Deploy Friday: Your source for everything Open Source

#36: Open source authoring: creating a new CMS guidebook

August 10, 2021 Robert Douglass, Heather McNamee, Felicity Brand, Jeffrey A. McGuire Episode 36
Deploy Friday: Your source for everything Open Source
#36: Open source authoring: creating a new CMS guidebook
Show Notes

Writing a TYPO3 Guidebook as a Collective Effort

With upwards of 600 features, writing about a fully featured, open source CMS like TYPO3 can be a challenge. In this episode, Felicity Brand, Heather McNamee, and Jeffrey A. McGuire talk about how they co-authored a TYPO3 guidebook in concert with the TYPO3 community.

The need for this guidebook

As Jeffrey A. McGuire tells it, TYPO3 wanted a book for a diverse audience, ranging from developers, newbies, project analysts, students, educators, integrators, and digital agencies. He explains that while getting the commission to write the book, “They told us there hasn’t been a book for beginners for a while, and we’ve got this idea that our system is ready to get back out into the world.”

Every huge task is made up of smaller steps

A book is an enormous project, and it can be hard to know where to start. But as Felicity Brand says, “Writing a book is just like any other writing task. We put a lot of effort into planning at the start. You create a guide, a framework, and then you start putting these building blocks in place.” Heather McNamee says at Open Strategy Partners, they try to approach every task, even big ones like this guidebook, “the same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.”

The strength of the TYPO3 community contributed to their success

All three guests today acknowledge how much the strength of the TYPO3 community helped them in the creation of this guidebook. 

  • Large, well-established, active, and diverse. Heather says, “We really couldn’t have done it without the subject-matter-experts, the incredible documentation team, and the people who blog about TYPO3.”
  • Welcoming to newcomers. As Heather puts it, “The TYPO3 community is ready to scale,” and they actively reach out to help onboard beginners and stakeholders.
  • Leadership is accessible and approachable. Despite being new to the TYPO3 community, Felicity was able to speak with leadership directly to research this guidebook.
  •  The community gives back. The TYPO3 community actively supports and contributes to other important projects that many of us rely on like PHP Unit, Symfony, and Composer. 

What’s next for TYPO3 in 2021

TYPO3 CMS has more big plans to start 2021 off right. Says Felicity, “For version 11 the big push is accessibility, usability, and improved developer experience with making sure upgrades are really smooth and easy.”

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