A short history of Extbase and Fluid

After the implementation of TYPO3 v5 and FLOW3 as the basis framework started, the development of TYPO3 v4 and TYPO3 v5 was happening almost completely independent from each other. In October 2008, the core developers of both branches met for the TYPO3 Transition Days in Berlin. There, the developers wanted to work on a common vision and strategy for the transition from the current TYPO3 version 4 to the coming version 5. The core points of this strategy were communicated as a manifesto (see the box "The Berlin Manifesto").

With the background of this manifesto, the decision was made to re-implement two parts of TYPO3 v4:

  • A modern successor for the base class tslib_piBase, on which by now the majority of the 3600 extensions for TYPO3 builds on. From there, Extbase emerged.
  • A new template engine for outputting data, which connects flexibility, ease of use and extensibility: Fluid.

Discussions about the new template engine started already on the Transition Days, where Bastian Waidelich and Sebastian Kurfürst discussed how such a new template engine should work and behave. Shortly after, a prototype was implemented. The development of Extbase began two months later, when a few core members met in Karlsruhe. There, they agreed on staying as close as possible to the concepts, the architecture and the APIs of FLOW3.

After that followed an intensive development phase, where Jochen Rau developed the biggest part of Extbase, while Sebastian Kurfürst did code reviews and gave feedback. Additionally, Fluid has reached the beta stage in that time.

The first public presentation of Extbase happened in March 2009 at the T3BOARD09 in Laax (CH). With stormy weather, 2228 m over sea level, core developers and interested people could see the current state of Extbase. In a stimulating discussion, the last open topics like naming conventions and the name of the framework, were decided upon. Additionally, the decision was made to include Fluid in version 4.3, instead in version 4.4 as planned before.

In the following days, the Fluid team developed a small program (named Backporter) which could take the code of Fluid for FLOW3, and transform it to code for TYPO3 v4. That's how the first working version of Fluid for TYPO3 v4 came into being at the end of the T3BOARD09. Additionally, it was now pretty easy to keep Fluid for FLOW3 in sync with Fluid for TYPO3 v4.

The first real presentation of Extbase and Fluid happened in April 2009 on the american TYPO3 Conference in Dallas, and a month later on the TYPO3 Developer Days in Elmshorn near Hamburg. After that, a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism emerged from the community.

During the next months, a lot of work was done to clean up the details: The syntax of Fluid was improved, ViewHelpers were written, and the persistence layer of Extbase was improved and refactored multiple times. Functionalities for the security of the framework were implemented, the MVC framework was cleaned up, and more functionalities were implemented which were needed for practical usage.

At the T3CON09 in autumn 2009, Extbase and Fluid could be presented as a beta version. Afterwards, only errors were corrected, but no new functionalities were implemented. With the release of TYPO3 4.3.0 in November 2009, Extbase and Fluid were included in the TYPO3 core and are thus available in every TYPO3 installation.

After a well-deserved break for the development team after the release, work started again with smaller bugfixes and a roadmap for upcoming functionalities. That's how many details of the framework were improved, and the persistence layer was once again streamlined and cleaned up.