Dominique Feyer loves music, organizes underground film & music festivals and makes you feel welcome at the moment you meet him. He's also a long-term TYPO3 community member, an experienced developer and booked me for a two-day coaching session in Lausanne for answering questions raised during the development of his TYPO3 Flow-based video on demand portal.
My journey however, started unnecessarily adventurous: deeply digging in some code of a new Single Sign-on implementation, I almost missed the boarding announcement for my flight to Geneva and, while standing in the bus heading to the airplane, realized that what I in fact missed was my coat. Containing my wallet. Containing my money, credit card and id.
I arrived in Lausanne as a Value Object (that is: without identity) and was glad having enough experience already to master the SBB app for booking a train ticket to Lausanne. I was truly relieved finally arriving at Dominique's flat who welcomed me with a tasty pizza and cold beer.
During the two days I could help exploring a few new features of the framework and upgrade the application to the soon to be released Flow 2.0 (which went rather straight-forward, except for some database oddities with foreign key constraints resulting in different and meaningless error messages in slightly different MySQL versions). And as usual for such a coaching session, I could give some insights into my way of working with Flow and the selection of tools I use.
After the first day I was invited to join the Lausanne TYPO3 User Group meeting for a little presentation about Flow and Neos. The discussion went on in a cosy restaurant over Moules et Frites, some beers and the conclusion that meeting folks from the TYPO3 community is, after all, like meeting old friends (and even "strangers" are, to put it in Kasper's words, "friends you don't know yet").
The application Dominique is working on is quite cool and uses much of the power Flow provides. It was also a source for many more ideas and improvements. So I took a lot of notes after listening to Dominique's findings and hope to find some time soon to implement them.
This project also helped me understanding which working model might fit me best: provide a vision for Flow and Neos, develop new features, coach developers and gain insights into their real-world problems. Then get back home and integrate the feedback by improving code and documentation.
Taking the time to fix these issues discovered in real-world projects is essential and often enough agencies don't find the time to take the extra mile to prepare a patch which is tested and documented well enough to be included into the core. So I hope that I can be one of those filling that gap, with the support of Flow users, and find a working model which allows me to take the time keeping up the good quality codebase we have. I'm looking forward to trying this in earnest next year and I'm pretty excited to add Neos to the list of topics soon.
Finally, thanks again to Dominique for the invitation. And can you send me the notes I have taken? I've left them on your desk …