Breaking: #97816 - TypoScript syntax changes

See forge#97816


TYPO3 v12 comes with a new TypoScript syntax parser that is more performant, more robust and allows better tooling in the Backend.

The new parser is more forgiving in many places, but some seldom used syntax details have been removed, too. This documentation explains details that may be breaking for existing instances.

Also see the feature documentation for an overview of syntax improvements.


Using one of the constructs below stops working in v12 and needs TypoScript adaptions.

Affected installations

Instances using TypoScript as outlined below.


Streamlined constants usage

It has never been fully documented in which context "constants" {$foo} shall be used and which exact capabilities they have. The main TypoScript constants documentation within the TypoScript Reference was partially outdated, and the TSconfig documentation claimed TSconfig is not constants aware at all, which isn't fully the case anymore. Let's sort out some details:

  • Nesting constants is not possible and never has been. A construct like this is invalid syntax and is treated as string literal: {$foo{$bar}}
  • Recursive constants were possible with the old parser but are not supported with the new parser anymore. This was never documented, the Backend Template module never showed them as resolved, only the Frontend parsed recursive constants. The simple rule is now: Never access a constant within another constant. Instances using a construct like the below one need to untie constants.

    foo = fooValue
    # This does not resolve to "fooValue" but is kept as string literal "{$foo}"
    bar = {$foo}
    # This does NOT resolve to "fooValue", but to the string literal "{$foo}"
    myValue = {$bar}
  • Similar to the above restriction, constants can be used in Frontend TypoScript setup conditions, but not in Frontend TypoScript constants conditions. As example, a sys_template record with the below content set in the constants field always evaluates the condition to false:

    my.constant = myValue
    ['{$my.constant}' == 'myValue']
      # Never executed since the above constant usage is NOT substituted to 'myValue'
      other.constant = otherValue

    If something like this is really needed, integrators can potentially work around by accessing a site setting directly in a constants condition:

    The sites settings.yaml:
      setting: someValue
    A sys_template record constants field within this site:
    my.constant = myValue
    [traverse(site('configuration'), 'settings/some/setting') == 'someValue']
      # This works but is rather ugly to rely on
      other.constant = otherValue
  • Constants are now restricted to "assignments" and "conditions". Using a constant to substitute an "identifier" / "object path" is no longer allowed. This has never been clarified in the docs before and instances abusing constants to specify object paths should be seldom and need to resolve the situation with the new parser now:

    This is supported:

    # Simple constant usage as assignment value:
    foo = {$bar}
    # Compiling a value with string literals and constants:
    foo = I am {$bar}
    # Using a constant in a condition:
    [ myValue = {$bar} ]
    # Using constant(s) in multiline assignments:
    foo (
        I am {$bar} and {$baz}

    These constructs are not supported:

    # Using a constant as object path specification
    {$bar} = myValue
    # This is an object path specification, too, and not supported:
    foo < {$bar}
  • PageTsConfig does support constant substitution: Site constants can be used in PageTsconfig. This has been introduced with TYPO3 v10, see Feature: #91080 - Site settings as TypoScript constants and in TSconfig for details.

File includes are always top level

File includes with @import and <INCLUDE_TYPOSCRIPT: within curly braces are not relative anymore. A construct like this is invalid:

page = PAGE
page {
    @import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/bar.typoscript'
    20 = TEXT
    20.value = bar

With EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/bar.typoscript having this content:

10 = TEXT
10.value = foo

This no longer leads to this TypoScript:

page = PAGE
page.10 = TEXT
page.10.value = foo
page.20 = TEXT
page.20.value = bar

Instead, the following TypoScript will be calculated:

page = PAGE
10 = TEXT
10.value = foo
20 = TEXT
20.value = bar

This means @import and <INCLUDE_TYPOSCRIPT: basically break any curly braces level, resetting current scope to top level. While inclusion of files has never been documented to be valid within braces assignments, it still worked until TYPO3 v11. This is now disallowed and must not be used anymore.

<INCLUDE_TYPOSCRIPT: with DIR: and relative paths always assumes the public/ directory as base directory now. (Formerly it was relative to the file holding the include statement.)

