Policy for making and reviewing contributions

Contributing to the TYPO3 Documentation is much appreciated, and should be a rewarding and positive experience both for contributors and maintainers of the documentation.

With this document, we try to set up conventions and best practices. We welcome constructive feedback to this living document with suggestions to continuously improve our process.

Policy for Contributors

As outlined in the chapter Contribute to the TYPO3 documentation, contributors can provide so called "Pull Requests" (PRs) to our manual repositories on GitHub.

When a Pull Request is made, we kindly ask contributors to note the following:

  • Please ensure that your Pull Request is made against the appropriate version of the documentation, usually against the main branch. If the changes you propose apply to specific versions of the documentation, you can add a line like Releases: main, 12.4, 11.5 to note any Git branch that your change would apply to. If you are unsure, our maintainers will take care of it - this is just a step to make their work easier.
  • Please provide a meaningful title to your Pull Request.
  • Please provide a short description of what your Pull Request is about.
  • Please try to focus your Pull Request on a single issue/topic. At best, a pull request should only affect a single file or chapter, maybe even a section. Feel free to contribute multiple Pull Requests for multiple topics. This makes our review process quicker and easier.
  • Be open to feedback that our maintainers may have about the change, and sometimes there will be questions or other comments that will help to finalize your contribution.
  • Please be patient for feedback to your contribution. Our maintainers work on Pull Requests in their spare time.

If you are interested in the work of our maintainers, read on in the next section.

Review policy for maintainers

This section is intended for current maintainers, but please read on, if you are interested in maybe becoming one in the future.

Contributions are very valuable: Anyone putting in the effort and time to help us should feel rewarded by doing so. We try to adjust our review policy to making this possible without sacrificing the quality of our documentation.

The review process should have the same standard for anyone of the maintainer team performing the review, and every member of the team should feel good when making decisions on what and how to give feedback on.

Basic work on contributions

  • Be kind and understanding. Even when rejecting a contribution, there is a person behind a text, who meant well.
  • Try to improve and explain changes made to Pull Requests.
  • The automatic Code-Checks must be green (maintainers may need to execute them first for first-time contributors - before you do, ensure no malicious code is contained in .github action code changes or general code snippets)
  • Ensure factual correctness and basic spell-checks of a Pull Request.
  • A maintainer can and should always directly edit/commit a Pull Request to apply the following changes without the need to first ask for feedback of the contributor or other team members:

    • Apply spelling fixes.
    • Fix syntax errors made in code.
    • Fix mistakes in reST markup (indentation, wrong directives, missing headers, wrong or missing linebreaks, wrong or bad links/references, ...) - see Coding guidelines for reST files.

Workflow and follow-ups to contributions

The following more specific checks to be fulfilled, before a Pull Request can be merged:

  • Ensure the Pull Request is made against the most recent applicable version. The usual workflow will allow Backport changes from the latest to older versions. If this is not aligned, ask the contributor if a PR can be made against a different branch.
  • Apply appropriate labels to the Pull Request, for example Backport 12.4 or Needs language rework or Needs CodeSnippet so that possible follow-up Pull Requests can be created.
  • A single maintainer is sufficient to approve a Pull Request, if all merging criteria has been met. No "grace period" must be met before a contribution can be merged.
  • Read all comments by co-maintainers, before you merge, and ensure no concerns are raised.
  • If you feel the Pull Request contains debatable or problematic parts, please discuss this //internally// in the documentation team (Slack channel #documentation-team). Negative public feedback can be off-putting and must only be raised after internal discussion, because this can reflect back to the TYPO3 project as a whole. Be encouraging in your feedback to give the contributor a chance to improve or agree to errors or wrong direction.
  • A single maintainer can also decide to close/dismiss a pull request. There should be a positively worded feedback to the contributor, stating factual reasons why a contribution can not be merged at this point.
  • Only apply the "Request Changes" ("-1") action if you feel the Pull Request must not be merged by any other maintainer. Ideally, always just comment nicely and give feedback on problematic areas of a Pull Request and ask the contributor to rephrase or fix errors. Other maintainers will read your comment. Discuss problems internally, if they cannot be addressed in an encouraging way towards the contributor.
  • If a maintainer sees additional issues while reviewing a contribution, these should be addressed in a separate Pull Request, as this is beyond scope.
  • In some areas, maintainers can be "opinionated" and may not agree, because there is no objective criteria to discuss. Such a discrepancy should be discussed internally. We are working on a catalogue of "debatable" topics, like for example when to make PHP code "final" or what to make "private/protected". All of our manuals should ideally follow the same lead. Whenever we hit a debatable topic, we should try to find a common ground and document how we decided to deal with this. These decisions are found in "Opinionated" decisions.

After a Pull Request has been merged:

  • Check if there were any labels that require follow-up changes to the Pull Request (like rework of wording, changing code snippets, adding screenshots). If applicable, a maintainer can either create the Pull Request themself, or maybe ask contributors, if they want to create a follow-up.
  • If a backport is needed, see Backport changes on how to perform this.
  • The maintainer who merges a Pull Request can make a decision on the scope of the backport. If a backport is too hard or time-consuming to execute, a maintainer may decide to not perform it. Any maintainer who feels otherwise is free to perform the backport on their own.
  • If a maintainer finds issues or disagrees with a performed merge after the fact, this must be discussed internally. A revert is always possible, as is a follow-up PR addressing mistakes. We are humans, and do make those from time to time.

"Opinionated" decisions

Some decisions can not be made objectively, there may be reasons against and for it. Like picking "spaces or tabs" for intendation, or how to apply Uppercase Wording.

Here is a list of currently agreed stances:

  • We use "Sentence case" for all headlines, so only uppercase words at the beginning of a sentence, and following english language uppercasing rules, plus uppercase all special words found in our Glossary.
  • Headline levels are used semantically/structurally, not visually. Their levels must follow logical rules and leave no levels out (for example, no headline of level 4 after a level 1 headline).
  • In PHP code examples, prefer Dependency Injection over makeInstance calls, whenever possible.
  • PHP Coding Guidelines adhere to a recent PSR/PER-CS standard, as described in the TYPO3 Coding Guidelines for PHP files. We may deviate from this in case of didactic or display reasons.
  • When acronyms are used, the first usage of that in a chapter must always spell it out.
  • Cross-link to other chapters when named specifically.
  • Always write "for example" instead of "e.g." or "i.e.", generally avoid abbreviations.
  • When referencing PHP class names / object types, spell out their "Fully Qualified Class Name" (FQCN) on first use.
  • See Spelling for more spelling / writing rules.


A few things still need to be addressed:

  • Unify the GitHub labels for all TYPO3-Documentation projects to have:

    • Backport 12.4/11.5
    • Needs language rework
    • Needs CodeSnippet
    • Needs more Examples
    • ...?
  • Create a list of "opinionated" and problematic decisions, aligned with the best practices of the TYPO3 Core Team. For example:

    • What to make "final" in PHP variables/methods/classes
    • What to make "private" instead of "protected" (and vice versa) variables/methods/classes
    • Directory names for code examples (for example "Classes/Service/" or "Classes/Services"?)
    • File names for code examples ("EntryService.php" or "EntriesService.php" or "EntryServices.php")
    • Exact prefixes for "Vendor" ("MyVendor"?) and Extensions ("MyExtension" or "MySitepackage"?)
    • Remove redundancy between "Opinionated" decisions and Spelling (split it up into "technical" and "grammar"?)