A young Drupal patch

During the DrupalGovDays conference I got from Roel de Meester from my employer's partner Krimson some iron-on Druplicon patches. And with my kids loving Druplicon as well and lots of Druplicon goodies in the house, Aart wanted the iron-on patches on his old trouwsers. In fact, there was only one knee to be patched but why stop there?

This young boy with Drupal patches got me wondering, what is the youngest and the oldest person in the Drupal community with patches to modules, maintaining a module him or herself and maybe even a core patch?

Drupal, for all ages? Sure. But the general bias is that a Drupal developer is white mail in his 30ies. Not true? Let us debunk one of those and go for the youngest and olderst active person active in the Drupal community. If you are under 20, post the date / link towards your fist patch, first module and /or first core patch. and if you are above 50, do the same in this thread.

Post your data at http://drupal.org/node/1123940 and proof that Drupal is for all ages.

DrupalGovDays, Service connect, Shadow and everything

Yesterday and today there were some 350 people visiting the DrupalGovDays. Only 5 years ago a DrupalCon in Brussels was smaller then a vertical market conference like this one for the Governmental institutions. It shows the growth of the the CMS market, the maturity of OpenSource and the popularity of Drupal. So far, a great conference, not technical but great for networking, meeting old friends and finding new opportunities.

While not directly connected, one of the great opportunities for Drupal and Governments is the opendatachallenge. A competition with some price money behind it for the best ideas, apps, visualisation and datasets for making use of open data by governments. Something like the OpenSource modules behind itdashboard.gov would be great for making easy to understand visualisations of open governmental data.

This is also a good moment to announce two new modules build and maintained by my employer Dutch Open Projects and contributed by the manucipality of Breda:

  • Service connect a pluggable way of using OAUTH identity service providers. Currently Facebook, Twitter and a Dutch site "Hyves" are supported but your own plugins / code and feedback is welcome in the issue queue
  • Shadow, if you ever build a high volume site and have lots of slow queries caused by the complexity of views but want to keep the flexability of views, be sure to take a look at this module. The module optimizes SQL queries or views by using index tables which (partially) shadows the original query output. It is capable of automatically rewriting SQL queries to speed them up using the shadow tables.

A big thank to Breda for releasing this code and sharing / contributing to the Drupal community. And a very big thank you to the to the organisers of DrupalGovDays , Ivo Radulovski, Hanno Lans, Kristof Van Tomme, Bart Van Herreweghe, and Christine Copers and the sponsors Chancery of the Prime Minister of Belgium and the Federal ICT of the Belgian government and well as the Drupal Association!

Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) will be using Drupal

Yesterday I attended an "Open Cofee" at the premises of De Tweede kamer, the Dutch house of Representatives. There the news was brought that de tweedekamer.nl (as well as their intranet and some subsites) will be migrating towards Drupal.

This is a major turning point for Open Source and Drupal in the Low Lands, think of the impact of whitehouse.gov moving towards Drupal and now project this on a very small scale in a very small country. Okay, but for us in the Netherlands it is still a marker.

I have been presenting in de Tweede Kamer some month ago as a member of the Dutch Drupal community about the pro's (and con's) of using Drupal. Their selection proces was from "All CMS-es" towards Drupal via a long funnel. The first long list contained Drupal, Hippo (originally Dutch Java based CMS), Typo3 (Popular amongst Dutch manucipalities) and Plone. And while none of the criteria for de Tweede kamer contained a preference towards open source, all CMS-es on the long list are open source. By itself that is telling, if you select a new CMS in 2011, you have to have a good story to select a proprietary CMS.

Drupal and Hippo were the shortlist and after an intense process, de Tweede Kamer selected Drupal. As a long term member of the Drupal community (hee, my 10th D-Day coming up :-)) one can imagine how happy I am with this decision; a Big Win for open source in general and specific Drupal!

Now all we have to do is change the Hofvijfer (the water around parts of the Tweede kamer) towards a Druplicon.

NB: here a small video that was part of the presentation I gave for the Tweede Kamer

(RSS readers, visit youtube)

DrupalPond, getting more quality Drupal developers in the Netherlands and Belgium

The excellent DrupalDevDays in Brussels -with over 500 developers attending- had a mystery sponsor, DrupalPond.

DrupaPond is an initiative of Krimson and DOP to get more Drupalistas together and give them the knowledge and the tools both companies have and use.

Like in many countries -if not all- the demand for Drupalistas in the low lands is much higher the the supply. While some Drupalshops might think this is a good thing, since they can ask for higher fees, it is actually a bad thing. Any market where supply and demand are only matched by changing the price towards extremes will get in-stable.

In the short term it will lead towards golddiggers, shops and independent consultants who claim to do Drupal as well. Knowing little or nothing about Drual, the code, the license or the community and just use it as a tool and even worse, abuse the tool. Because hacking core is so much user then overriding or using hooks to make a module. Sure, short term a "good" solution but the moment you want to update....

To get more independent Drupal developers together, Krimson and DOP started the Drupalpond for companies seeking talent and for consultants who have outgrown the mom'ndad websites and need a collective to get bigger opportunities. Because we need more Drupalistas, both in quantity and in quality.

Each Drop added -even the smallest one- is filling the pool. Leading to more developers getting more active. And many Drops will create interference, new patterns that are only possible when two or more Drupal developers (Drupalistas) work together. So far many people have shown interest in this new collective and we hope it will add value to the Drupal community. For now our scope is the Netherlands and Belgium but due to higher demand from outside this area, we might consider expanding this to Europe. The patchwork of cultures, languages and habits that Europe is, is not present when it comes to Drupal.

A strong European movement when it comes to open source / Drupal is clearly happening. And while the proprietary software vendors are undergoing a shakeout -every country in EU has a handful of "own" proprietary CMS-es- the competition from these closed source vendors will expand in to "Europe wise" as well, so it is time to join forces The DrupalDevDays is the best example of that!

Note: Drupal is a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert. DrupalPond is using the term "Drupal" with a license

Symfony 2 and Drupal 8?


My employer (dop.nu) is a big implementer and supporter of both Drupal (Content Management Framework?) and Symfony (PHP framework). One can imagine the discussions between believers of one camps vs the other camp. :-) And these camps can be literally, we have been hosting a lot of Symfony Camps in our garden as well as Drupal Camps.

So when a coworker spotted this article from Jonathan Nieto I was keen on reading it.

"The last week I attended Drupal Latino conference. It was an interesting experience and I met really nice people, however a question arose in my head after attend the first session about Drupal architecture. They started talking about Drupal 7. I'm not pretty much informed about the Drupal releases and its features, but I thought they would say something like Drupal 7 will be based on a new generation framework. They said nothing about that. After the session I started to talk with some guys who know a lot more from Drupal than me. Then I asked them if maybe the next Drupal release will be based on a framework. They told me that the central idea for Drupal 8 was to create a better separation between framework and product and I was wondering if maybe instead of reinventing the wheel they would use and stable and rock solid framework.

Johanthan links towards Dries Drupal 8 post and continues

Just imagine major PHP products like Drupal, PhpBB, Wordpress, Joomla, etc being developed based on a new generation framework like Symfony2. Everyone would see benefits from this fruitful relationship like now is going to see PhpBB4 and Symfony2. PHP as a development language would be stronger because almost everyone would be using the best practices and methodologies that imposes the new generation 2.0 frameworks.

Apart from the question if putting D8 on Symfony2 is a bit late already, what are your thoughts on this? You might want to post them on Jonathan Nieto's blog or work in the issue queue :-)

(And be sure to follow Fabien Potencier on twitter as well, the lead of Symfony.)

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