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TYPO3 CMS Important Changes Documentation HowTo

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Documentation of breaking changes, deprecations and features for TYPO3 CMS

Motivation and goals

Spreading information about important Core changes has been a problematic issue ever since. With the switch to the new release cycle with version 7 of the TYPO3 CMS Core this situation should be improved.

A dedicated changelog of important changes is established to inform users, developers and other Core related teams or projects:

  • Overview for documentation team which changes require documentation changes.
  • Overview for Release Managers and other "Spread the word" related works on important changes.
  • Hints for extension developers, integrators and project developers whose own code areas may need adjustments on Core updates.
  • Standardized format for easy usage in scripts like a Core migration or release notes system.

This new structure also replaces the former NEWS.md file.

Different changelog types

A changelog handles one of these change types:

  • Breaking change: A patch moved or removed a specific part of core functionality that may break extensions if they use this part. Removal of deprecated code or an interface change are good examples of this type.
  • Deprecation: A patch deprecates a certain core functionality for a planned removal.
  • Feature: A patch adds new functionality.
  • Important: Any other important message.

Casual bug fixes do not need changelog files, but every change that may be of special interest for extension developers or documentation writers should receive an entry. The changelog file must be provided as part of the patch that introduces the change.

Location

New changelog files should be added to the "master" directory within the Documentation folder of the system extension core. If a version is to be released, all files in this directory will be moved to a directory named after the release number. This way it can be easily seen which change was introduced in which released core version.

Filename convention

<type>-<forgeIssueNumber>-<UpperCamelCaseDescription>.rst

File content

Like other documentation, changelog files are done in ReST. See ReST_Syntax for more details.

  • All types contain a "Description" section that should give a short summary which Core part was affected by the change.
  • All types contain an "Impact" section that describes the possible impact of a change. An example is "Frontend output may change", "Configuration of XY is changed" or "Backend will throw a fatal error".
  • Types "Deprecation" and "Breaking" contain an "Affected installations" section that describes when and if a TYPO3 instance is affected by a change. Example: "Extension XY is in use" or "TypoScript functionality XY is used" or "System is based on PHP 5.3".
  • Types "Deprecation" and "Breaking" contain a "Migration" section to describe best practices on how to cope with a specific change.

There is a nice tool that helps you to generate your file: https://forger.typo3.org/standard/rst