Dries Interview

From Issue #57

Dries Buytaert sat for an interview on the 20th anniversary of Drupal (it was released January 15, 2001).

He absolutely nails one of the problems with open-source CMS (and open-source software in general) – early versions are invariably built by developers for developers.

What would he do differently if starting the project today? “I would lead with a strong user experience. When I released the first version of Drupal it attracted like-minded people, meaning other developers, and we got a bit of tunnel vision, it was for developers by developers…”

In my first book, I called this “open-source syndrome.”

Also, an interesting note about who is developing Drupal:

Almost two-thirds of the contributions to Drupal come from commercial organisations, over 1,200 companies last year. If starting today, I would embrace that commercial involvement from the get-go. It means finding models that encourage organisations to contribute even more aggressively.

(I had a phone call with Dries once. The first question I asked him was how to pronounce his last name. I still can’t do it. Before the call, I had asked the same question of a friend at Acquia who worked with Dries every day. He didn’t know either.)

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