Another great T3EE

The TYPO3 East Europe 2014 conference (T3EE14) held in Cluj Napoca (Romania) has ended yesterday evening. This was the second edition of an event that tried to gather together the TYPO3 enthusiasts from Eastern Europe. It had a limited success in attracting people from other eastern european countries except Romania. There were a few people but the majority were still from Romania. However the event had lots of visitors from the west and north of Europe. logo

The first day of the event wasn’t for the general public rather was focused on a workshop for municipalities from Romania. They could learn from people who had the experience of implementing open standards and solutions in the public sectors abroad. The day ended with a dinner at the Mater Corvin restaurant. The second day the conference really started and the participants started to get into the Halloween atmosphere right from the entrance door where a vampire (or maybe Dracula ?) greeted them with something to drink. The presentations were dedicated to topics like TYPO3 Neos, Community Software, How to sell Neos, How to upgrade to TYPO3 6.2 and a panel about the perspectives of the TYPO3 product family.

In the evening everyone went to the Halloween party at Casa Tiff were community members really did their best and came up with some really interesting and scary costumes. Lots of drinks, food, dancing and socializing that lasted until dawn ended the second day. If you want to see some pictures from this party (but also from the whole event) then just check out this twitter stream : https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=t3ee14

The third day brought two session tracks, one in the Dome room and one in the Cupola room. This time the presentation topics were more diverse. I will not list them here as you can find them on the T3EE website.  The event ended with a dinner at the Ursus Brewery and then everyone went either partying either home either at their hotel in anticipation of their morning flight.

Overall the event was great, there were some small glitches but those happen at every event. The organizers did everything in their power to make sure that the attendees have the best possible conditions and i feel they have succeeded. I certainly liked it as i liked seeing again some old friends, old colleagues and TYPO3 community members. I hope the 2015 edition will be even better.

Thank you for everyone involved in the organizing of the event and thank you to all the sponsors of the event: Arxia, PWO, jweiland.net, AOE, sitegeist, Pixelant, hosted solr by dkd and marketing factory.

Other articles about T3EE:

http://simplyadmire.com/blog/t3ee14.html

End of an era

Tomorrow is my last day of work at my current workplace. It was a nice seven years. I learned alot, worked on interesting projects, met many wonderful people and accomplished many things. However there are times in one’s life when he just needs to move on to new challenges. And now there’s such a moment in my life. I must thank Daniel and my colleagues at Arxia for everything we’ve accomplished together.

 

How to permanently disable autoplay for Facebook videos

It’s really simple. Go to this link: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=videos and set the autoplay to off.

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Back from T3DD14 Eindhoven

So, i just came back from Eindhoven, The Netherlands where this years edition of the TYPO3 Developer Days was held. This was the biggest TYPO3 event i ever attended. Met a lot of new people and also some of the people I’ve previously met in Mallorca, Inspiring Conference and of course last years T3EE.

I will not go into too much details about the workshops.I attended mostly those that were of special interest to me. That is the THEMES workshop because of the concept that i was always interested in – creating interchangeable themes for your TYPO3 website. Someone offered even to create an on the fly theme downloader which could directly download the theme into your TYPO3 installation and have a new theme which you can switch with a button. Combine this with Distributions and you will have a killer feature that will be appealing for everyone and especially to those who are not so experienced with TYPO3 or those coming from “other worlds” (like WordPress). I’m already planning to create a theme of my own based on a Bootstrap template.

Themes workshop

Lately I’ve been also working more and more with TYPO3 Flow so I went to the Flow and Neos workshops. Overall the workshops were interesting and you could learn some things. The best thing is that you can ask the developers directly if you have questions about some feature or issue. One thing i didn’t understand exactly is why they are switching issue tracking to Jira, after all being part of the open source community we should embrace open-source and not some proprietary system whenever is possible. However this is their decision and in the end if it helps TYPO3 to advance faster and better then we should embrace it.

