Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Replace functionality of TYPO3 extension mw_keywordlist with a custom sitemap content element

One of the big pain points when it comes to TYPO3 major updates are extensions. If the extension stack contains unmaintained / unsupported extensions, updating can really be hard, since existing functionality needs to be replaced and existing data needs to be migrated.

I recently had this problem on a website, where the TYPO3 extension mw_keywordlist (A-Z Keyword List) was used. The project was running on TYPO3 8.7 and was about to be updated to TYPO3 10.4, but an updated version of the extension was not available, so it was a major blocker in the project.

The extension creates a sitemap generated from keywords in the "pages.keywords" field and renders this sitemap in alphabetical order grouped by keyword. So basically it creates just another type of sitemap, which TYPO3 already has other content elements for. In the project team we decided to replace the extension with a custom sitemap content element, which uses a custom dataProcessor to group pages by the configured keywords.

In the sitepackage of the project the following files were added:

  • TCA override for tt_content, so the new content element (CType) "menu_keywordlist" is registered
  • PageTS Config to add the new content element to the content element wizard
  • TypoScript to configure rendering of the new sitemap content element
  • A custom DataProcessor to group pages by keyword
  • A Fluid template to define how the markup is generated
All required files are shown in this GitLab code snippet

After the new sitemap content element has been configured and tested, all existing instances of the mw_keywordlist content element were replaced with the new custom sitemap element. This was done using the following SQL query:

UPDATE `tt_content`
SET `CType` = 'menu_keywordlist'
WHERE `CType` = 'mw_keywordlist_pi1' OR `CType` = 'menu_mw_keywordlist_pi1';

After the existing content elements were replaced, the extension mw_keywordlist could be removed. The new solution was added to the website when it was still running on TYPO3 8.7, since the code is compatible with TYPO3 8.7, 9.5 and 10.4

Thanks to the University of Würzburg for allowing me to share the code of this solution.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Unexpected sorting behavior after update from MariaDB 10.1 to 10.3

TL;DR The sorting behavior changed from MariaDB 10.1 to 10.2 due to a bug in MariaDB 10.1 

After updating from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.4 LTS a previously working a PHP application which contains a data export suddenly did not return the expected result any more. I debugged this scenario by comparing the database query results in the data export and obviously, something in the sorting changed from MariaDB 10.1 to MariaDB 10.3

In order to fully reproduce the problem, I created a really simple use case as shown in the SQL dump below.

  `b` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  `c` text NOT NULL,
  `d` varchar(255) NOT NULL,

INSERT INTO `test` VALUES (1,'A','\r\n','CRLF'),(2,'A','',''),(3,'A','',''),(4,'A','\r\n','CRLF'),(5,'A','','');

So we have a really simple table structure with some data. The only special thing is, that 2 values in column "c" contain a carriage return and line feed (CRLF). Since this is not printed when selecting data, I also added column d which contains the value "CRLF" for rows, where column c is a CRLF.

So now I select some data. 


| a | b | c  | d    |
| 1 | A |    | CRLF |
| 2 | A |    |      |
| 3 | A |    |      |
| 4 | A |    | CRLF |
| 5 | A |    |      |

This result is as I would expect it. Now sorting comes into the game...

Ubuntu 18.04 with MariaDB 10.1.47


| a | b | c  | d    |
| 2 | A |    |      |
| 3 | A |    |      |
| 5 | A |    |      |
| 1 | A |    | CRLF |
| 4 | A |    | CRLF |

OK, so the sorting of column c puts the CRLF values at the end for MariaDB 10.1. Now I try the same on another system.

Ubuntu 20.04 with MariaDB 10.3.25


| a | b | c  | d    |
| 1 | A |    | CRLF |
| 4 | A |    | CRLF |
| 2 | A |    |      |
| 3 | A |    |      |
| 5 | A |    |      |

As you notice, the sorting for column c is now reversed...

I did not find a setting in MariaDB 10.3 to switch back to the sorting as it was in MariaDB 10.1. I could also reproduce the same behavior on MySQL 8.0. So... bug or feature - who knows? I think the described scenario can be considered as an edge case, but if you somehow depend on, that sorting for a column with CRLF values is exactly the same, this can hit you really hard.

I created an issue in the MariaDB bug tracker. I'm curious if this is supposed behavior or not.

Update 23.11.2020: It has been confirmed, that the sorting behavior is as expected in MariaDB 10.2+ and that it was wrong in 10.1

Monday, November 16, 2020

How to extend existing FlexForm select options of a TYPO3 plugin using Page TSconfig

Sometimes existing options of a TYPO3 plugin may not fully suite the project requirements. As an example, I refer to my TYPO3 extension "Event Management and Registration" (sf_event_mgt). The extension allows to select the ordering of records by a specific field in the FlexForm plugin options as shown on the screenshot below.

The 3 options shown are configured in the Flexform options for the field "settings.orderField".

In a project it was required to order by a custom field which was not part of the main extension. So I added the custom field named "slot" to the extension using an extending extension for sf_event_mgt.

In order to allow the new field as sorting field, the field "slot" needs to be added to the allowed ordering fields using TypoScript (note, this step is only specific to the extension sf_event_mgt).

plugin.tx_sfeventmgt {
  settings {
    orderFieldAllowed = uid,title,startdate,enddate,slot

Finally the FlexForm of the plugin needs to be extended, so the new field appears in the "Sort by" select field. In order to do so, the following Page TSconfig has been added:

TCEFORM.tt_content.pi_flexform.sfeventmgt_pievent.sDEF.settings\.orderField {
  addItems.slot = slot
  altLabels.slot = Slot

You might notice the backslash before the dot in "settings\.orderField". This is required to escape the dot of the fieldname "settings.orderField", since Page TSconfig also uses dots to separate between configuration options/levels.

After adding the Page TSconfig, the plugin now shows the new field.

Pretty cool and not a single line of PHP code required :-) 

Reference: TYPO3 TCEFORM

Friday, June 26, 2020

Testing email delivery of a TYPO3 extension with Codeception, MailHog and GitHub Actions

Some weeks ago I published my blogpost about how to create a GitHub Actions build pipeline for a TYPO3 Extension that executes Unit-, Functional- and Acceptance tests. The extension tested in that blogpost was only a simple demo extension and for me this was a preparation to finally migrate the CI pipeline for my TYPO3 extension sf_event_mgt to GitHub Actions.

The extension comes with lots of unit and functional tests, which are automatically executed on each commit. One missing piece in the puzzle was the automatic execution of my Acceptance Tests, which are based on Codeception and additionally require MailHog in order to test if emails are sent by the extension and if the email content is as expected.

The concept of testing emails in Acceptance Tests using Codeception is really simple. You have to add the composer package ericmartel/codeception-email-mailhog to your dev dependencies and then you are ready to test emails as shown in the abstract of one of my tests below:

$I->seeInOpenedEmailSubject('New unconfirmed registration for event "Event (reg, cat1) ' . $this->lang . '"');
$I->seeInOpenedEmailRecipients('[email protected]');
$I->seeInOpenedEmailSubject('Your registration for event "Event (reg, cat1) ' . $this->lang . '"');
$I->seeInOpenedEmailRecipients('[email protected]');

It is also possible to check the email body for various content like I do in other parts of my testsuite.

GitHub Actions supports docker based service containers and MailHog is also available as docker container, so in order to execute my Acceptance testsuite I added MailHog as service container to my CI setup as shown below:

    runs-on: ubuntu-18.04
        image: mailhog/mailhog
          - 1025:1025
          - 8025:8025

Having the MailHog container in place, the execution of the Acceptance Tests works like a charm. 

Since the Acceptance Tests also cover tests of a plugin that is only accessible by logged in frontend users, the TYPO3 website for Acceptance Tests includes a special configured page with ext:felogin for this scenario. It turned out, that those tests failed on GitHub actions, since Argon2i was not available on the testing runner for whatever reasons. In order to resolve this problem, I configured the TYPO3 website to use BcryptPasswordHash instead of Argon2i which is ok for me, since strong password hashes are not really required in this scenario.

The GitHub actions YAML file is currently available in the development branch of my extension.

The CI results including a downloadable Codeception HTML report for all acceptance tests is available for each build as shown in this example: https://github.com/derhansen/sf_event_mgt/actions/runs/142799855

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Unit-, Functional- and Acceptance-Tests for a TYPO3 Extension with GitHub Actions

Back in 2017 at TYPO3 Camp Munich I held a talk about Unit-, Functional- and Acceptance-Tests for a TYPO3 Extension with GitLab CI. I never really used that setup for my Open Source Extensions, since they all are hosted on GitHub. But since november 2019 GitHub Actions are available, so I finally took some time to migrate my GitLab CI Build Pipeline to GitHub Actions. The results of this migration process is available on GitHub and summarized in this blogpost.

To keep things simple, I created a little demo Extension for TYPO3 to make the setup as easy and understandable as possible.

All in all, the results are very satisfying and the build process is really fast without the requirement to use additional docker images (e.g. MySQL or Selenium Standalone). GitHub has really done a great job by providing preconfigured hosted runners with lots of useful tools 👍

The GitHub Repository with all sources and the GitHub Actions workflow is available at https://github.com/derhansen/gha_demo.

During creation of the setup, I ran into some issues, that took me some time to figure out. All issues are easy to resolve and I summarized them in the "Good to know"-section at the end of this article.

