Over 3,000 attendees gathered in Chicago from the 7th to the 10th of March this week for the semi-annual Drupal Conference event, making it the second biggest DrupalCon ever (after San Francisco). DrupalCon Chicago was particularly special this year as Drupal was celebrating 10 years of life and achievements and the launch of Drupal 7 earlier this year.
The Drupal community grew from a small group of friends to running nearly 2% of the world's websites - from small business and personal websites to large organizations like The White House and Examiner.com.
This growth is evident at Drupalcon Chicago with dozens of companies presenting services directed to supporting the planning, development, management and maintenance of Drupal websites. In 2005 fewer than 50 people attended the first DrupalCon in Brussels; it is now hosted twice a year in leading cities such as Paris, Copenhagen and Washington.
Drupalcon Chicago keynote speech, Dries Buytaert
The most anticipated event at the Drupal Conference is the keynote speech from founder Dries Buytaert. This year Dries focused on what his vision of Drupal 8 is. He underlined how the move of Drupal from using CVS as its code versioning and management system to the modern distributed Git versioning system would allow several efforts to develop in parallel and identified five areas of concern:
- 1. Better support for mobile devices so as to make Drupal to go-to platform for mobile
- 2. A focus on interoperability and better support for Web Services
- 3. Better accessibility
- 4. Improvement configuration management to support the needs of enterprise users
- 5. Support for content staging to better support more complex content workflows
The remainder of the conference included many presentations on the new possibilities afforded by Drupal 7, lots of discussions about how to start working towards the goals Dries set and goals others have for Drupal 8. As ever, it was also a great chance to catch up with the rest of the great Drupal community.
As Dries pointed out in his keynote speech, Drupal is a lot of things to many people - but at the very basis of it Drupal is really its community and Drupalcon Chicago showed that this community is strong and inspired to take Drupal to new heights.