I'm Fine with Cross-Country

Olivier Dobberkau sent a few rants today via Twitter, stating that the roadmap of TYPO3 Phoenix is so hard to find (here) and that it's so hard finding information about how to contribute (here). I think that the former doesn't make sense and the latter is not true.

First of all, it is – in an Open Source Project – hard, if not impossible, to set up a roadmap which is likely to be kept. The whole development effort relies, even if there's a budget from the TYPO3 Association, mostly on voluntary work. The members of the FLOW3 / Phoenix team are very committed and enthusiastic, but at the same time it can easily happen that they are not available due to customer projects, diploma theses and so on. Volunteers also tend to prefer working on topics which are currently relevant to their own work and what is most fun to do. How could we foresee that and put it into a roadmap?

Other projects are in the same situation. Try finding the Drupal roadmap or that of Joomla. Wordpress only mentions the code names of its future releases. Projects like Symfony don't even try to publish a roadmap in the first place.

To put it bluntly: I am convinced that publishing a roadmap for an Open Source product which promises certain features until certain dates is neither serious nor realistic. That doesn't mean we have no high-level goals. But they are moving targets and we discuss and document them during our meetings and at TYPO3 Forge.

The team and I personally would love to communicate a lot more about TYPO3 Phoenix. We would also love to have a salaried designer, a shared office, a marketing person and two more fully employed developers. There's no website about TYPO3 Phoenix online at the moment because the new website is not ready yet. There is an awful lot of reasons why certain things just don't happen. All a big misery, is it?

I don't see it that negative though. I could wish for a lot more, especially more time to spend, but I know that those involved doing their best possible and are flexible enough to adjust to the ever-changing requirements. We always focus on the next step in front of us and regularly exchange ideas about the overall strategy. And we'll continue with that until someone can show (and walk with us) a better path.

What's the best way for you to stay in touch with plans for the product? Do you need an outlook further than the next version?

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