SymfonyCon 2016 Recap
So it's the end of the year and we went to SymfonyCon - this time in Berlin.
For me (Mathias) it was the first SymfonyCon so I had no idea what I was getting into. The sheer amount of attendees which was estimated at 1.200 people made me curious about how organizational things like signup for lunch would work. To give you a heads-up, the SensioLabs crew as well as the hotel managed this close to perfect, so nothing but respect in that regard.
Something that immediately caught my eye was how differently the other Open Source projects showed up compared to TYPO3. It's not just the booths most of them had at the conference, since most projects have some sort of booth nowadays, but the uniformed look of everybody just worked out to give the entire show a truly professional taste. All SensioLabs staff were wearing SensioLabs sweaters or shirts, same goes for the people from Blackfire.io, Drupal, heroku, Sixt, A-Ventures and those I probably missed now (which is not intentional, I might add).
The keynote was nice, but not stellar, I expected a bit more enthusiasm from Fabien Potencièr (CEO, SensioLabs / Blackfire.io), but maybe some last minute stuff kept him busy.
During the keynote Fabien introduced us to SensioCloud, a turn-key-ready solution based on Platform.sh - interesting. Since I am pretty familiar with Platform.sh I could skip the demos and just ask some detailed questions on what makes SensioCloud different from vanilla Platform.sh. Turns out the SensioLabs engineers added some nifty, yet helpful tools to the deployment chain - written in Go... cool so far.
This move illustrates how much Symfony has evolved into the enterprise market where it belongs, in my opinion. So basically it's just a logical step on the ladder to more professional PHP services. Well done, people.
Right after the keynote all the Platform.sh people wore SensioCloud sweaters until the end of the event. This is a great demonstration of what commitment means, in my opinion. It was SensioLabs' show, so everybody jumped in and helped promote their new service.
Interestingly, their Marketing Team scheduled quite a lot of video interviews (yup... video) with a lot of people asking for opinions about Cloud Hosting in general as well as PHPs role in it. I hope to see the TYPO3 bit of it soon-ish.
Things got really interesting when Benni Mack and I got a hold of Nils and Jordi of Packagist.org.
In case you don't know, Packagist.org runs the PHP ecosystem by listing a great deal of the available PHP libraries and packages. And since we move TYPO3 closer and closer into the PHP ecosystem we figured that all extensions should go onto packagist.org as well.
Naturally, we asked for a way to support the Packagist project since
- Jordi and Nils maintain this in their spare time
- It's a free service for everyone
- It runs a LOT of traffic
If we could encourage TYPO3 extension developers to add their extensions to packagist, we directly create a financial impact on Jordi and Nils - which we think should be compensated somehow - either by donations or by other means.
But here's the kicker: Packagist turned commercial with packagist.com. So instead of setting up your own registry of private packages with Satis or Toran, we can now simply buy that service at Nils and Jordi directly - awesome!
I give you that the service isn't exactly cheap to begin with, but on the other hand it's worth every penny. You get a reliable registry of your private packages, don't have to fiddle with backups or uptime, it proxies packagist.org but most important of all: it directly supports the free service of packagist.org.
To us this is a no-brainer and we will be adding our on-premise bitbucket server to it soon.
If you use packagist.org for your projects (and if you don't... do so now!) I strongly recommend to buy into a license here - even if you do not use the private stuff... simply to support Nils and Jordi.
I will compose a dedicated post about blackfire.io rather soon, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to them, so they don't feel left out.
Once I release the post about blackfire.io and why it's an incredibly helpful tool I will set a link here... maybe... if I remember to do so.
Same goes for Jam of Acquia whom I will try to manage a couple of combined Drupal + TYPO3 talks with at various conferences.
To everybody I've missed: It was an awesome event and I was amazed by the professionalism and dedication of everybody involved. We had so many discussions and I took so much from it. Thank you!
TYPO3s spirit used to be located on the isolating side of things. We had a couple of people that thought they could do everything better themselves instead of just teaming up with others. Not so very open, is it?
Throughout the years this has lead to the perception of TYPO3 not being open - even though the opposite is the case. Benni and I spent quite some time explaining to people that TYPO3 is not using Flow as the framework underneath and that we actually run quite a few Symfony components already and will continue to use even more.
It was quite refreshing and scary at the same time to see first hand how many people still thought TYPO3 used Flow as its underlying framework. It was refreshing because we simply had to tell them how many Symfony components we already use in TYPO3s core and scary because the exact opposite has been stuck in people's minds for such a long time.
The same goes for "TYPO3 Flow" and "TYPO3 Neos"... so many people out there still think it's one open source project - so we got a lot to do to get that out of peoples heads (and the internet... not sure which task is the more difficult one). Luckily these misunderstandings could be ruled out pretty quickly at SymfonyCon and people's view of TYPO3 changed significantly in no time.
In the end it harms both TYPO3 and Flow/Neos. Ask three people and you will get 12 opinions back. People like different things - so clearing this up is incredibly important.
So I'd like to call on everyone in the TYPO3 community to work on that misperception as well and spread the word that we are not closing our show down, that we're here to stay and grow - despite our past adventures.
Everything I've seen at SymfonyCon makes me proud to be part of the PHP ecosystem with TYPO3. But not only that... my main learning is that we still got a long way to go.
So let's rewind back to say... 2001... that's a nice 15 years.
We had to fight our way into the enterprise segment only to get Open Source accepted, mostly due to IT policies. I remember begging the IT director of an airline to give Open Source software a chance, which they did by the way, just to make people understand the full potential of our philosophy.
We were the weird, nerdy bunch of people that provided incredible software for free and eventually gave everyone permission to alter the source code as they saw fit. We didn't charge license fees for nothing, but rather allocated the budget to where it meant something - the project itself.
Rule of thumb: € 20,000 spent on design and user experience is better than € 20,000 spent on a license.
Fast-forward to 2016:
Yes, Open Source has grown up; it matured.
But we're still not swimming with the big guys in Content Management.
Yet, we should!
I hope we can get the vibe and momentum of SymfonyCon into the TYPO3 spirit. Projects start to grow up, become more professional and so should we.
TYPO3 GmbH is a step into the direction of providing professional services around our beloved CMS solution and I hope that we all, together, can push Open Source Software in general and TYPO3 in particular even further.