[development] One core, many distributions

Gerhard Killesreiter gerhard at killesreiter.de
Wed Nov 23 19:00:39 UTC 2005

Charlie Lowe wrote:

> Gerhard wrote,
> "No, no, and no. The "community" (I hate that word) is not the reason
> d'etre for Drupal or the reason why anybody would develop for it. The
> reason is to get stuff done for our own needs. You are free to use it,
> too. But that's it."
> Okay. I'm non-coder, but I do work with Drupal for my "own needs," and 
> would suggest that here is part of the conflict which traces back to 
> Liza's post. It all depends on your perspective of what is important 
> about open source (or free software if that is your term). I've been 
> doing lots of reasearch on open source lately, and IMHO, the idea that 
> the community is unimportant and that the code is "free to use" is 
> very short-sighted.

Heh, I was just trying to formulate what seems to be important to most 
people who make unreasonable demands "free as in beer and deliver 
yesterday and according to my specs".

> In The Success of Open Source, Stephen Weber explains that “the 
> essence of open source is not the software. It is the process by which 
> software is created” (56).  The licensing merely gives users rights. 
> The fact that the open source product becomes available in a gift 
> economy for everyone to use is not the end in itself, but rather the 
> means to that end as Ilkka Tuomi pointed out in an article on First 
> Monday, “open-source communities control the developmental dynamic of 
> an evolving good. The 'openness' of open source, therefore, is more 
> about open future than about access to currently existing source-code 
> text” (442).

Ummm. Dunno. Too much talk. Good software needs to get stuff done. The 
advantage of OS is that I can get stuff faster done by collaborating 
with other people. Just imagine all the core developers had signed 
mutually exclusive NDAs, where would Drupal be?

> So for those for whom Drupal is not just a short term solution for a 
> client, but part of a long strategy for developing a successful 
> consulting business (or other types of career advancement), the 
> community is very important, and even the end users of which Liza 
> speaks. Open source depends on collaboration--and as long as the 
> workflow processes and organizational structure can handle 
> it--increased growth in the community. End users play an important 
> role in this. For every 100 new end users, there are 100 new people 
> potentially marketing Drupal for those trying to build a client base. 
> And out of those 100, there are probably at least a few who will 
> contribute to development and increase the functionality of the product.
> Need further convincing? I sent the following statistics to Dries at 
> the end of October. For anyone who's long term prosperity depends on 
> Drupal's brand name succcess (and I think it does; IMHO, DeanSpace, 
> for example, did a lot for advancing Drupal's community growth),

It did create a great number of Drupal sites, but how many core 
developers did we get from it? There's Neil Drumm, Aaron Welch and  ...?

And if I look closely at the Drupal project as an Open Source project, 
the number and quality of people working on core is the only thing that 
is _really_ important.

> consider the followiong statistics.

I think Jeff Eaton had a good reply on that part. Generally, I don't 
mind if people with limited abilities/ experience think that Drupal is 
hard to use if this enables people with the ability and experience to do 
amazing things.

    Gerhard (and no I didn't take your post personally, why would I?)

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