tomas Norre
  • Company : AOE
  • Designation : Active contributor at TYPO3 Crawler, Continuous Delivery and DevOps
  • Topic : Together Building a Better TYPO3 Eco-system
Q1
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Hey Tomas, please tell us something about yourself to our audience.

I always find it hard to  tell something about yourself, but will give it a go.

I’m Tomas, 41  Years old and come from Aalborg (Denmark), and live in Germany for 7.5 years now. I fell in love with Open Source and TYPO3 many years ago, and I want to do as much open source work as I can afford.  

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

That's actually a fun story. It started as a Joomla project. But I couldn't get my head around it and how it worked and how to extend it. So I looked for alternatives and found TYPO3 quite nice. This was back in 2004, so back then the back wasn't as nice as today, but I still went for it, approached the client and ended up selling the project as TYPO3 instead of the Joomla the asked for at first. 

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

My contributions to TYPO3 can vary in many ways. Probably I’m most “known” for the TYPO3 Crawler which I have been doing the main development of since around 2015.

I’ve been part of the TYPO3.org team since 2010 where I started with doing small CSS fixes for the TYPO3 backend, in 2013 it converted into being developer for the TYPO3 TER Extension repository where I work together with e.g. Thomas Loeffler (Team Lead of the TYPO3.org Team).

Lately I have been helping out with the TYPO3 Rector by Sebastian Schreiber, which is some work that I really enjoy as I learn a lot. 

My latest contribution to the TYPO3 Community is the GitHub Action for TYPO3 Extension Upload (https://github.com/marketplace/actions/typo3-ter-uploader) which will help developers easier upload extensions automatically to the TYPO3 TER from GitHub. 
I work at AOE, and they always encourage us to do Open Source, and publish what ever we work on that is considered generic functionality. Earlier AOE was a big contributor to TYPO3, with more Core Developers over time. The engagement in hours put into TYPO3 has dropped from AOE as fewer clients of AOE is using TYPO3, but AOE is still engaged in Sponsoring Code Sprints (Food and Location).

They also sponsor a lot of the time that I use for developing the work I do for TYPO3.

Besides TYPO3 AOE has developed a Template Engine written in GO, Flamingo (https://www.flamingo.me/) which is also open source, it’s used for the projects we do within etc. the Aviation industry.

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?

As I’m not in sales, this question is hard for me to answer. Advice really depends on where you are on your level. My advice for a freelancer would not be the same as for a well established agency.

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?

It’s really hard to answer as I’m only a developer, I’m not really involved in any planning or strategies for TYPO3. Surprised? No, because TYPO3 is a rock solid CMS that solves most problems, I had never, so far, faced a challenge that could be solved with TYPO3, but saying that doesn’t mean that everything should be solved with TYPO3.

Every tool has its purpose, and TYPO3 is an amazing CMS system, but processing data-streams I would do with something else.

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

Sorry no.

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?

I cannot say what we missed, but I would love to get rid of the “TYPO3 is a German CMS” the same way we got rid of the “Not invented here”-mentality that the community was suffering from before. Luckly with composer it got easier to replace components and accept that we didn’t have to write all code by our self.

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

I don't know other CMS nor their community well enough to give a fair statement about that.

Q9
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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?

To get known outside of Germany. It’s getting better, but still some way to go.

Q10
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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?

I have honestly never used it, had a few peaks, but haven't built my impression of it yet.
In general I like the idea of a marketplace. Just don’t know if I will ever use it.

Really depends on what is up for sale.

Q11
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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?

Important, but more important that it starts using more standard components from e.g. Symfony. This enables non TYPO3 developers to easier get into TYPO3.

Q12
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There are extensions, multilingual, multisite enterprise CMS, ease of use, among all these, what attributes for the TYPO3 success?

From a developers perspective the success comes from the constant stride for being better and implementing more and more standard components from e.g. Symfony.

The “not invented here”-mentality that we had in the TYPO3 community is luckily something that is more or less left behind. We have seen the light in using well tested and used components from other open source projects. This is a big win for all. 

Part of this paradigm change of course comes for the introduction of Composer, which has improved the PHP eco system in general.

Q13
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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?

I have always wanted a Mentor, but never really succeeded in a structured way to get that. I have some people that I contact more often than others.

Some of them are Benni Mack https://twitter.com/bennimack and  Tizian Schmidlin https://twitter.com/TizianTweets which both have helped me a lot with the TYPO3 Crawler too. 
Lately Sebastian Schreiben has been more and more someone that I turn to, he has a big knowledge and is really helpful, kind and respectful. I really enjoy working with him, that’s also one of the reasons why I have engaged in the TYPO3 Rector.

I learn a lot from that work and from working with Sebastian, it’s really valuable to me.

Q14
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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?

 

I don’t read many blogs and not regularly, but I often end up at the blog from Daniel Goerz https://usetypo3.com/

The Documentation Team of TYPO3 is putting in a lot of work to improving the TYPO3 Documentation in General, and they are really doing a great job, the documentation has improved a lot over the years. Big kudos to the team behind. It’s really valuable.

Q15
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Do you think TYPO3 still needs more active contributors? Especially in awareness, branding, and marketing. Also, can you suggest some ideas on how TYPO3 could be expanded globally?

More contributors can always be a help, some areas are a one-person army, which can be exhausting. Deep respect to people putting this much time into TYPO3. 

I’m really not a marketing or sales person, as I mentioned before. So I barely know what can be done here, to establish a better Brand.

Q16
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Last but not least, Apart from TYPO3, What're the things you love to do?

During the last year my open source contributions got more regular than normal. When I don’t work on open source I enjoy playing/practising golf, going for a run or riding my bicycle.

Hey Tomas heartily thanks time to conduct these interview and sharing your views with insights. 

If you too want to share your views regarding the TYPO3 Eco-system and TYPO3 Open source community, 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 :)

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