In this chapter, we will lay down some expectations for the rest of the book, and set up the environment that we will use for most of the examples used throughout the book.
In order to get the most from this book, there are some expectations of prior knowledge and experience. It is assumed that the reader has a good understanding of TYPO3, which can be achieved by reading the introductory tutorials—Inside TYPO3, TYPO3 Core API, and Modern Template Building guide—essential to understanding how TYPO3 works. Basic TypoScript knowledge is required as well.
We will write several extensions in this book; however, we will omit a lot of the details about extension writing, focusing rather on the specifics of the extension. If you're new to extension development in TYPO3, you should look for resources on the subject on www.typo3.org. TYPO3: Extension Development, Dmitry Dulepov, Packt Publishing is an excellent book that covers all of the prerequisites and much more.
There are multiple ways to achieve anything in TYPO3. The best solution depends on the situation, and generally requires some compromises. This book cannot illustrate the best solution to every problem, but attempts to show various possibilities and approaches to problem solving using practical examples.
Most examples assume you have administrator access to the installation. If you are an editor or a designer, and have a restricted access to the system, you should skip the examples that pertain to developers, or ask your system administrator to provide you appropriate access.
While all of the examples presented in this book can be completed using standard tools such as a web browser and a text editor, I highly recommend using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) if you're serious about web development. IDE would save you time, boost your productivity, and provide insight into your application that is simply not possible with standard tools.
There are a variety of PHP IDEs available for various platforms and budgets. Popular products include Komodo IDE, Zend Studio, NetBeans, and Eclipse with PDT plugin. My weapon of choice is NuSphere PhpED, and you may see examples and screenshots throughout the book that make use of the PhpEd platform. The examples can be transposed to the IDE you're using, but this may require looking in the manual or searching online for the detailed description.