Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 5: "Typoscript in 45 mintues", configuring Jenkins for Git

Typoscript in 45 minutes 3 hours

Today I throughly studied's "Typoscript in 45 minutes".  It took 3 hours to complete by cross-referencing my recently installed "Typo3 introductory package" site and also by reading the pages referenced in many of the links within the "tutorial".

I use the word "tutorial" in quotes, despite the fact that Typo3 considers that "this document is a Tutorial".  By their own definition -  "Tutorials are designed to be step-by-step instructions specifically created to walk a beginner through a particular task from beginning to end" - their introduction failed spectacularly at being a tutorial, as there was neither a task nor instructions, really, of any kind, much less of the "step-by-step" variety.  There were code samples, but no reference as to where/how such code could be written or applied within the structure of a Typo3 site, introductory package or otherwise. References to parts of the backend where one might be able see TypoScript in action were not done as screenshots, but as text descriptions, sometimes (I'm guessing) referencing versions of Typo3 older than the most current one, and not in the most clear English, unfortunately!

For instance, in order to take a look at some TypoScript code - some 2000 lines of it - that create the base-styles for a Typo3 template, a screenshot of how to get there would have been helpful, instead of the following text:

"In TYPO3, we have to be at the page, which has the TypoScript template with the TypoScript code in the Setup field. Then, in the module 'Template', we choose 'Template Analyzer' from the selector box on top of the window."

Or, for example, in the description of the "imgResource" function:

"The path 'uploads/media/' is the location of the files, which are inserted in the "files" section. You find it inside the page properties on the tab 'Resources'."

Try as I might, I was unable to find such a tab so that I could understand better what was actually meant by this sentence.

I've begun to google all over the place for further (non-official Typo3) clarification, and I'm reading E-books which I hope will be clearer on the subject. Maybe I'll even find some kind of "step-by-step" instructions about where I can write or apply some TypoScript myself.

The thing is, complaining about things doesn't change them - it just pisses people off. So in the spirit of "Be the change you want to see in the world", I have begun to make corrections to the English pages of the online Typo3 documentation that I have found ambiguous, unclear, difficult to understand or just too egregiously German-to-English. I intend to start including screenshots. I hope that in the process of doing so, I'll actually be learning more about the subject I'm trying to study. Searching out multiple other sources certainly helps.

Following a trail of stale breadcrumbs around the Typo3 site, I finally access the "Backend Programming Tutorial" and see that it was last updated in 2002. I find an non-offical Typo3 tutorial on how to develop a simple extension and it does NOT work as described (perhaps because it was written in 2007). The last Typo3-related thing I'm going to try today is to read the "TemplaVoila" extension documentation and hope that it does not lead me down another false path.

I WANT to love Typo3, I really do!  It's supposed to be powerful, flexible, and it's open source!  But the available documentation - disorganised, outdated, contradictory - is driving me crazy.

So... I was able to get the TemplaVoila wizard up and running, after a lot of runaround on forums where everyone is reporting the same error which has yet to be fixed... Typo3 - if I have to work with you any more today, I'm going to have to kill you. Time to move on to something else.

Configuring Jenkins for Git

For about an hour an a half. I need to decide on exactly what I'm going to do before I create a Git repository for it. Created new public and private keys for jenkins, moved them into my home .ssh directory.  Modified the owner and the permissions on this directory. Is it good practice to have more than one .ssh directory, because I'd like to have one in my lib/jenkins folder. The resources on setting this up are much better (more recent, simply described, and illustrated with screenshots) than the documentation for Typo3.  The problem is now, as stated at the beginning of the paragraph, a lack of a concrete project around wich I can build and configure all of the "best-practice" constructs I've been setting up for a week now.

Feeling a bit discouraged on the first day of the second week of Hackership, but I will do some reading tonight in my Typo3 books and start afresh tomorrow.

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