Drup dot al

My very own Hansel and Gretel
Every day or so I try to browse so modules that might be of use for customers. Not that my team is afraid of building own modules. Not at all as the Hansel module for example shows. A rather cool module for developers to make better breadcrumbs that we build for the NCRV.nl and was donated by them. Not afraid to make own modules that make "awesomeness happen". But using Open Source means building on the shoulders of giants and no matter how tall you are, there is always someone taller then you. So despite being 2 meters tall, I always look for smarter people writing interesting code/functionality.

So the other day I came across the Drupal anywhere module that uses twitters anywhere service. Anyway, clicking the demo link brought me to... drup.al!

And this is what I wrote about that domain-name back in 2006:

If Drupal would have started in 2005 and Albania would have had a real NIC, we wouldnt have claimed drupal.org but drup.al.

But we arent followers, not here to be hip and we were twodotooo before Tim could spell it out. So we are Drupal.org, rocking without being Beta Two Dot Oooh!


And I still think it is true today. Even if Time gave an excellent keynote at DrupalCon SF. Drup.al is a funny domain-name. Demoing a nice module, that is all it is. And when the Albanian NIC was any more open back in 2001 when I registered drupal.org I am sure I would have looked at drup.al as well. Nice domain name, but search engines are the new DNS, Google is the new Bind. Funny name, drup.al. But most outsiders already think that the name Drupal by itself is funny enough.

DrupalJam 6 in Amsterdam

1st Drupaljam 2007 - Hilversum NLFriday March 19 (9:00-18:00 CET) the Dutch Drupal community will organise the 6th "DrupalJam".

A DrupalJam is a place where anyone interested in Drupal can get together to discuss about one of the best Open Source CMS-es out there. A friendly palce where users, coders, business people as well as people interested in web technologies. This time the Jam will be helded at the StayOkay hotel in Amsterdam, Timorplein 21. More information about the StayOkay location can be found on Maps as well. We expect over 200 people (up to 300!) visiting the DrupalJam and we will have attendees form over four countries.


It only seemed like yesterday.. The first DrupalJam I co-organised was in a basement with 50 or so people (top left). Not unlike the second DrupalCon, held in Amsterdam (right).

And now, 6 editions later we have reached the scale of the third DrupalCon in Brussels as can be seen on Dries' site. And this is a global trends. While DrupalCons get bigger and bigger, there is also a trend to localise DrupalCon's that are reaching the same scale as DrupalCon's were only a a few editions ago. And with that the global DrupalCon problems get local as wel, continuity, professionalism en sponsors.

I am proud to say -not meant to toot my own horn- that the organisers of the DrupalJam so far did an excellent job. The very healthy ecoshere around Drupal in the Netherlands made that we have the following premium sponsors; Microsoft, Radio Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Dutch Open Projects, Internet Unlimited, KPN, NCRV, OneShoe and Sogeti. Other sponsors include VLC (gold), Lucius, Acquia, Synetic, Wizzlern (silver) and Merge (bronze). Looking at this list there are at least two key things to note. The first one is a classic one, the distribution is skewed to the left meaning we made the premium sponsorship to cheap.

The second one is more important. The ecoshere around Drupal grew and outgrew the standard Drupal implementers. KPN (fortune 500, telephone, mobile, ADSL, high end webhosting), NCRV (public broadcaster using Drupal a lot), Radio Netherlands Worldwide (public broadcaster using Drupal, see Dries' site) and Microsoft are not the "standard" sponsors of an Open Source project. It shows that the market around Drupal is maturing and that parties that have an indirect stake are willing to invest and give back. And we do thank them for that, as well as thank our other sponsors!

Brecht RockstarDries once told me he wanted to have local DrupalCamps in every city around the world. We are not there yet. But I do think there is a (bi-)yearly DrupalCamp in every free country around the world right now. And when these will become too big, there will be a DrupaCamp in every major city around the world by 2015 for sure.

Drupal is coming home in 2015, your home! But if you can not wait that long, sign up for the DrupalJam in Amsterdam, look the sessions and propose a session (login required). Please do contact me or Bart Feenstra if you have any questions. DrupalJam will rock!

Drupal at FOSDEM 2010

( source flickr, copyright faerie)

Next weekend on Sunday, February 7, we'll have a full day of Drupal talks at the 10th edition of FOSDEM, Europe's biggest, free-est and open-est software conference.

FOSDEM, is a free and non-commercial event organized by the community, for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet. The Drupal project was granted a developer room at FOSDEM to do exactly that: to share knowledge about Drupal.

The presentations schedule for the devroom was published a week ago on http://groups.drupal.org/fosdem. It features interesting speakers such as Robert Douglass, Károly Négyesi, Roel de Meester and Kristof van
Tomme and even more interesting subjects as mobile device design, AHAH, eID and Views 3. Everyone is invited to attend the presentations.

On Friday the giantesque beer event kicks off the conference. For Drupalistas there is a sprint on Saturday in Zaventem.

Please join, I have been to a couple of FOSDEM's and if you ever attended an Oreilly or Gartner con, you are in for a surprise :-)

FOSDEM takes place at ULB Campus Solbosch in Brussels.

Data.gov.uk running Drupal

Data.gov.uk running Drupal

Advised by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt and others, government are opening up data for reuse. This site seeks to give a way into the wealth of government data and is under constant development. We want to work with you to make it better.

Sir Berners-Lee -together with Al Gore- the inventor of the web (not Internet)- knows Drupal, his personal website runs Drupal. And he seems to know a bit about the "Semantic Web" as well ...

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!

The commercial arm of 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:

  1. Code
  2. Community
  3. License

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.
But just as there is not one company claiming our church, volunteer work, family or village, there is not one single company that can claim a (healthy!) open source project. Just as Redhat doesn't / can't claim GNU/Linux, no company can claim Drupal. And more important, there is not a company that claims the opensource project Drupal. Not even.. there goes the A word

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.

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