Drupal.org and the developers who maintain the Drupal core take their open source roots very seriously, working hard to engage the user community in all aspects of development. While they communicate in many ways, nothing surpasses face to face communication and so they offer periodic conferences where global users can congregate and learn from each other. Later this month, one of the bigger conferences, DrupalCon, opens in Copenhagen.
Unlike some smaller Drupal gatherings, DrupalCon has the look and feel of a commercial trade show: corporate sponsors, including Microsoft and Google, media sponsors and keynote addresses from industry leaders, featuring the creator of Drupal, Dries Buyteart. However, DrupalCon maintains its own distinctive characteristics. For instance, in addition to the main program, the conference includes a Core Developers Summit where attendees can meet and swap ideas with the developers. Further, DrupalCon arranged an all hours coders lounge where users can work on code.
The program, spanning three full days and six meeting rooms, touches on many aspects of Drupal coding. Sessions range from overview presentations on security, themes, or taxonomies to granular talks on Drush or the new features of Drupal 7. The program has tracks so users can easily identify appropriate sessions. But the tracks are interspersed, so users can pick sessions for interest or at random. Each day features a keynote address and the entire conference wraps up with a one day post conference code sprint. On top of all this, DrupalCon offers a slate of BoF meetings programmed and run by users, for users. BoF is the Drupal acronym for Birds of a Feather.
For open source software, meeting the evolving priorities of a global community requires frequent communication. Drupal.org meets this goal head on with events such as DrupalCon.