Regarding the organizers of the event, I think they did a very good job, I know it’s never easy to organize such an event, especially with so many different people with different backgrounds and different cultures. It was very well organized and the location – the TechniekHuys was excellent with nice and big rooms, some of the screens could have been bigger but it was nothing that we couldn’t live without.

The social event gave me the opportunity to meet some nice people and change opinions about the event, the TYPO3 family of products and last but not least the Netherlands – the host country of this event.

As an added bonus I also did got my hand on some TYPO3 stickers and branded my laptop. I would have loved some orange stickers but they didn’t have that color. Suggestion: events should sell loads of stickers and other TYPO3 branded stuff.

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Too bad of the Sunday early morning plane, we had to leave early and couldn’t stay until the end. I’ve learned on Twitter that next year the T3DD will be in Nuremberg, Germany. I hope I will be there, until then maybe we see each other in Mallorca and T3EE. A big thanks again for the organizers and the sponsors of the T3DD14!

 

 

Meet DuckDuckGo, the best alternative to Google search

I’m going through a process of degooglification these months / years.  I’ve been one of the early adopters of Google and its products in the days when many of my friends didn’t even heard about Google or weren’t using computers at all. And when Yahoo search was powered by Google (poor Yahoo – if they only knew).

But enough is enough. Google become a company that i don’t like anymore, a company which claims to embrace open source but does so just to lock you in in their network where the rules are set by them and from where you will have a hard time leaving. And then later when something doesn’t serve anymore their interest they just shut it down like they did with Google Reader (to force you to use Google+). Also there is the issue of Google starting to fundamentally break the internet by spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) regarding the hyperlink – the fundamental element of what makes the internet work as it does.

Many people claim there’s nothing wrong with that, i will explain maybe in a future post why it’s not a very bright idea to give all your data to one single entity which controls it and uses it as it wishes or as it is told by authorities. Now it’s late and the subject is an other one.

Anyway, my degooglification process is going on for almost a year now and i managed to avoid using most of Google’s products by using alternatives. In a recent move when i’ve upgraded my laptop to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr i did one of the painful moves by abandoning Google Chrome in favor of Firefox. Another move was that my new Asus Transformer tablet runs on Windows 8.1 instead of Android. I will get rid of my Android phone too when my current contract ends.

But that is nothing compared to abandoning Google Search. That is one hard endeavour. The hardest item in my degooglification process.

DuckDuckGoBut more or less I’m Google Search free for a time now. From time to time i still use Google to cross check results or see differences between search engines. But most of the time my search engine of choice is DuckDuckGo, an independent search engine which uses data from many sources (including Bing, Yandex, Wolfram Alpha and Yahoo).  Yeah, the name might sound funny at first but one gets used to it. It comes from a children’s game named Duck, duck, goose.

There are three important aspects which made me choose this search engine despite its name. First of all it doesn’t track you , secondly it keeps you free of the filter bubble and of course the third is that it’s not Google behind it.

Everything started from a 30 day challenge of mine back in 2012. At first it was hard. The results weren’t always satisfactory. But hey improved over time. These days DuckDuckGo underwent a major overhaul and now there is a lot more information on it and different ways to present information:

It can identify different meanings of a word : https://duckduckgo.com/?q=moon

It can offer information about places: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cluj+napoca&t=canonical

Or can show a map: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cluj+napoca+map

Pictures: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=pictures+of+dogs

Videos : https://duckduckgo.com/?q=nightwish+storytime+video

Reciepes: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=house+made+ice+cream+recipe

Weather : https://duckduckgo.com/?q=weather+in+cluj

Currency conversion : https://duckduckgo.com/?q=300+usd+in+eur

And many more: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=how+far+is+the+moon

Overall i think it matches Google’s accuracy and i can find anything by using just DuckDuckGo.  I suggest anyone to try it out, see the differences between Google’s results and DuckDuckGo’s results and see if you’re trapped in the filter bubble or not.

