Drupalcon SF: First Day Thoughts

19 Apr 2010
Posted by jcfiala

The sheer size of Drupal, and of DrupalconSF, was brought rudely to your attention as you walked into exhibit hall A, which looked to be about the size of room you would need to store a few decently sized airplanes, and saw the rows and rows of chairs set out for people to sit back and hear Dries talk about the State of Drupal.

In short, he thinks it's doing pretty good.

Dries' talk was... a little sameness this year. I've been going to American Drupalcons since Boston, and to Paris in Europe last year, and Dries talked about many of the same things he did before - he's in favor of RDF and the semantic web, he's in favor of making the site more useable for people in general, and he's worried about Drupal losing traction and stalling. These are all things that are interesting to hear about - I'm not totally sold on RDF, and I suspect a lot of the people there were, but Dries had an interesting little video to show about it... more interesting than I thought he described it.

He also talked about Drupal 7. There's been about six thousand patches submitted by over seven hundred users, and he pointed out that it's very much a long-tail situation - there's about 25 people of that seven hundred who have submitted about 50% of these patches, and he would like to encourage people to do more work on this - after all, with 114 critical issues right now, in theory breaking up the 3000 people in the room into 30 person workgroups could end up with Drupal 7 being released this week... but I doubt that will happen.

Dries' talk struck me as a little flat this year - reusing slides and topics from before without really adding in terribly much new. And at the end of the talk the usual 'Q&A' that I've seen before was replaced by a very sanitized short list of questions which all seemed to be softballs, delivered to Dries by someone I don't think I've ever seen before. I realize that it may not be possible to have live questions delivered to Dries by people at a microphone, but it seems to me that a few of the major d7 people could have been brought up on stage to ask questions... It's an odd symbol of just how big things are getting.

And then on trying to get into the Drupal 7 session after the keynote, I was turned away to return down to the overflow room, as the room was full. Sadly, that room didn't have any video to go along with the live audio, so I walked off - I suppose I'll learn by reading up online on what's going on.

I'm considering going to Copenhagen now just to get closer to the smaller drupalcons that I remember- Paris was much more cozy than DC or SF has been, and hopefully copenhagen's drupalcon will be similar... but the price for the presale memberships is already $418.85, so I'm not really sure if I can afford it... a choice I'm going to have to consider.