The recent release of FLOW3 1.0.0 alpha 1 has caused quite a buzz in the TYPO3 community and should also be creating a similar buzz in the PHP development community as a whole. There is also some confusion in the TYPO3 world regarding FLOW3 and the upcoming release of TYPO3 version 5.0 versus the current version 4.X.
Spring was an appropriate time to put out the first FLOW3 release as this is a season of rebirth. It reminds me of the wren that built its nest and raised its three chicks in our basement this spring. The bird nest was a surprise and fun to keep an eye on. We also worried that our presence would interfere with the safety of the eggs and then chicks. We had to leave the door to the outside open until the mother bird was settled down for the night and remember to reopen it in the morning so she could get food for herself and her babies during the day. All turned out well, the eggs hatched, momma bird raised her chicks and when it was time, the chicks took flight and went out into the world on their own.
Change is always a stressful thing for people to deal with and TYPO3 version 5, which will be built using the FLOW3 framework, is no exception. Yet, I think this is the best thing that has ever happened to TYPO3.
Ever since the development of TYPO3 version 5 was announced and it became known that the new version would be a complete departure from earlier versions, some people have been worried that it would hurt business for TYPO3 agencies. Version 4 would be the last in its line and not be compatible with version 5. People worried that potential clients would not opt for the current versions fearing that they would have to completely redo their web sites after version 5 was released. If they did not go to that expense, they would be stuck with a soon to be outdated CMS.
At T3CON07, Kasper and others gave talks on how the transition would work and attempted to ease people’s fears. Now, in 2009, they have surpassed all expectations. At this point in the development of version 5, the team could not have done a better job, this is probably the best transition start of its kind I have ever seen. Here is why in a nutshell:
- FLOW3 is a new and improved PHP development framework that TYPO3 version will be built on. But, the new framework has far wider application in the PHP development world. Not only will it be optimized for TYPO3, it will bring TYPO3 awareness to a much wider audience due to the association of the two. Pretty clever, I think, as a marketing strategy.
- TYPO3 version 4.X will continue to be supported for years to come. This will hopefully calm some of those fears of being stuck with an outdated CMS.
- The TYPO3 version 5 team is making it a priority to make it as painless as possible for extension developers to transition their extensions to the new version.
So, far, it looks like everything is being done right and this will be very good for TYPO3.