Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


DC Drupalcon 2009

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I’m just wrapping up 4 days of this year’s North American Drupalcon in Washington, DC - First off, the the DCDC team led by the folks at Development Seed have done a fantastic job. Everything from the venue to the identity design of the whole conference have been most excellently pulled together. They’ve set a new bar for organization and professionalism. And a new high of almost 1500 attendees, up from 900 in Boston a year ago.

For me, I've really enjoyed "coming back". I didn't make it to Szeged in the fall, and I've spent the past 8 months not having Drupal as a day job. That has, in fact, re-energized me about being involved in the Drupal community in the context that I feel like being involved. I can work on concepts and projects that interest and excite me, without any ties to clients or projects or commercial interests.

This time around, I didn't give a presentation around install profiles, although I did sit in on the session. I think we ended up with the catalyzation of having lots of the different overlapping solutions work together. Oh, and by the way, any bitching about install profiles not doing packages or post install stuff or any of a host of other things -- we know, we've always known that, it was hard enough to get them in, never mind boil the ocean and have them do everything else. It took from 4.5 through to Drupal 5 to get them in at all! Anyway, core hooks for import / export sounds like a very achievable goal for D7.

The presentation I did give -- Practical Semantic Web (and Why You Should Care) is up on SlideShare and also available as video on the Internet Archive. More on that in a complete post.

I said at the end of my presentation that Drupal's mission is to "evolve the web". I'd like to be a part of evolving the web, and I see my involvement in Drupal as keeping in touch with that.

Here are a few of things that I am going to be working on:

  • OpenID needs more work -- in Drupal and in a broader sense. It will be implemented as part of the redesign. I chatted briefly with @chrismessina about this, and I hope we can get some external companies interested in helping with a best practices implementation. The infrastructure team is a bit nervous about support for this at scale -- it definitely does need testing and additional security review.
  • My work with install profiles is not over. I mentioned import / export above, and that looks like it will move ahead and not need any prodding from me. I don't have a pointer to the issue for this year, but will be monitoring it. Instead, I jumped back into working on an expanded default install profile for core. @walkah made an interesting point that "Drupal is not a product" (to which I sort of agree) but at the same time showcasing features out of the box is a worthwhile goal.
  • I'm going to tackle a few marketing items and other tasks within the Drupal Association. More soon on this as we start publishing some of the working groups and tasks and ask for more help from the community.
  • I spent some time talking to Jose from the Knight Foundation that awarded almost $500K to the Drupal project, and also to Rob Loach, who was one of the grant recipients to build micro blogging in Drupal. I'd like to help make sure that the grants are maximized. One main idea is to architect all of each project, but allocate some money to bounty additional features, but only fund half of them. This will encourage buy in from the community as well as incent developers to engage clients to fund the other half.

As always, I am both exhausted and energized by my time amongst the Drupaleers.