@import is more restrictive with wildcards

The previous implementation of @import relied on Symfony Finder. This turned out to be a performance bottleneck, the new implementation is based on "native" PHP file and directory lookup logic. For performance, security and best practice considerations, @import is now a bit more restrictive than before, especially with wildcard * handling.

Integrators are encouraged to switch from <INCLUDE_TYPOSCRIPT: to @import in TYPO3 v12 projects: The <INCLUDE_TYPOSCRIPT: is more complex and harder to handle, but a bit more permissive. Note @import can be placed within conditions bodies now: @import lines are only considered if the condition matches. This did not work with TYPO3 v11. It is likely that <INCLUDE_TYPOSCRIPT: will be deprecated with TYPO3 v13, integrators should adapt to @import when upgrading to TYPO3 v12 already.

The following rules apply to @import:

  • Files must reside in extensions, the lookup pattern must start with EXT if absolute. Including TypoScript snippets, for instance, from fileadmin is not allowed and never has been for @import.
  • File includes may be relative to the current file, and must be prefixed with ./ in this case. Subdirectories are allowed, path traversal using ../ is not allowed.
  • Files must end with .typoscript in frontend TypoScript. With TSconfig, both .tsconfig and .typoscript are allowed, but .tsconfig should be preferred.
  • Directory includes are not recursive.
  • Directory traversal using ../ is not allowed.
  • Wildcards for directories are not allowed. This has never been documented as working, and is considered an unplanned side-effect of Symfony Finder. Few people used this undocumented feature, it should be possible to restructure existing uses relatively easily.
  • Only a single wildcard * is allowed for filename patterns.

Valid examples:

@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/bar.typoscript'

# Import all files in directory, ending with :file:`.typoscript`, or additionally
# :file:`.tsconfig` in TSconfig scope, in native operating system ascending order.
@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/'

@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/*.typoscript'
@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/*.setup.typoscript'

# Import setupFoo.typoscript, and similar
@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/setup*.typoscript'
@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/setup*'

# If this is in file 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/foo.typoscript',
# file 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/bar.typoscript is included
@import './bar.typoscript`
# Relative sub directories includes are supported
@import './SubDirectory/bar.typoscript`
# Relative sub directories with wildcards are supported,
# this will include ./SubDirectory/foo.typoscript
@import './SubDirectory/*'

Invalid examples:

# fileadmin and friends not allowed
@import 'fileadmin/foo.typoscript'

# Tries to include foo.txt.typoscript, *not* foo.txt
@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/foo.txt'

# Directory traversal is not allowed
@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/Foo/../Bar/bar.typoscript'

# Directory wildcards are not allowed
@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/*/foo.typoscript'

# Multiple wildcards in filename pattern are not allowed
@import 'EXT:my_extension/Configuration/TypoScript/foo.*.*.typoscript'

UTF-8 BOM in TypoScript files

The new TypoScript parser no longer ignores UTF-8 BOM in included files: Having a Byte-order-mark in TypoScript files may create undesired results. They should be removed. UTF-8 BOM is disallowed in various other languages, for instance JSON and PHP. The new parser follows here. Modern editors typically don't add an UTF-8 BOM anymore.

Instances can check if they use UTF-8 BOM with a Unix shell command:

# find affected files
find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 -n1 file {} | grep 'UTF-8 Unicode (with BOM)'
# remove UTF-8 BOM from a single file
sed -i '1s/^\xEF\xBB\xBF//' affectedFile.typoscript

Support for \n and \r\n linebreaks only

TypoScript sources must terminate single lines with either "\n" (Unix ending: LineFeed), or "\r\n" (Windows ending: Carriage return, LineFeed). Ancient Mac, prior to Mac OS X used "\r" as single linebreak character. This old linebreak type is no longer detected when parsing TypoScript and may lead to funny results, but chances are very low any instance is affected by this.

Operator matching has higher precedence

The new parser looks for valid operators first, then parses things behind it. Consider this example:

lib.nav.wrap =<ul id="nav">|</ul>

This is ambiguous: The above =<ul could be interpreted both as an assignment = of the value <ul, or as a reference =< to the identifier ul.

While the old parser interpreted this as an assignment, the new parser treats it as a reference.

The above example aims for an assignment, though, which can be achieved by adding a whitespace between = and <:

lib.nav.wrap = <ul id="nav">|</ul>