Breaking: #63846 - FormEngine refactoring

See forge#63846


FormEngine is the core code structure that renders a record view in the backend. Basically everything that is displayed if elements from page or list module are edited is done by this code.

The main implementation was done thirteen years ago and was never touched on a deep code structure level until now. The according patches were huge and move the whole code to a new level. Stuff like that can not be done without impact on extensions that use this code.


TCA changes

  • Keys _PADDING, _VALIGN and DISTANCE of TCA['aTable']['columns']['aField']['config']['wizards'] have been removed and have no effect anymore.
  • Key TCA['aTable']['ctrl']['mainPalette'] has been dropped and has no effect anymore.

TSconfig changes

  • Key mod.web_layout.tt_content.fieldOrder has been dropped and has no effect anymore.
  • Key TCEFORM.aTable.aField.linkTitleToSelf has been dropped and has no effect anymore.

Code level

Methods and properties from FormEngine are not available anymore. Classes like InlineElement are gone. New structures like a factory for elements and container have been introduced. While not too many extensions in the wild hook or code with FormEngine, those that do will probably throw fatal errors after upgrade. The hook getSingleFieldClass has been removed altogether.

Changed user functions and hooks

  • TCA: If format of type none is set to user, the configured userFunc no longer gets an instance of FormEngine as parent object, but an instance of NoneElement.
  • TCA: Wizards configured as userFunc now receive a dummy FormEngine object with empty properties instead of the real instance.
  • Hooks no longer get the key form_type. Use type instead.
  • Hook getSingleFieldClass has been dropped and no longer called.

Breaking interface changes

  • The type hint to FormEngine as $pObj has been removed on the DatabaseFileIconsHookInterface. This hook is no longer given an instance of FormEngine.
  • Method init() of InlineElementHookInterface has been removed. Classes that implement this interface will no longer get init() called.

Affected installations

For most instances, the overall impact is rather low or they are not affected at all. Some very rarely used TCA and TSconfig options have been dropped, those will do no harm. Instances are usually only affected if loaded extensions do fancy stuff with FormEngine with hooks or other related code.

TYPO3 CMS 7 installations with extensions using or hooking into FormEngine and its related classes are likely to break. TCA elements of type user may break. Instances using these parts will quickly show fatal errors at testing. It may help to search for FormEngine or t3lib_tceForms below the typo3conf/ext directory to find affected instances.


Adapt the extension code. The majority of methods were for internal core usage only, but still public. Please use the existing API to solve needs on FormEngine.