The Green Bird Media team recently returned from San Francisco, CA, where we took part in DrupalCon 2010, a meeting of the most brilliant and influential members of the Drupal community.
One of our favorite sessions were the keynote presentation, presented by Dries Buytaert who created and continues as the Drupal project lead.
Our other favorite presentation was "Open Source in Government," a talk from Dave Cole, who serves as a senior advisor to the CIO of the Executive Office of the President. He worked previously as Deputy Director for Technology at the White House Office of New Media. Dave describes in detail how Drupal fits with websites at even the highest levels.
Here are some notes from Dries' presentation:
- The Semantic web is becoming more important and more useful. It will turn the web into one big database which everyone can access.
- RDF stands for Resource description framework, a form a metadata. "RDF turns the web into your personal database and makes it easier for you to share your information with the rest of the world."
- More big companies are getting involved and developing with Drupal, including IBM and Microsoft.
- Drupal Core was downloaded more than 230,000 times in the month of March alone, and powers more than 1% of the entire web.
- Dries is excited for the release of Drupal 7, which will likely happen some time between June and September, 2010. The powerful, flexible, and scalable release will create momentum and encourage adoption of Drupal.
- Consolidation has happened within content management systems, which creates clearly defined roles and makes it easier to choose the right CMS. In the long term, open source will lead the race, and Drupal is in a prime position to survive and thrive.
- Computing is transforming into a service. It originated as simply an innovation, to being a custom solution, to a product, and finally, computing will become a service or a utility, which can be seen in the cloud computing movement.
- To succeed in enterprise, Drupal needs to focus on fixing missing features (e.g. configuration management and staging). To succeed in the low end, Drupal needs to focus on creating better experiences (e.g. continue user experience effort). Both require Drupal to improve usability, to improve performance, and to improve the framework.
- Drupal has a culture of sharing and collaboration, a culture of passion and believing, a culture of innovation, a culture of execution, and a culture of having fun.
- "Change comes from the bottom up, ordinary people get together and achieve ordinary things. In political advocacy we call it community organizing, in the software world we call it open source."
- The WhiteHouse.gov websites contains all kinds of content for visitors, using Drupal to display it. Here are some examples:
- Bogs from high ranking public officials
- Information relating to the President's plans for legislation and what it means to Americans
- 750,000 records of people who have visited the White House is available for the public to view
- Live video of meetings and sessions
- Opportunities for public feedback
- The WhiteHouse.gov project will contribute custom built code back to the Drupal community. These modules are "Context HTTP Headers," "Akamai," "Gov Delivery," the mailing platform that governments use, and "Node Embed" which they use to layer content.
All the presentations were informative and helpful, and we look forward to future DrupalCons!