Dries Interview

This was sent in Issue #57 of Squirrel Notes on March 11, 2021.

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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