TYPO3 demo extension "gha_demo"

The repository includes a very simple TYPO3 extension that basically does nothing special. It has a simple domain model with just one field and a simple plugin that shows all records of the domain model. The extension has the following tests

  • Unit Tests for the domain model
  • Functional Tests for the repository
  • Acceptance Tests (based on codeception) for the plugin output

Before I created the GitHub Actions workflow, I ensured that all tests execute properly in my local development environment.

GitHub-hosted virtual environments

GitHub hosted runners are preconfigured runners that already contain a lot of available software (e.g. composer, PHP in various versions, Google Chrome, Selenium) that can be used to test an application. No need to puzzle around with building or pulling docker images that contain requirements and no waste of build time to install required packages.

For the gha_demo TYPO3 extension I use the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS runner only without any other docker images.

Workflow YAML file

It is very easy to enable GitHub Actions for a repository. You create a directory called .github/workflows and add a YAML file with your workflow configuration that must follow the Workflow Syntax for GitHub Actions.

The workflow YAML file I created for this article is (hopefully) self explaining:

The workflow uses 3 GitHub actions. The first action "actions/checkout" just checks out the GitHub repository.

The second action "actions/cache" ensures, that Composer cache files are shared for builds. You just have to configure a unique key for the cache and I choose to use the hash of the composer.json as a key, so every time dependencies change, the cache is rebuilt. To ensure, that the cache is working you should see "loading from cache" in the output of the composer command.

What helps when you want to debug your workflow is to save build artifacts. For this I use the third action "actions/upload-artifact" which uploads the log of the PHP server and the Codeception output if the build failed.

All other steps in the workflow are based on commands that are executed on the runner (e.g. start MySQL Server, Update Composer, ...).

You may note, that the workflow contains 2 "sleep" commands. Both are required so previous commands have enough time to finish execution (start PHP Server and start Selenium).

Another thing you may note is, that I added many TYPO3 packages to the require-dev section of my composer.json file. This is not a requirement and can be moved to an additional build step (e.g. composer require typo3/cms-filelist ....).

Acceptance Tests with Codeception

In order to execute the Codeception Acceptance Tests, it is required to setup a fully working TYPO3 website including a preconfigured database dump with e.g. pages and records to test. For the Acceptance Tests I included the following files/folders in Tests/Acceptance/_data

  • config/ 
    TYPO3 Sites configuration
  • typo3conf/LocalConfiguration.php
    Preconfigured LocalConfiguration PHP that matches the environment and settings (e.g. DB Credentials) for GitHub Actions
  • typo3.sql
    Full Database dump of my local test TYPO3 website

To separate between Acceptance Test environments (local and GitHub) there are configuration settings for both in Tests/Acceptance/_env

At this point I would like to thank Daniel Siepmann for sharing his GitLab CI configuration about Acceptance Tests. I adapted some parts of his examples to my current setup.

Update 29.05.2020: If you want to test an extension against multiple TYPO3 versions, you can use a build matrix as shown in this example from Sebastian Fischer.

Good to know

#1 - Composer dependencies are not cached during builds

Update 15.05.2020: Not required any more, since the issue is fixed.

Due to a misconfiguration in the Ubuntu 18.04 runner (that has already been fixed), the .composer directory is owned by root:root with 775 rights. This makes it impossible for the runner user to write into that directory. To fix this, make sure to remove the the directory recursive as shown below in a build step before composer is executed.

- name: Delete .composer directory
  run: |
    sudo rm -rf ~/.composer

#2 - PHP server with "php -S" is obviously not starting

I used "php -S -t .Build/public/ &> php.log.txt &" to start a PHP server that serves my application for Acceptance Tests. Somehow the acceptance tests step was not able to connect to the given port and always showed "Failed to connect to x.x.x.x port 8888: Connection refused”

To solve this issue, I forced the workflow to stop for 2 seconds (just added "sleep 2;" right after the PHP -S line) so PHP has enough time to server the application.

#3 - MySQL credentials not accepted / MySQL "Connection refused"

Setting up a build step that uses MySQL I ran into problems connecting to the MySQL server that comes with the default Ubuntu 18.04 runner. The solution to this problem was really simple, since you just have to start the MySQL service.

- name: Start MySQL
  run: sudo /etc/init.d/mysql start

The default credentials for the MySQL are root:root

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

How to add a replacement for the removed TCA Option "setToDefaultOnCopy" in TYPO3 10.4

The TYPO3 TCA Option "setToDefaultOnCopy" has been removed in TYPO3 10 in order to reduce the amount of checks in DataHandler and the amount of available options in TCA. The documentation says, that "This option was only there for resetting some `sys_action` values to default, which can easily be achieved by a hook if needed. If an extension author uses this setting,
this should be achieved with proper DataHandler hooks."

