Happy b-day d dot o

Ten years ago. A decade. Ten years ago I registered drupal.org and gave the domain after a couple of days to Dries. I can still remember choosing between .com (more popular, even then) and .org and decided to register the later. I found it a better fit for the community. If I wasn't so cheap, I would have registered both but the domainname claiming was not where it is today. In the end, everything went well and drupal.com was donated as well.

Now d dot o has a pagerank of 9, many subdomains, an own URL shorter; dgo.to and there are thousands of domainnames -most not complying with the trademark policy- with Drupal.

Ten years ago. A decade. I think someday someone will study the history of our community in an academic way. I also think that we should document our own past; "Project Drupast, documenting the future that was". As an open source community, much of our activity has been very well preserved, in code, documentation and on post on d.o itself. A bit of history can be found on the history page. But it doesnt do justice to our rich culture of ten years rocking the web. So take a look at a small timeline I started on tiki-toki. I know that with drupal core, cck, views, the timeline module and lots of templating, this could be done in Drupal as well and would welcome any initiative like that for "project Drupast". But untill that day, I would like to gather a couple of people who would want to help me putting the most important dates in this timeline. So if I know you, trust you, please contact me to get Drupast kicking like d.o does.

Ten years ago, I wrote Dries "Have fun with the new domainname". He did. We did. d.o rocks!

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

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