Enable htmlArea RTE in TYPO3 6.2

I encountered a very odd issue today. After installing TYPO3 6.2 it seems that in the backend the htmlArea RTE is not enabled by default. I don’t remember that I ever had to enable this manually. Usually this worked. However in this case it doesn’t work and I’ve been told that this is a bug in TYPO3 6.2 which will be corrected. However I’ve later installed 6.2.1 and this issue is still there. But don’t panic, there is a solution for this problem.

Go to the menu item “User settings” on the left menu bar and then go to the tab “Edit & Advanced functions”. There you will find the checkbox “Enable Rich Text Editor (if available)”. Check it and you’re done, htmlArea RTE should work in the backend.

 

 

The human cost of electronics

How much an iPhone or any other top of the line smartphone costs you ? 20% of your monthly wage ? 30% ?

The video below is an eye opener for anyone who thinks that he pays too much for electronic devices.

Unfortunately some people pay with their health or worse with their life for having the “privilege” to work in factory producing these smartphones.

There are also more insights on this subject in the articles below :

1.) The Guardian – “Apple urged to stop using harmful chemicals in its factories”
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/12/apple-harmful-chemicals-factories-labour
2.) Fast Company – “A day in the life of an iPhone Factory Worker”
http://www.fastcompany.com/3014988/a-day-in-the-life-of-an-iphone-factory-worker
3.) BBC – “‘Poisoned’ Chinese workers turn to Apple for help”
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-12550429
4.) Upworthy – “Ever Heard Of Benzene Poisoning? Me Neither. But Samsung And Apple Have”
http://www.upworthy.com/ever-heard-of-benzene-poisoning-me-neither-but-samsung-and-apple-have-1112

Tutorial of the week: Installing Redmine on Ubuntu

Redmine is a project management and issue tracking tool. Many people use it for managing software projects all around the world. During my work with various projects i’ve used Redmine and i found that it covers most of the aspects related to software projects having characteristics like: issue tracking, gantt charts, work logs, wiki, documents, versions and what is also pretty neat is that you can connect your code repository (Subversion, Git, etc) to it.

Now after a while for my personal projects i wanted to switch from Mantis to something more elaborate and professional. And Redmine is the solution i have chosen. Unfortunately for many Redmine is not so easy to install as Mantis. It was written in Ruby on Rails and you need quite some dependencies to install it. But doing that on Ubuntu is not that hard. I’ve done it in about 20 minutes (which includes the research also) and thought that i should write a tutorial about it in case someone else needs it.

Because a while ago i decided that this blog will focus more on opinions, news and general articles and that all code examples and tutorials that require code examples will be stored on my wiki, you can find the  small tutorial on how to install Redmine on my wiki.

A truly Inspiring Conference

The 2014 edition of the Inspiring Conference has ended. If you didn’t know what the Inspiring Conference is then here is a short description. It’s a conference that was held in Kolbermoor / Germany between the 28th and 29th of March and dedicated especially to TYPO3 Flow and TYPO3 Neos, although other subjects were also on the agenda. It’s the 3rd edition and it’s certainly not the last. For me it’s the first time that i attended this conference but i knew early on that this is just what i was waiting for and now at the end i’m sure that i will come next year too.

The workshop

For me the conference started earlier because i’ve also attended the TYPO3 Flow advanced workshop held by Bastian Waidelich on the 27th of March in Bad Aibling. The workshop was very interesting and I’ve learned some new stuff although i’m not such a beginner anymore with Flow.

First day

The first official day of the conference kickstarted with an amazing laser show with an epic musical background.

Video credits: Mirko Kaufmann

After that it was time for community manager Ben van’t Ende to talk to the audience before Robert Lemke’s keynote and Christian Müller’s talk called Neos 101. Of course the coffee breaks and the dicussions (people still amazed by the laser show) couldn’t be forget. Then it was Sebastian Kurfürst’s task to get the audience acquainted with Typoscript 2.0. Shortly after 12.00 Martin Helmich produced one of the most interesting presentations from my point of view, this was a presentation about running TYPO3 Flow on HipHop VM and some benchmarks compared to running it with Apache in different modes. Conclusion is that Flow can be run on HipHop with some small modifications and this does improve the speed of the application, however it is for now a little bit unstable for production use. Regardless of that i will have to try this myself just for fun!

