Better name for AdminPanel

Discussion Topic

Felicity is about to embark upon documenting the system extension, Admin Panel, which currently has no documentation.
When searching Forge to make issue (93260) to create the documentation, she came upon bug 92856 raising this problem about the name.

The problem

  • Many new TYPO3 users are confusing the term “Admin Panel” with the backend. As in many other systems (WP, Drupal, Magento,…) the “Admin Panel” (or “Administration Panel”) means the place we call “Backend”.
  • It also doesn’t wholly describe the functionality of the extension.

To lower the entry barrier for new users Admin Panel should get a better, less confusing name.

About the Admin Panel

The Admin Panel itself shows on the frontend.
When the extension is activated, a bar displays at the bottom of the screen with a summary of information (load time, errors/warning and TypoScript messages) and a cog icon to open a larger panel.
It shows loads of information and is useful for a number of functions:

  • TypoScript: TS Tree
  • Info: General, PHP, Request, User_Int
  • Debug: Events, Log, Page title, Query information
    You can also configure settings to experiment with your caching when you’re trying to improve performance of the site.
    You can simulate user groups, simulate time and show hidden pages.

I think there is a lot of cool stuff packed in here that documentation would help bring to light. And an appropriate name would be a great start to that.

Some suggested names

Developer toolbar
Debug bar
Dev tools
Dev console

Next Steps

It would be great to resolve this naming issue before the v11 release.
Let’s have a discussion here, with the aim to come up with a shortlist of name options so we can then hold a vote.


Renaming is one of the hardest things to do in software :wink:
Renaming this extension will have impact mostly on power users developers and integrators who were using the tool.
Additionally all occurrences of “Admin Panel” in the documentation should be adapted.

Possible Migrations/steps

  1. write documentation using the new name
  2. adapt existing documentation to incorporate the new name
  3. rename Admin Panel to new name in extension labels and UI
  4. introduce new TypoScript config to replace config.admpanel = 1 and deprecate the old one.
  5. rename extension key ‘adminpanel’ and class namespace (also composer “replace”)

As noted in the comments, Admin Panel now serves 2 major purposes and have 2 user groups:

  1. Editors who use it for content simulation / preview
  2. Developers/integrators who use it for debugging, and peformance tuning (profiler)

As the 1st usage intent (content preview) is similar to the preview toolbar in the workspace module, maybe in the longer run we should extract the content simulation features from admin panel and put create a new toolbar for content simulation/preview which will be used in both workspaces and for previewing content with start/stop/hidden simulated.

Remarks and notes

You don’t see the name displayed anywhere on the interface.
Perhaps we should introduce that - maybe into a title bar on the panel. Or a tooltip when you hover over the slider to turn it on and off in the frontend.


Topic Initiator: Felicity Brand
Topic Mentor: Tymoteusz Motylewski

I totally like the idea.

Still I think due to extendability, the suggested names (except Debug bar) might also conflict with possible use cases.

Already existing features like previewing hidden content, or a page with specified time, e.g. in future, already conflict. In my opinion Editors are already a target group of the bar.

I also can’t provide a good alternatives. But maybe “frontend” should be part of the new name, to separate it from the actual backend? The backend also already has a “debug console”: /

Something including “simulate” maybe, since it allows you to check what hidden content will look like or simulate a certain time/usergroup/…
Maybe the functionality should also be split into editor-functions and dev-functions?

I just throw in another name: Page inspector

Ooh @liayn I LOVE that suggestion. Thanks

Thanks @layne.obserdia for your comments - it’s really important we don’t conflict with any other possible names.

Very good, IMHO:

  • Page inspector
    because it expresses the semantics, the intention. I implies ‘frontend’ and is in line what we know from browsers

In terms of the “thing” we are dealing with my starting point is “Schalttafel”, which would be:

  • control panel
    page control panel
    frontend (page) control panel
    (Schalttafel, Instrumententafel, Schaltbrett)

  • (frontend) switchboard
    (Schalttafel, Schaltbrett, but also: Vermittlung, (Telefon-) Zentrale)

Looking at these options, page inspector is really good!

