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Is the Drupal Community too insular?

The Drupal community is an intense, enthusiastic, tightly woven group of people.

A few weeks ago Jim and I decided that we would attend a Drupal meetup and, in typical Manifesto style, we turned up late to the party.

The beers had probably been flowing before we arrived but when I began to listen to the passion behind each person’s involvement with Drupal throughout their life (and the rest of their life stories, some of which were very colourful) I was a bit taken aback.

drupal-community-insular

Drupal is not just for life…

It was really interesting to hear how many months/years/lifetimes that people have ploughed into Drupal and the attitude in which they put that across to others. Trying to get a dialog going, we mentioned a couple of other CMS products that we use… and this is where the Drupal community really come into their own. The sheer determination not to see any other product but Drupal was astounding!

Drupal before all others

I’m all for sticking to your guns, or sticking to your own, but when it gets to the point that there is no room in the conversation for competition you know you are in the deep end of the Drupal community. After speaking to one member it was clear that Drupal was and probably always will be their life and that no other systems exist as far as they’re concerned.

Painting yourself into a Drupal corner

As much as I admire the passion for their chosen field, and the amount of time and energy invested, not being able to look outside of that bubble is a dangerous concept. For instance, Drupal was not the first system and it may or may not be around in 10 years’ time.  If you lack the ability or the will to look forward or laterally, you might one day find yourself painted into the proverbial corner.

As much as I’m keen to get involved in the community, to contribute and to give back to Drupal, I don’t think I could ever close my mind to all other options available.

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  1. EclipseGc says:

    I think that attitude is very pervasive in the community, but there are those of us in the community who would like to see it change. The Drupal 8 cycle has pursued many things the greater PHP community at large is doing (PSR-0/4 and code componentization at that level for instance). The first step toward turning the greater Drupal community on to external code is to make it play nice with Drupal. A lot of really cool things become possible when that happens, and we’re making good progress.

  2. Steve says:

    The story of this post last weekend is well worth a read, including the comments:
    http://www.wptavern.com/wordpress-co-founder-matt-mullenweg-keynotes-joomla-world-conference

    DrupalCon tried to do something a little similar in Portland with the “Off the Island” track, but only ended up with a couple of sessions. I think there was a Joomla speaker at DrupalCon Munich too.

    Those are small examples. It would be great to see more.

  3. As strange as it may sounds, at least in Montreal, it’s been a common thing for PHP developers. I’ve seen/talked too many times with people that only worked with WordPress, while others only swore by Symfony, Drupal, Silex, you name it.

    It’s something I havent seen with Python, Ruby or .NET developers.

  4. kepford says:

    The attitude you discribe is common but I agree with EclipseGc. I think the trend is going the other direction. I would also add that this is not unique to Drupal. I have been around other communities where simular attitudes prevail.

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