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September 22, 2013

Server Admin Team: Half-year report 2013/1

Category: Server Admin Team

Actually very late-caused by several holiday absences-you find in the following our report about the things going on in the Server Admin Team in the first half of 2013.

Personal Changes

Bastian Bringenberg was invited to join our team, and gladly, he accepted. He already joined our meetings since several months, so it was a small step to become a team member (which practically means, getting access to all our servers). Bastian is a valued team member who could be introduced easily.

As a side-note, he was hounoured as the most appreciated young community during this year's TYPO3 Developer Days!

Congratulations and welcome to our team, Bastian!

Working inside the Team

The Server Admin Team consists at the moment of the following people: Michael Stucki (Leader), Bastian Bringenberg, Steffen Gebert, Peter Niederlag, Christian Trabold, and Fabien Udriot, which are all working voluntarily besides their day-to-day job.

The team meetings are held on a regular basis (bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 8:00am), where we keep each other up to date, go through open issues, and assign tasks. Meeting protocols can be found in the team's wiki.

Besides the usual maintenance work for the whole infrastructure, we provide end-user support to people having problems with the infrastructure. Support is mainly done through issue trackers and the admin(at) email address, where in total 150 tickets have been resolved in the first half of 2013. (to compare: in 2012 we resolved 404 during the full year.)

Redmine Upgrade

The overdue upgrade of the Redmine installation at caused some headaches. The running version is very old and heavily customized.

After immense work during T3BOARD, we made an attempt to upgrade in April, but failed with the subtask of extracting the Subversion server from the Redmine installation into a separate VM.

Unfortunately, this failed attempt resulted in a bit of a demotivation for those of us who were involved in this project. However, during the Developer Days in July, we started working again on the upgrade. As always, we cannot promise anything, but there is constant progress.

We also decided to introduce some changes with the planned upgrade procedure: We will not upgrade to Redmine 1.4 first, but go directly to the current 2.2 version. Also, we decided that after the upgrade, all new projects will only get a Git repository - so SVN will be no choice anymore for new projects. Also, we will migrate existing projects which use Subversion, and hope to get rid of the SVN server within the next 12 months then.

Acitivties on Conferences and Events

In the past months, members of the Server Admin Team participated actively in the following events:

Steffen gave two presentations at FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium. One was "The development infrastructure of the TYPO3 project" and the other one was about our own experience with a 3rd-party product: "Using Gerrit Code Review in an Open-Source Project".

During the TYPO3 Developer Days in Hamburg in July, the team offered a workshop and a presentation / discussion round. One entitled "A better User Management for the TYPO3 Infrastructure" and the other one was "Your Admin's Office hours".

The outcome of the workshop about user management in the infrastructure was that there is no real alternative to the currently used SSO that can be implemented with the limited time budget.

Renamings over Renamings...

With the renaming of FLOW3 to TYPO3 Flow, "good old TYPO3" to TYPO3 CMS and with the presentation of the final name for the product developed as "TYPO3 5 / Phoenix" (now TYPO3 Neos), a couple of tasks popped up, which had to be reflected by the infrastructure. Thus, in the past months, the team had the joy to look into the adventure of renaming mailing lists, Git / Gerrit projects and so on. We assume that some places still use old names, but at least the most important things have been sorted out.

Git for TYPO3 Extensions

We finally managed to make a huge progress with our goal to provide Git repositories for all Forge-based TYPO3 extensions. Right now everyone who is in the need of a repository and prefers a Git repository for his/her extension is invited to open a ticket on Forge or send us a mail. Usually, these tickets will be answered within 48 hours.

Our next goal in this project is to get rid of manual work and to create a plugin in Forge to achieve this.

Team socialising during T3DD13

Some of the members already arrived in Hamburg during the TYPO3 CMS Active Contributor Meeting to later join the following Developer Days. Sadly we did not manage to meet as full team as Fabien had to leave before most of the rest arrived in Hamburg. On Thursday evening our team was nearly completed (except Fabien) and it was time for us to paint the town. Having some time for us to chat face to face without working on the TYPO3 server was very nice and helpful.

And next time, we will socialise with the entire team!

Another smaller sprint was held in parallel to a web site sprint at AOE media in Wiesbaden in March. During that weekend, Christian and Steffen mainly introduced Bastian to the infrastructure and our confguration management solution Chef. Certainly, we already published a report about this meeting.

More details can be found in the public meeting protocols of our bi-weekly meetings.

Budget usage

The Server Admin Team was granted a budget of 8860 EUR for 2013. Until now, not more than 200 EUR have been used. We plan to cover the finalization of the Forge upgrade using the Association budget, and we are going to have to have another team meeting in November which will cost about 1000 EUR.

At your service!

That's it from our side for now. Do you have any questions? Suggestions? Want to help? Use the feedback form below or let us know by email: admin(at)

Closing Words

The team is confident with these achievements and is very motivated to work on the next projects.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for things we should watch, please let us know with a short comment.

Update 2013-10-01: Fixed the note about the Redmine upgrade. We plan to stay at Redmine 1.4 for now and upgrade in a separate step after the Chef migration...


comment #1
Gravatar: Michael Cannon Michael Cannon September 27, 2013 08:52
Thank you very much for keeping us up to date on the TYPO3 infrastructure. Good luck with the Redmine updates, I'm aware of that pain.

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