I love working with Drupal. But it has lots of drawbacks. Mainly, that it’s not easy. Even for developers. We often run up against things that just don’t work as expected. So, time is spent figuring out why and how to make it work. We can usually find a way. But it sometimes costs more to find the solution than is reasonable for a specific project. I have found the same thing with WordPress which, of course, runs this blog. They both have limitations. They both have good core platforms and active communities striving to develop, improve, and extend their platforms. To me, there is no going back.I hope I never have to build a site without either one of them supporting me and giving clients extra value in engaging with the world via the Internet.
I wish I were at Drupalcon this week. I’ve attended a couple and they are full of energy, excitement, friendship and learning is fabulous. But I can enjoy some of the event from afar. Here, if you’re interested is the keynote delivered by Drupal’s founder Dries Buytaert. It’s a little a bit about where the project has been. And a lot of about where it is going.
I returned from Drupalcon in San Francisco on Thursday and have spent the last few days catching up with work and life. I’m just starting to sort through all my thoughts on this great conference. First, I wish I could have attended even more sessions. But fortunately, they were all recorded and are already available on archive.org.
This was the largest Drupalcon yet, and much was made of Drupal’s growth and its growing influence on the web. Dries’ keynote has some interesting statistics on that. Overall, there was a sense that Drupal was quickly transforming from one of several content management systems to a major player in enterprise, government and non-profit sectors. It felt good to be a small part of this community.
I came away with plenty of ideas on business processes, module concepts, the transition to the next version of Drupal due out later this year. I plan to write more about these areas in the coming days and weeks.
I’ve been back from D.C. a couple weeks and I am still trying to distill everything I experienced at Drupalcon. With three days of intense sessions, Birds of a Feather gatherings, discussions and keynote speeches I have yet to find a way synthesize everything. In fact, I was so excited by some of the things I learned, I am frustrated by not bing able to implement them. OK, it’s only been 2 weeks, so I should be patient.
Most of the sites we’re working on only use a small fraction of the power that Drupal has to offer. I’ve realized I need to do a better job helping clients expand their vision of what their sites could be. And do so without appearing to try and sell them features. Tricky balance. But I also really want to find more clients that alreadyÂ have that larger vision and want to leverage the Drupal platform to build a communications center, not just a web site delivering content. In the meantime I’m planning a couple of my own sites that will offer some of these features. It was one of my new year resolutions after all.
Three other general impressions I came away with that I hope to write more about later:
The Drupal community is truly something special
Drupal development continues to lead the way in opening its framework
Drupal 7 will have an ever increasing focus on usability and lovely themes
If you’re interested, all the main sessions and the keynotes were videotaped and can be accessed here. I’m watching sessions I couldn’t attend in person, and rewatching others.