Introduction to TYPO3 documentation¶
For an excellent introduction, please see the 3 part series on Marcus Schwemer's blog TYPO3 Worx:
Please note that the section "Contribution and ReST Helpers" in part 3 is slightly outdated. Currently, using the Docker container for rendering is the recommended approach. If you edit on GitHub directly, GitHub preview should be sufficient for making small changes.
What is the TYPO3 documentation?¶
TYPO3 documentation may be one of the following:
It can be one of the official manuals like TYPO3 Explained.
It can be the documentation of a system extension.
It can be the documentation of a third party extension.
TYPO3 documentation can also be a Changelog entry for the core, for example a documented breaking change or new feature.
Common characteristics of TYPO3 documentation¶
All of these examples have a few things in common:
The documentation is rendered and found on https://docs.typo3.org
The documentation has a common theme, all pages look similar and use the same styles
Most of the documentation can be directly edited by the community. For third party extensions, this depends on where and how the source-code is hosted and maintained.
The source of the documentation is written (mostly) in reStructuredText (reST)
All documentation is rendered using the same rendering toolchain. All documentation can be rendered locally, with the officially supported Docker image.
The documentation source files adhere to Documentation content style guide and share a common structure (for example all documentation files in a
Due to the conventions, the rendering of documentation can be automated and every documentation project only requires a minimum of setup.
What is "rendering"?¶
Rendering means (in this specific case) converting the reST format (.rst files) into its final, readable form, which you can view in your browser, like this page, which you are probably reading online. If not, load https://docs.typo3.org/typo3cms/HowToDocument/BasicPrinciples.html in your browser.
In comparison, this is what the original source file looks like: https://docs.typo3.org/typo3cms/HowToDocument/_sources/BasicPrinciples.txt
Technically, this means converting the reST (.rst files) into HTML, automatically creating the menu, using the current theme to add additional styles and images.
See boilerplate texts for the start page on Startpage: Documentation/Index.rst.
A "manual" in the context of TYPO3 documentation is being used to talk about
one unit of documentation, which usually has it's own git repository (or is
included in the git repository of an extension) and consists of one
folder. A "manual" can be a tutorial, such as the TYPO3 - Getting Started Tutorial, a guide,
an extension manual or something else.
A tutorial is a manual.
Tutorials are designed to be a learning-oriented resource that take newcomers by the hand and guide them through a specific topic. To facilitate effective learning, tutorials provide examples to illustrate the subjects they cover.
They may not necessarily follow best-practices by the letter. They are designed to make it easier to get started.
The definitions for tutorials, guides, explanations and references were taken from Daniele Procida: What nobody tells you about documentation
A guide is a manual.
Guides offer advice on how best to achieve a given task. They are goal oriented.
A reference is well structured and allows the reader to find information about a specific topic. They should be short and to the point.
An extension manual covers only the extension. This documentation is (usually) included
in the source code of an extension in a
This documentation is authored and maintained by the TYPO3 community.
The Documentation Team generally maintains this documentation, but maintenance tasks may be delegated to others, for example by giving write permission to GitHub repositories.
In general, it is recommended for the TYPO3 experts to take on jobs of continuously updating content and making sure it is correct and up to date.
Third party extension manuals are typically "community documentation".
This documentation is usually maintained by the extension author.
The TYPO3 Documentation Team cannot maintain "community documentation", but it helps by providing documentation, support and an example extension manual.
Documentation contribution matrix¶
Considering how to contribute, the things that differ for various kinds of documentation are:
Where the issues are maintained (for example on Forge or GitHub)
Where the source code (Git repository) is kept
The workflow for making changes to the documentation
Type of documentation
Source Code (Git repository)
Workflow for making changes
Official guides, tutorials, core docs, etc.
On page of rendered docs, click on Issues in the footer on the bottom of the page
On page of rendered docs, click on Repository in the footer, or click on Edit on GitHub on top right
Create GitHub pull request, see Contribute to the TYPO3 documentation.
TYPO3 source code: GitHub
Same as for Changelog, inside TYPO3 source code: GitHub,
On page of rendered docs, click on Issues link in footer
On page of rendered docs, click on Repository link in footer, see Contribute to third-party extensions
It depends, see Contribute to third-party extensions
Official TYPO3 manuals¶
The official TYPO3 manuals are hosted on GitHub. Editing the documentation requires a GitHub account and involves creating a pull request on GitHub.
Find out more about how to contribute: Contribute to the TYPO3 documentation.
The documentation for the TYPO3 Core (changelog and system extensions) is added to the TYPO3 source code. For this reason, the workflow of changing something in the core documentation is very similar to adding a patch to the core.
Find out more about the core contribution workflow in general or about Add Documentation in the Contribution Guide.
In addition to using the core workflow, the core documentation can also be changed via "Edit on GitHub". In this case, a Gerrit patch is created automatically from the pull request.
The documentation for a 3rdparty extension is maintained within the source-code of this extensions. If and where it is edited depends on where the extension is hosted and maintained.
If the extension is hosted on GitHub and correctly configured in Documentation/Settings.cfg, extension documentation contributors can also make changes via "Edit on GitHub".
To find out how to contribute documentation for a specific extension: Contribute to third-party extensions
About TYPO3 extensions¶
In TYPO3, basically everything is an extension. There are system extensions and third party extensions:
System extensions (or core extensions) are extensions that are maintained in the TYPO3 source. For a list of system extensions, look in the Extension Manager or in the TYPO3 source, for example GitHub: TYPO3.CMS: /typo3/sysext.
Examples for system extensions are:
Note, that if your system has been installed with Composer, not all system extensions may exist
in the system, if each system extension has been required separately as "subtree splitted packages"
typo3/cms). Since TYPO3 9, installation of "subtree splitted packages" is mandatory.
For more information on subtree split, see
System extension documentation¶
Find the documentation for a system extension on System extensions.
Not all system extensions have documentation at the moment.
For more information about contributing to system extensions, see Contribute to system extensions in this guide.
See also Documentation contribution matrix for an overview of the issues, source and workflow for various kinds of documentation, including system extensions.
Third party extensions are extension that can be created by anyone. They are not included in the TYPO3 core codebase and are not officially supported by the TYPO3 core team.
Often, but not necessarily, these extensions are hosted on GitHub.
They can be installed by the TYPO3 Extension Manager or via Composer.
Third-party extension documentation¶
Find the documentation on Extensions by extension key.
For more information about contributing to third party extension documentation or for your own extension, see Contribute to third-party extensions. See How to document an extension for information about starting extension documentation from scratch.
See also Documentation contribution matrix for an overview of the issues, source and workflow for various kinds of documentation, including third party extensions.