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The History of Typo3 (1997 to 2018)

"The really special thing about TYPO3 is in the community we have!"

Kasper Skårhøj

We call the gamechangers the people who find new solutions to existing challenges, and Kasper Skårhøj is one of them: he writes the core of TYPO 3 and gets started on one of the most successful open source projects. At the end of the 1990s, the internet is slowly gaining momentum and the dot-com economy is nearing its first peak. At the time, content management is still closely linked to technical issues - it is correspondingly complicated to operate a website. With the first CMS solutions, website creators can fully focus on content. Today, an SEO manager needs a few minutes to familiarize himself with TYPO 3: Meta tags and the search engine performance of their own Internet presence can now be managed via smartphones. In between are more than 20 years of web development. The roots of TYPO3 In 1997, the Apple share is less than a dollar, Microsoft wins the first round in the browser war against Netscape Communicator and a small search engine with potential is renamed from "BackRub" to "Google". In Denmark, Kasper Skårhøj is looking for a solution to separate the technical design of Internet sites from content maintenance. He begins developing a content management system at a time when the term was still unknown. Mid-2000, the core of the new CMS software is written in PHP and is published as a beta version. Kasper had left his old company, superfish.com, a year earlier, believing the new software as an open source project has better development opportunities. After undergoing a year of crash testing and evolving from a growing community, the first version of stable version number three is ready for use in 2001. Since software developers like to know good anecdotes, the new content management software gets the name TYPO - an abbreviation for the English "Typingerror": According to tradition, Kasper has lost the work of a whole week after a long programming session due to a typo. However, after the code was rewritten, it was more powerful than the accidentally deleted one. Today TYPO 3 is a secure software with a structured upgrade cycle. Since version 4.5, there is also an LTS upgrade for every version jump: The Long Term Support versions are designed for stability and are updated for three years. This ensures that no typing terror threatens TYPO 3, even if it is deeply integrated in the name. TYPO3 as a community project In 2003, the Mozilla Foundation is founded and Mark Zuckerberg makes his first experiences with "facemash" - the college project that will eventually become Facebook. Web 2.0 has arrived and community or user generated content is becoming one of the most important requirements in web development. TYPO 3 gets the Extension Manager at this time: In addition to the basic installation, the software offers numerous extensions, which are created by web developers of the community. Many essential functions such as forums, e-commerce tools or pageview statistics become available and increase the benefits. The following year, the list of compatible databases will be larger. Thanks to DBAL (Database Abstraction Layer), many popular SQL systems (such as MariaDB, PostgreSQL or Oracle) are supported, not just MySQL. 2005 starts with the "t3n magazine" a magazine for TYPO 3 and related open source projects. The popularity of the software and the number of web developers they use are growing. The trade magazine is a hit and a channel for digital pioneers with a circulation of over 40,000. Today, around 80,000 developers supply code for the further development of TYPO 3.

EnterpriseCMS and Flexible Rights Management

2007 go to Hulu (the video on demand service) and Amazon Fresh (an online grocery store) online. E-commerce has become one of the most important tasks for web developers. This year, TYPO 3 will be expanded to include Inline Relational Record Editing (IRRE): Simultaneously editing linked records together will be greatly simplified. Above all, the performance around the differentiated and flexible rights administration increases. Even with a large number of different editors, content management remains manageable and secure - key requirements for large online shops. In the D-A-CH area, TYPO 3 is the preferred EnterpriseCMS, especially for small and medium-sized companies. The advantages that Kasper Skårhøj has seen in the open source development can score above all against proprietary solutions: the large community develops numerous additional functions and extensively tests the new software. 2007 is also the year in which Kasper leaves the project and seeks new challenges. Today Benni Mack heads the development of the system.

Mobile Internet and Content Management

On April 3, 2010 , the first iPad will be sold in the US, and what started with the iPhone will demand websites in a new way: the mobile Internet. The customized representation for different screen sizes is a task for web design and content management systems. HTML5 brings many simplifications and has been supported by TYPO 3 since 2010 in the frontend. New mobile device dedication extensions appear in the extension repository and customized templates are made available for download by the community (mostly created with TYPO 3 Fluid, the HTML5 compliant templating engine). Mobile Internet is also becoming more important for content managers for their own workflow. Since TYPO 3 Version 7, a responsive backend has been supported for tablets and since 8.4 for smartphones.

Security and the Internet

In June 2015 , there will be a cyberattack on the German Bundestag - a single event in a long and unpleasant list. Web design without security guidelines is no longer conceivable today. In the development of TYPO 3, besides flexibility, security is also on the to-do list. An own TYPO 3 Security Team under the direction of Helmut Hummel is responsible for the security-related questions. The TYPO 3 Security Cookbook serves as a quick overview. Security was also important for TYPO3 in 2015 in another respect. After the development since 2004 was mainly supported by the TYPO 3 Association, now came a TYPO 3 GmbH. Above all, the support and the services around the software should be put on a secure footing.

DSGVO and Search Engine Optimization

2018 comes into force the General Data Protection Regulation (General Data Protection Regulation - DSGVO). No matter how the new guidelines are assessed, web site operators must adhere to it. Version 9 of TYPO 3 supports the administration and thus compliance with the DSGVO compliance requirements. In addition, there are a number of other tools that make life easier for content managers, such as:

  • Simplifying the Database Table Creation functions
  • the new system extension "SEO" facilitates the optimization for search engines

The Internet is designed by people for people; nevertheless it is clear that the "search engine friendliness" of a website is a success-relevant factor. Among other things, the SEO Extension considerably simplifies the administration of meta tags with a new Meta-Tag API.

TYPO3 - Web development for over 20 years

At the beginning there is an attentive and talented Dane. Kasper Skårhøj recognizes that a flexible and dynamic Internet needs just as much tools for its development. On its basis - the core written in PHP - a vibrant developer community creates solutions for a still-growing Internet. Typo 3 can with approx. Claim 400,000 productive installations alongside other open source CMS software. Joomla, Drupal or WordPress are easier to use but can not compete with the almost limitless scalability. Associations, NGOs and growth-oriented companies therefore often invest in Type 3. Today Typo 3 is a dynamic project with numerous extensions and integrated or independent sub-projects (Typo 3 Neos, Neos Flow, ...). The flexibility, performance and scalability of the software is mainly due to a feature that Kasper Skårhøj put in the first place: it's a community project.

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Where does the name Typo3 come from?

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