Continuing the Conversation at DrupalCon and Into the Future

My blog post from last week was very well received and sparked a conversation in the Drupal community about the future of Drupal. That conversation has continued this week at DrupalCon Baltimore.

Yesterday during the opening keynote, Dries touched on some of the issues raised in my blog post. Later in the day we held an unofficial BoF. The turn out was smaller than I expected, but we had a great discussion.

Drupal moving from a hobbyist and business tool to being an enterprise CMS for creating "ambitious digital experiences" was raised in the Driesnote and in other conversations including the BoF. We need to acknowledge that this has happened and consider it an achievement. Some people have been left behind as Drupal has grown up. There is probably more we can do to help these people. Do we need more resources to help them skill up? Should we direct them towards WordPress, backdrop, squarespace, wix etc? Is it is possible to build smaller sites that eventually grow into larger sites?

In my original blog post I talked about "peak Drupal" and used metrics that supported this assertion. One metric missing from that post is dollars spent on Drupal. It is clear that the picture is very different when measuring success using budgets. There is a general sense that a lot of money is being spent on high end Drupal sites. This has resulted in less sites doing more with Drupal 8.

As often happens when trying to solve problems with Drupal during the BoF descended into talking technical solutions. Technical solutions and implementation detail have a place. I think it is important for the community to move beyond this and start talking about Drupal as a product.

In my mind Drupal core should be a content management framework and content hub service for building compelling digital experiences. For the record, I am not arguing Drupal should become API only. Larger users will take this and build their digital stack on top of this platform. This same platform should support an ecosystem of Drupal "distros". These product focused projects target specific use cases. Great examples of such distros include Lightning, Thunder, Open Social, aGov and Drupal Commerce. For smaller agencies and sites a distro can provide a great starting point for building new Drupal 8 sites.

The biggest challenge I see is continuing this conversation as a community. The majority of the community toolkit is focused on facilitating technical discussions and implementations. These tools will be valuable as we move from talking to doing, but right now we need tools and processes for engaging in silver discussions so we can build platinum level products.

Sounds like you got spun. The

Anonymous wrote:

Sounds like you got spun. The issues you raised still exist. The community is contracting and concentrating for the benefit of a smaller number of people and organizations. One thing Drupal needs to invest in if it wants to flatten out its dropping market-/mindshare is documentation, training and especially *communication*. Hoping to see more of this as 8 matures, but not particularly hopeful.

Added Fri, 2017-04-28 03:02

Drupal moving from a hobbyist

Anonymous wrote:

Drupal moving from a hobbyist and business tool to being an enterprise CMS for creating "ambitious digital experiences" was raised in the Driesnote and in other conversations including the BoF. We need to acknowledge that this has happened and consider it an achievement. Some people have been left behind as Drupal has grown up. There is probably more we can do to help these people. Do we need more resources to help them skill up? Should we direct them towards WordPress, backdrop, squarespace, wix etc? Is it is possible to build smaller sites that eventually grow into larger sites?

So it's true, Drupal has been taken over by large vendors dominating development, and Dries et al are only interested in the enterprise market. It sounds like you people at Drupalcon are happy to throw small site owners (and vendors who build smaller sites) on the bonfire, with a hearty "Fuck you, hah ha!" As you sip from your champagne flutes, full of the profits of your last Enterprise™ deployment in liquid form. Have fun with that.

"Well why aren't you at Drupalcon discussing these things." Is an answer I expect to hear. The answer to that is: small site owners and developers don't have the funds to go to conferences, it's another way we've been shut out by bigger vendors.

Added Sat, 2017-04-29 04:10

Compelling vs. Ambitious

Megan wrote:

I find it interesting that you used the word "compelling" rather than "ambitious" "digital experiences" later in your post. There's a huge difference in meaning there. "Ambitious" means expensive, high end, requires lots of developers. "Compelling" can mean a huge range of things, from smaller/simpler/less expensive to bigger/more complex/more expensive and everything in between. Drupal is great for those in between projects. I hope it's not deliberately abandoning that market.

BTW, I was just helping someone on the forum today who was working on building a Drupal 8 project with a contrib theme - no coding. These people should be supported. Usability and complexity of a contrib module was a big problem in this case.

Added Sat, 2017-04-29 04:36

The truth

Sandra wrote:

EXPOSE THE CONSPIRACY! GOD AND THE DEVIL ARE BACKWARDS!! DON'T LET GUILT-FEELINGS, FEAR AND OTHER KINDS OF EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION RULE YOUR CHOICES IN LIFE!!

http://joyofsatan.org/ http://exposingchristianity.org/ https://exposingthelieofislam.wordpress.com/ http://www.666blacksun.net/

Added Fri, 2017-05-05 23:17

Time for next step

My site plan wrote:

At least drupal knows what they are planning for , so apart for being disappointed wait and watch what will come next.

Added Fri, 2017-06-30 13:17

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <div> <blockquote> <pre>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.