DrupalCon 2010 Keynote Highlights
Dries Buytaert, the Keynote speaker and Drupal's creator, was introduced by Matt Cheney (Michael Cheney, from IGPA in Urbana, is Matt's dad!) Dries welcomed the huge crowd and celebrated the success and the growth of this open source movement. Five years ago, the first DrupalCon had 40 attendees. This week, over 3,000 of us have gathered at DrupalCon San Francisco. Our friends in Europe even organized their own DrupalCon events in airports in Europe after being stranded by the volcanic ash, Dries reported.
Dries proceeded to make some big pronouncements and declarations about the future of Drupal.
Switching to Git
- Drupal 8 development will ditch CVS and move to Git source code revision control.
- "Making the decision was easy, but the transition will be hard."
- Drupal will be able to accept bigger patches and put more power in the hands of subsystem maintainers with Git.
- Drupal will deliver packaged "products" that provide a specific, out-of-the-box solution for a specific need or an industry.
- The system that Drupal.org uses to deliver installation profiles has been upgraded to deliver fully packaged distributions that include a full installation of core and modules.
- Rather than every Drupal website starting as a blank slate that requires a lot of work to build a finished site on, these distributions give a quicker ready-made website for particular needs such as a newspaper/magazine website, a blog site, a jobs portal, or a forum.
The Semantic Web
Drupal 7 will support RDFa out of the box. RDFa is a standard for how web page markup can tag meaningful connections. For example, a page or a comment can include RDF markup to say who authored it and to link to that user's own homepage or blog. This markup provides meaningful information that Google and search engines can use to make much more meaningful results, and it allows the whole web to become a large database of knowledge that can be queried.
Read more or watch the video at http://buytaert.net/semantic-web-and-drupal-video.
RDFa support will include Nodes (pages of any type), Comments, Terms (categories and taxonomy), and Users enabled by default. A graphical diagram of RDFa tags in Drupal 7 shows how Drupal will make use of the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) and Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOS), for example.
Drupal in the Enterprise
- Capgemini, Accenture, and IBM are all doing multi-million dollar projects using Drupal as the platform.
- Dries wants Drupal to have a "well-rounded" ecosystem that includes big and small players.
- Linux is a great example of how an open source platform took off when Dell started shipping it and IBM got involved, and Dries wants the same thing for Drupal.
- Microsoft is now distributing Drupal with their MS Web Platform Installer, and today they are announcing Microsoft SQL Server support in Drupal. They have helped create new driver support based on PDO.
- Furthermore, Drupal supports the "NoSQL" databases including CouchDB, MongoDB, and Cassandra.
Growing Adoption of Drupal
- Drupal now powers more than 1% of the top million websites (from Alexa's list of the top million).
- Drupal 5 and 6 power a total of roughly 500,000 websites (based on statistics from the update manager that warns when your version of Drupal needs a security update).
- In other words, Drupal holds a good market share (1%) of the top million websites, but that is just the tip of the iceberg because that accounts for only 2% of Drupal websites. So the other 98% of sites using Drupal are smaller community and organization websites.
- Drupal core was downloaded 230,000 times in March 2011.
- Drupal has 6,700 contributed projects, up from 5,000 one year ago.
Drupal 7 will be released when the remaining 114 critical bugs are fixed by the community. There have been a total of 6611 patches from 732 people (including OJC Technologies which contributed patches to improve accessibility of form labeling, error labels, headings, expand/collage, drag-n-drop, and more).
The best case for release is June, 2011, and the expected worst case is currently October, 2010. (OJC recommends that customers plan for a reliable and orderly move to Drupal 7 in mid-2011.)
Drupal 7 includes many great features: custom content types (CCK) in core, image and file handling in core, a new easy-to-use interface for administrators, new database support including master/slave replication, new jQuery support (jQuery 1.4 and jQuery UI 1.8), automated testing framework, and improved security (because it uses PHP 5.2).
Moving forward, for Drupal 8 Dries advises that we focus on both large and small Drupal users. For large enterprises, we need to focus on configuration management and staging and other missing features that are needed by enterprises. For small user, we need to focus on usability. For everyone, we need to continue working on performance.
The whole web platform is going to continue the shift towards the cloud and Software-as-a-Service. And we need to pay attention to The Innovator's Dilemma in order to strike a balance between continuing to serve our current user community while also growing to serve a larger, new market.
You can watch the entire keynote online.