+1 from my side for renaming this tool. The first thing which came into my mind by reading this thread was that we are missing the editor aspect. I am glad that you it was mentioned later on. Most of the time we (as typo3 integrators and power users) use the admin panel for simulation. We heavily depend on the possibility to preview content under certain conditions. For the moment, I like the term “page inspector” but it does not cover the whole story. I think Martin’s term “frontend control panel” is not catchy but describes the idea much better. For me the USP of this extension is the preview functionality. IMHO developers do not use this tool that much - this is what I am seeing in our teams (maybe we should :slight_smile: ).

the frontend aspect and also some functionality would be covered with a ‘preview’ in the name.

and as there are inspecting and controlling aspects you could come up with ‘management’ or ‘manager’, but a simple `control’ also covers this functionality.

I suggest the name ‘preview control

Before reading this thread I also came up with something with “frontend” and also think it is used by editors, not just devs.

Possible names:

  • Frontend panel
  • Frontend tools (e.g. Google Chrome uses the name “Developer Tools” too in the browser)

Personally, I prefer “frontend tools” or “frontend panel” - it is intentionally vague about the functionality (which may also be extended in the future).

I liked “page inspector” first, but on second thought it does not imply the frontend aspect. And also, an “inspector” would for me imply that it is passive. But, in the “admin panel”, you can also flush the cache, so you have actions too and can make changes to the current state of the page.

I think “tools” fits better.

Adding in a comment from Martin Kutschker on Slack:

My 2c: Don’t include the words “dev” (or developer) and “debug”. The feature is also for editors and debugging is a very technical term.

Thanks for the comments, keep them flowing! :wink:

summing up:
Admin panel now servers two purposes:

  1. to control page preview (simulate start/stop, user, etc) - used mostly by editors
  2. to provide debugger/profiling information about performance etc. - used by integrator/developers


regarding 1-st point, maybe it should be combined into single solution with workspace preview?
taking best from the both worlds - simulation from Admin Panel and compare view (split view) from workspaces (for users which have no workspace module installed, it will just allow simulation)?

I prefer “debug bar”, “debug panel” or “debug toolbar”.

The term is widely known from other CMS and frameworks, so when people google it, they find what they are looking for, even if the term might be slightly developer oriented. We shouldn’t try to name things which do the same stuff differently.

Even if we did, I can’t imagine many editors will be searching for “page inspector” or “frontend toolbar”, either because they don’t know that something like that exists in the first place, or they already know it because they have been instructed or simply stumbled upon it browsing the frontend. So I argue that developers searching for an equivalent of rhings they k ow from symfony etc. is the most important use case to keep in mind for naming.

I also argue that the term “Debug bar” doesn’t sound too technical to editors, even more for native speakers. Editors are often even
flattered if it sounds like they have access to “developer weapons” :wink:

The term “debugging” is also perfectly applicable to content: “Why doesn’t it show what I expected?” is precisely what the editor wants to find out in most of the cases.

So I consider it the best choice as long as the target audience is both editors and developers.

I originally liked “inspection panel” for the same reason, but it emphasizes the “getting insights” aspect, while the “manipulation/ simulation” aspect is missing, which “debug bar” does convey to more extent.

I also liked “Frontend toolbar”, but it is too vague, so neither target audience will find it on google and it doesn’t convey any meaning.

TYPO3 Profiler.

For the extension I would change the key to ext:profiler.

So it is more generic. Functionality could then be extended, maybe add PHP profiling-functionality by adding “profile markers in PHP code” which could then appear in a separate section in the “debug toolbar”. But I would still call it “Profiler toolbar”.

I feel that giving the admin panel a too generic name would lead to confusion.