The Markthalle was the scene of the lunch where all kinds of goodies were served to the people and of course the social interactions continued. The afternoon sessions started with the session How Flow helps us save the world by Tim Numan and Jesper Paardekooper and then again it was time for something really interesting for me and that is Domain Event – the hidden gem of DDD by Henrik Møller Rasmussen.

After another break Karsten Dambekalns shared his experiences with migrating a TYPO3 CMS website’s content to TYPO3 Neos. The conclusion is that it’s not that easy but it’s doable. The last session of the day was by Robert Lemke and it was called Look Ma, no Plugins! and demonstrated how one can create custom content types with TYPO3 Neos without having to create custom extensions/plugins.

The organizers also prepared a flying buffet and a cake for closing of the first day of presentations. However the day was not yet over as the social event was just about to start. Hidden down in the “Kellergewölbe” (dungeon) was a nice place for socializing, dancing and of course drinking german beer. Although i didn’t stay too long i’ve heard that some people went home just before sunrise.

Second day

The second day started by a well known personality in the PHP world – Sebastian Bergmann who talked about the Driven Developer. And if we were at the subject of testing then it was natural that the next presentation by Christopher Hlubek called A practical guide to BDD with Behat and Flow followed after that. This was also a presentation that appealed to me.

After the break another session aimed at the new kid on the block – TYPO3 Neos. This session was held by Dominique Feyer and was about Node Kingdom. A place where every node feels at home. After the lunch there were also some good presentations. Henrik Møller Rasmussen showcased their app called Famly and talked about the inner workings of this project.

Later Marko Klawonn talked about Fakeperformance (loading …) then Christian Jul Jensen confessed the trials and triumphs of Opeepl a Flow 2.0 application built by himself. This was interesting for me also because i always wanted to see real world case studies and showcases of Flow applications. Then it was Sebastian Kurfürst’s presentation Polyglot Neos : Localisaton in Neos 1.2 that closed the second and last day of the Inspiring Conference.

Conclusions

With about 250 participants (event sold out), 3 workshops and two days of presentations it was a very good conference for anyone who works with TYPO3 Neos, TYPO3 Flow and TYPO3 CMS. This event demonstrated that interest for the new members of the TYPO3 family (that is Neos and Flow) is increasing year by year and the products are getting mature enough to be used in real world projects. Regarding the organization i think it was one of the best organized events I participated in and I want to thank to the guys at Techdivision for taking care of the organization but also for the sponsors who made it possible.

About the Google Death Glare

So it’s not only me who belives that Google has become what Microsoft was a few years ago (only worse).

Matt Cutts, Google’s long term public face, was fairly clear saying “Google doesn’t have partners,” recently at an event we both spoke at.

It’s a blank stare Google executives give you when you express a concern, as if you’re talking to someone who doesn’t speak one word of your language.

Anyone who has Google as a partner knows this stare.

Google only sees you as a partner when they need you to run their ads or they need your content to draw in advertisers. When you need help, Google says “we don’t have partners!”

That’s why folks are so frustrated with Google, and I see that tipping over into hate more and more often. The people I meet who run Machinima, Maker and other major YouTube partners exhibit outright hate for YouTube.

That’s bad news for Google.

In fact, it’s fairly clear to this executive, who has been working with Google since Day One, that Google thinks of content creators–artists–as this necessary evil to put their ads next to.

They don’t really respect us since they won everything. If they did, they would listen to our needs and think about making their platform sustainable.

They don’t listen any more really (that is, unless you need help implementing their advertising technology).

Have a question on how to optimize your ads? They’re all ears!

Have a question about the revenue split, making your business sustainable or why you were replaced in search results by their service (see Yelp v. Zagat)?

Google Death Glare!

Source: blog.launch.co