Drupalcon Szeged 2008 Roundup

Drupalcon Szeged 2008 demonstrated that the Drupal community is as vibrant as ever and Drupal itself is maturing as a product and as a community. (See references for a list of links relevant to the conference.) 

Drupal has grown rapidly the last few years thanks to its being a unique combination of a content management system as well as a development and programming framework. The vibrant community has ensured that most current and popular web technologies and services are supported in Drupal through the large number of contributed modules and themes (currently > 3000).  As a result Drupal adoption has been widespread from small business sites to large newspapers, web 2.0 community and media sites. 

With widespread adoption come a range of new challenges involving scalability, maintainability, support, usability etc. In his opening "State of Drupal" keynote address, the Drupal project initiator Dries Buytaert touched on the main issues facing users and the challenges the Drupal community needs to address to meet them.

The Drupal Association has commissioned Mark Boulton to redesign d.o aka http://drupal.org. His presentation highlighted the main issues facing d.o (branding and usability) and how he wants to go about the redesign process in a number of small iterative steps. I look forward to the redesign effort as a case study for community work and because the facelift will do d.o a world of good.

The conference covered a variety of themes like Dave Cohen's getting Facebook applications running with Drupal, better photo galleries, using jQuery with Drupal, tuning and performance recipes, scaling and backup recipes for MySQL databases and using "cloud computing" platforms like Amazon's EC2, S3 and EBS to build highly scalable sites.

The launch of Acquia, a company that will be providing commercially supported Drupal distributions is a welcome development for commercial and enterprise Drupal users looking for commercial support. 

A roundup of Drupalcon Szeged 2008 wouldn't be complete without a word of thanks to the organizers for a well orgnaized event. All of this is a testimony to the maturity of the platform and we can look forward to many more years of leading edge (it isn't cutting and bleeding edge anymore) web development in Drupal.

I would argue that Drupal is one of the leading candidates to become the "operating system" of choice for the web, the same way that Linux has become the operating system of choice for running servers. While many people think that the web browser will usurp the role of desktop operating system, it is likely that Drupal will emerge as the "server operating system" of choice for powering web applications and communities.

Drop me a line with your comments and opinions. 

References from Drupalcon Szeged 2008:  
  1. List of sessions, presentations and videos
  2. Dries Buytaert "State of Drupal" Keynote:    presentation pdf, video
  3. Rasmus Lerdorf Keynote:  video
  4. d.o resesign:  Mark Boulton Design:    video
  5. Dave CohenDrupal for Facebook:    presentationvideo
  6. Drupal in the Cloud:    video
  7. Acquia
  8. Amazon Web Services
  9. Drupal or d.o

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