I use this option in one of my extensions. Basically, I have one "main" record, that has one Inline field with various "subrecords". Those "subrecords" are user generated and should not be copied, when the main record is copied, so I had to find out which DataHandler hooks should be used to get the removed functionality back for the TYPO3 10 compatible version of my extension.

After some hours with several breakpoints in the TYPO3 DataHandler I came to the conclusion, that this may not be as "easy" as described, since there is no Hook, where you can unset certain field values during the copy (or localize) process. And if there was, then another problem would have shown up, since relation fields are processed different (basically the relation is resolved using TCA) on copy or translation commands in DataHandler.

Knowing the last about TCA however makes it possible to hook into the process. At a very early stage in DataHandler, I use processCmdmap_preProcess to set the TCA type for affected fields to "none" as shown below:

public function processCmdmap_preProcess($command, $table, $id, $value, $pObj, $pasteUpdate)
    if (in_array($command, ['copy', 'localize']) && $table === 'tx_extension_table') {
        $GLOBALS['TCA']['tx_extension_table']['columns']['fieldname1']['config']['type'] = 'none';
        $GLOBALS['TCA']['tx_extension_table']['columns']['fieldname2']['config']['type'] = 'none';

With this configuration in TCA, the affected fields are completely ignored by the copy/localize command in DataHandler. It is now just important to change the field types back after the command is finished in processCmdmap_postProcess hook as shown below:

public function processCmdmap_postProcess($command, $table, $id, $value, $pObj, $pasteUpdate, $pasteDatamap)
    if (in_array($command, ['copy', 'localize']) && $table === 'tx_extension_table') {
        $GLOBALS['TCA']['tx_extension_table']['columns']['fieldname1']['config']['type'] = 'text';
        $GLOBALS['TCA']['tx_extension_table']['columns']['fieldname2']['config']['type'] = 'inline';

Hard to say, if this is a good approach to get the functionality back. It feels not really right to change existing TCA at runtime as shown, but at least, I could not find any downsides in the solution and it works fine for me.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

How to limit the TYPO3 category tree to a subset of categories for extension records

In many TYPO3 projects I've been working in, the TYPO3 category system is used to structure content by one or multiple categories. A typical category tree I often see is build up as shown in the example below:

Full TYPO3 category tree

This is a very plain way to create a category tree and the structure in the example is limited to 3 independent main categories (Events, Products, Staff). 

Quite often, the shown example category tree is used system wide in TYPO3 and all main categories are shown for all record types. This can be confusing for editors, since when you for example want to assign categories for e.g. event records, why should one see and be able to select the categories "Products" and "Staff" including all subcategories?

Fortunately TYPO3 can be configured to limit the category tree for tables to a given root category. As an example, I limit the shown categories for event records to only "Event" categories. I assume that the category "Events" has the sys_category UID 1.

PageTS example

TCEFORM.tx_sfeventmgt_domain_model_event.category.config.treeConfig.rootUid = 1

In PageTS such configuration options can be set for any record as long as the following configuration path is met: TCEFORM.[tableName].[fieldName].[propertyName]

The fieldName is usually "categories" or "category", but this can also be different depending on how categories are implemented in 3rd party extensions.

The PageTS setting can also be set in TCA as shown below.

TCA example

$GLOBALS['TCA']['tx_sfeventmgt_domain_model_event']['columns']['category']['config']['treeConfig']['rootUid'] = 1;

As a result, the category tree for event records is now limited to the category "Events" and all subcategories.

TYPO3 category tree limited to a subcategories of one main category

I think this is way more clear for an editor than it was before. In general, this can be configured for every table in the TYPO3 TCA (e.g. pages, files, extensions, ...)

The configuration only allows to define one UID as root for the category tree. If more flexibility is needed to limiting the category tree, then TCEFORM.[tableName].[fieldName].[config][foreign_table_where] may be the place to add own custom conditions.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Apache rewrite rule to replace %20-%20 with a dash (#) in URLs

Some old(?) versions of Microsoft Excel replace a dash (#) in an URL with "%20-%20". The following example shows, how Excel transforms URLs:

Original URL:

URL when clicked in Excel:

This may lead to unexpected behavior on webserver application level e.g. when routing can not be resolved successfully and the request will results in an 404 error.

The probably best way would be to fix this behavior "somehow" in Excel, but this does not always seem to be possible as described in this stackoverflow question.

In order work around this problem for a certain application on a webserver, I added a simple redirect which replaces the "%20-%20" with a "#" using the following .htaccess rewrite rule:

RewriteRule ^(.*)\ \-\ (.*)$ /$1#$2 [NE,L,R=301]

This is for sure not a general solution for the problem, put works perfectly when you only have to fix incoming links for a given application.