What do NASA, MTV, Tim Berners Lee and Mozilla all have in common? They use the open source Drupal content management system (CMS).
The Drupal project celebrates two major milestones this week: the release of
Drupal 5.0 and the sixth anniversary of the project. It’s a long way away
from the project’s humble beginning in founder Dries Buytaert’s dorm room.
Drupal 5 introduces a long list of improvements to the venerable open source
CMS, including retooled administration pages, a Web-based installer, more
logging reports and performance improvements.
Buytaert told internetnews.com that for him the most exciting new things about Drupal 5 are the many usability and
user interface improvements that make for a better experience.
Buytaert isn’t sure yet
what new features will make it in the next Drupal release. That’s not to say
that he doesn’t have a plan.
“With Drupal 5, we focused a lot on improving the user experience,” Buytaert
explained. “For Drupal 6, I’d like to focus on making Drupal easier to
develop and theme for. In addition, I’m really interested in working on
Drupal’s end-user programming functionality (custom content types, query
builder), internationalization and performance.”
At this point however Buytaert and his cohorts at the Drupal project will
first need to see how Drupal 5 gets deployed and used, which will help to shape
the requirements and the feature list for the next Drupal
“At the end of the day, it is all about giving the Drupal community what
they want,” Buytaert noted.
Though Drupal may well be displacing proprietary CMS solutions, competition
with either proprietary or open source CMSes is not the focus for Buytaert.
“I don’t really care about the competition,” Buytaert said. “I follow what
other Open Source CMSes are doing not because I want Drupal to compete, but
because I thoroughly enjoy myself researching and playing with Web
Buytaert added that since the open source CMS market is a young
market, most projects are growing rather than competing. In the open source
world, CMS project are colleagues and not competitors, in Buytaert’s
One thing is for certain, though, Drupal has come along way from its humble
beginnings. For the Drupal 5 release there
were over 492 contributors submitting 1,173 patches.
“I started working on Drupal from my dorm room and I didn’t even have a name
for it back then, let alone any expectations,” Buytaert said. “Little did I
know that six years later, thousands of people would use Drupal, write books
about it, organize conferences around it, start Drupal companies, and so
“It’s incredible how successful Drupal has been,” Buytaert said. “Just like
many other people, I continue to be amazed about the Drupal community every
single day. I’m proud about what we’ve accomplished together, and excited
about what is to come.”