For example, I would not be looking for content simulation in a profiler, because from my point of view, a profiler will look at the code at runtime and tell me stuff about it, like how long did it take, how much memory did it use, how long was de slowest SQL query, etc.

The switchboard, from the perspective of the so called “Schalttafel” may lead to misunderstandings about the deeper workings of the Admin Panel and may suggest, that you can enable stuff as you might through the install tool.

Page inspector is what I feel the closest to what it actually does, it suggests that you can look at details of your call and look at other stuff. Then again, nothing in the name tells a redactor that it is what you can use to simulate a certain group, a point in time or clear the cache, but at some point, I guess training has to happen anyways and this should simply be covered there.

Can you point to examples from other systems and how they name it (and what exactly it is)?

I quite understand your concerns. However - I am quite sure that most people don’t even know that you can simulate user-groups or optionally show fluid-template-path-hints with the adminpanel right now already.

So whatever it is - its (full) featureset is not even known to a big part of its target-audience (developers and integrators). I’m sure there are people out there that do not even know about the existence of the adminpanel - but work on a professional basis on TYPO3. :smiley:

In TYPO3 it is common to call the area under “/typo3” → “TYPO3 Backend”. I did not question it, as TYPO3 was my first CMS-experience back in 2007 or so. Working with several other platforms it showed quite clearly, that “backend” is not - not even in any case - a synonym to “administration”. So yes, “TYPO3 backend” is the “Handy” (aka cellphone or smartphone nowadays) in this context. LOL

WordPress calls it “Admin” or whatever
Magento calls it “Administration” or just “admin”

I guess/assume so many other CMS or frameworks call their administration-interface just: admin

So first there needs to be a decision to drop that “TYPO3 backend” term. Then adminpanel can be renamed at the same time.

As already said, TYPO3 profiler is what I would name it as I mostly use it for “profiling”. I mostly use it to look up SQL-queries, show events, get timings.

But “debug toolbar” or “debug panel” would nail it.

An finally the hardest part of all:

Coordination to rename the TypoScript setting.
The TypoScript setting to enable the admin panel is “config.admPanel = 1”.

I’m away making some popcorn as I expect the gerrit/forge discussion about this “sacrilege” to rename such a TS-key.

And finally:
downvote for “Frontend panel”. From one misleading to another misleading term. At best “frontend debug panel” - but please not “frontend panel”.

This is the only comment in here that actually makes sense. Thank you.

Please do not change it from ine confusing term to another one (or worse: a made up one)

It’s a debugging accessory. For devs, integrators and even editors.

“If it looks like a duck , swims like a duck , and quacks like a duck , then it probably is a duck

Just to be clear. Renaming “TYPO3 Backend” to sth else is not in scope of this discussion. However, renaming “Admin Panel” to something less confusing is in my POV a prerequisite to talk about renaming “TYPO3 Backend”. But let’s tackle one topic at a time please.

I don’t see renaming TS setting a super hard issue. Of course it will first be deprecated and removed in next LTS version.
Possibility that somebody will rant about some decision, should not stop us from making good changes. The main goal of TYPO3 v11 is to provide better experience for users/editors/integrators and lowering the entry barriers.

I have edited the post, adding following proposal:

As noted in the comments, Admin Panel now serves 2 major purposes and have 2 user groups:

  1. Editors who use it for content simulation / preview
  2. Developers/integrators who use it for debugging, and peformance tuning (profiler)

As the 1st usage intent (content preview) is similar to the preview toolbar in the workspace module, maybe in the longer run we should extract the content simulation features from admin panel and put create a new toolbar for content simulation/preview which will be used in both workspaces and for previewing content with start/stop/hidden simulated.

If we go this way we could rename Admin Panel to sth more integrator/developer oriented e.g. “debug bar” (which is the name used in other systems for showing very similar information). And have “preview bar” or “simulation bar” for the content simulation tool?