Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DrupalCon Day 2

Drupal 8 is on its way. The target timeframe for the release is August 2013, which isn't too far off. Fortunately, the Drupal community continues to grow & improve its processes. As Dries pointed out in his Tuesday keynote, the heart of Drupal is not a specific technology, it's the community. The community's mission is to continue to innovate and collaborate using open source technology to build amazing user experiences. Drupal 8's headed in the right direction already, with a key focus being mobile-first. As such, output from D8 will be in HTML5, which, with the help of media queries, can ensure that the users get the content/functionality they need optimized for the device that they're using to access it. There's a huge push to get out-of-the-box Drupal to offer a robust content authoring experience, something it had only done through contributed modules before. Drupal 8 will also leverage the Symfony PHP framework, which is also a strong community-based open-source project. Like Drupal, it's modular. It's also well-tested and offers an architecture that the most innovative and high-level developers can look forward to working with.
There are so many ways in which the past 2 days have validated by belief that Drupal would serve as innovation platform for my organization for at least the next half decade, if not indefinitely. Drupal's very openness and the strength of its community results in constant evolution and adaptation.
Working with Drupal has made me more professional in my web work than I had ever been before. It keeps me on the cutting edge. I'm always learning from people building the most amazing sites on the web. There's a lot of big ideas that I bring back from Drupalcons, such as the need for agile development processes, community-driven and mission-driven (rather than specific product or service-driven) strategies to sustain an organization that can constantly innovate and adapt to changing circumstances.
Mitchell Baker, head of the Mozilla foundation (the nonprofit organization with a mission to keep web-based technologies open to all, rather than locked up by proprietary vendors) gave today's keynote (Wednesday, March 21, 2012). The video should be available online so you can hear her yourself. It was fascinating to learn how much Mozilla is doing and how it's doing its work (through a large & committed volunteer community as well as a broad workforce of developers). They're always seeking solutions to help all people build a better life online. Though we all think of Mozilla as the providers of the Firefox browser, they do many more things than that. They are utterly mission-driven, rather than simply being product and profit-driven. Again, this mission - similar to the mission of today's libraries - is to allow all people to create their best possible lives online. Mozilla, heck, open-source software itself is about empowerment and freedom. These are core tenets that all librarians can embrace.

No comments: