Recap of EXT:news and its budget

This is a personal recap of the decisions and discussions about the declined budget for my TYPO3 extension “news”.

tldr; The budget was fully cut by the EAB and I don’t really know yet which impact that has for me as maintainer. Additionally I want to say sorry for causing so much irritation.

What happened?

Just before we start: This is a personal opinion and I don’t know if I got all things right!

Budget application

In September 2016 the EAB (Expert Advisory Board) published a news on that everybody who got an idea can fill out an budget application and possibly receive money from the Assocation to make the ideas happening. I did so and you can find the proposal here.

As a next step, all members of the TYPO3 Association have been asked via mail to fill out the poll. The result of the poll can be found here and revealed that my application was ranked by the members of the TYPO3 Assoc. on 7th place of 34 projects.

Cut of budget

On Saturday evening (2016-12-10), a tweet showed that the EAB has taken its decisions as 2 budget owners already got to know that their budget application was declined. However I didn’t get any information which left me quite puzzled but some tweets later I knew that mine was declined as well. Knowing the polls I was quite disappointed.

However, an official article by the EAB is currently still not available which might explain its decisions. Boris Hinzer of the EAB contacted me by phone and explained the situation but I don’t want to anticipate their official explanation.

What does that mean for EXT:news?

You might ask what that means for the extension “news”? Currently I don’t yet know in detail. However there are a couple of options:

a) Make the latest versions only available for paying members

Using a kind of paywall would be one option which I still consider but don’t like. It slows down the usage of new core versions and the general success of TYPO3.

b) Invest less time in development & support

I am trying to adopt the extension fast to changes to the core to make it usable with any core versions. Doing support on various channels (slack, github, stackoverlow, personal contact) takes a lot of time as well.

Slowing down the development would mean that even if an LTS of 8 is released, the extension might not work and bugs won’t get fixed that fast.

c) Get money from somewhere else

This is the option I am currently heading.

Some statistics

  • The extension is widely used and has more than 51.000 downloads in the TER.
  • It is downloaded about 25 times a day from there.
  • On all servers of Mittwald, it is the amoung the 10 most used extensions.
  • The slack-channel has more than 400 members

However, it is a still a one-man-show. The statistic of 2016 shows that only 15 other users contributed. 9 of those contributed one single patch and all others between 2 or 8 commits.

Inspire people to share?!

Last year in February, I reached out the TYPO3 community to help sponsoring the further development. In 3 months, a total of 5 people supported me.

Besides that, there are about 5 people this year who donated a couple of euros which is awesome!

Next steps

I am in contact with Olivier Dobberkau, president of the Association, and he will help setting up a proper funding in 2017. If you have read so far and you are using the news extension, you should really really think about fostering this project.

I am really looking forward hearing from you!