(AD) Sponsored links
This site is build on openstandards with opensource software and an openmind. That is why all content is licenced under the open content licence.
It is very good to see that the UK government is opening up its' data sources to the public. And for the Drupal community it is a big win to see that they have chosen the same Content Management System / Framework as Obama and many others did.
I really wished all governments would open up their back-end data like this and hope that the Dutch government will focus on Drupal as well. Note that there is a strong movement under the Dutch for this, combined under the "Hack the Government" mantra. See this older nice presentation / screencast I made about this in Dutch.
So great news for the British and great news as well for Drupal!
Yesterday I tweeted something some might feel offended by on my account. Since it contains both a strong opinion and some strong language, I will not repeat it here. But I will explain my strong opinion. The point of the tweet was that Drupal is Drupal. It is an open source CMS, moving towards a "CMF". My definition of open source consist of three elements:
Without one of these items, you will not have a (successful) open source project. You need code, you need an open source license and.. you need a community! Of these 3 elements that make up open source, the "community" part is the one that is the hardest or even not to define. We are all parts of communities; in our families, our volunteer work, our church, our village. Everybody is daily part of a community. And as stated I can not define what a community is, but the closest thing I can come up with is people helping people, people caring for people and people loving people. And within a community there is mutual respect and benefits to help, care and love for free. Note that the word community is derived from Latin, a combination of "cum" (together) and "munus" (free gift).
When these three elements get together, great things can happen! As Drupal showed us for the last 8 years. The code is far ahead of the competition, proprietary or open source. The license is strict and thereby we do not suffer from "Joomladisation" and our community is real. Real people helping, caring, loving real people.
This does not mean that one can not make money with open source projects, people have been doing so for decades. This does not mean that people making money cannot be part of the community, companies have been active in the bigger open source ecosystem longer then the term "open source" exists.
I am not to sure I agree fully with Linus on Open source without commercial interests = crap but it is for sure that there is room in any community for commercial help, care ... and even love.
Acquia with close ties to the Drupal community. In a good way. They have been sponsoring the Drupal project in money and time and maybe in the last two years more then any other company has in the previous 8. But Acqiua is not Drupal, they are a company with good ties to the community, helping, caring and loving other people (and their customers). But they are not Drupal.
And every time I read about "Acquia, the commercial arm of Drupal" my hair raises. Drupal is not MySQL or SugarCRM. Drupal is Drupal. And it does not have a commercial arm. It has many commercial arms, the list on http://drupal.org/drupal-services is just a very small part of that. There must be thousands of people contributing to Drupal core, modules, documentation and to lesser extend themes. Many of them making a living proving Drupal related services. And we do want to keep this healthy system of helping, caring and loving. And there is room to make money providing Drupal services. But there is no "Drupal INC".
Note that Acquia never claimed that position and I do not think they ever will. They made it clear what Acquia is, they reacted on my tweet and on the ZDnet story and make it clear in their press-releases. It is lazy journalist that -in this realtime web- want to have an easy digestible text for their readers. Meaning no room for nuances, no room for explaining and no room to tell the complete story.
So that is why I told the complete story, in a 140 characters tweet.
Though this is a nice open standard and a nice module, there are two downers IMHO that show that Google doesn't really get the Drupal community or has another agenda:
Still, nice work Google!
A someone who has been "active" in the Drupal community for over 8 years, it is shocking to see that only in the last 3 years Drupal was really picked up by the mainstream press. This is not due to the quality of the code of Drupal of the community, as much as it has to do with building momentum and a shake out in the CMS landscape. So this story about Drupal being in the "Top 10 coolest Open Source products" (yes, it is that time of the year again) comes as no surprise to anyone how knows the code or the community.
The real power of Drupal however is that 5 (!) other Open Source projectsof the top 10 products use Drupal as a platform to deliver their tools, empower their community. That is the real power of Drupal. 6 (including Drupal self) of the top 10 Open Source tools according to CRN.com use Drupal:
Drupal power. "We, the Drupal community" are proud :-)
A couple of weeks ago the Dutch Association of Journalists NVJ (125 years old) launched a "community" portal based on Drupal. While it was a soft launch, already 999 users have signed up, showing that the need for a place in this niche.
Registered users can blog, ask questions and provide answers, microblog / twitter messages in the site, be active in forums, create and read wikipages, build a portfolio, be-friend people to network, start or join (organic) groups and search for jobs. Employers can post job openings as well.
Lots of content types / functionality usually leading to bad user experience; where do I do what? However, the site is rather popular and gets lots of hits and people do find what they are looking for in the site.
It is my opinion that sites like these show Drupal at it's best, a community site where people help each other.