Part 1 - I spoke with Yves Chedemois, aka yched, on a very pleasant September afternoon outdoors at DrupalCon Prague. You might hear the odd skateboard or two in the background of our conversation. Yched is an important contributor to Drupal: he has been a maintainer of what was called CCK in Drupal 4.7 through Drupal 6.x, then became the core Field API in Drupal 7. In part one of our conversation, we talk about Yves's time working on Drupal, being part of the Drupal community (and the "Hey!" moment), Drupal development sustainability, and how the Drupal community stepped up to help him when he needed it recently. In part two, we cover architectural changes to Drupal 8 core and what they mean for developers.
Drupalfund - 1st project funded!
Amazingly, given the incredible time and dedication he pours into Drupal, it is neither Yves's principal activity, nor part of his "day job". His laptop is on its last legs and froze up due to overheating during a code sprint in Prague. "I keep dragging this laptop with me. It let's me post patches and work on Drupal stuff, so good enough. Except that it will freeze on me regularly. The funny thing about being at DrupalCons is that you have all those sprints. When it freezes, I usually have to fan it on my lap until it gets to a nicer temperature. But doing that in front of 50 other people in the room is a ... fun thing to do ..." After the third time that he had to stop and fan his computer, fellow Drupal community members, led by Dick Olsson, decided yched should have a new laptop. Dick put together a funding campaign on the Drupalfund.us funding platform built by Mogdesign and it was fully funded in 24 hours! "It was an awesome DrupalCon effect, which is also an awesome proof that the Drupalfund platform is a great tool to have. It's something we need to have at this time in the Drupal community."
Drupal is a lot of work
Yves goes on to outline how much time and effort maintaining core components requires. "People are pouring hours and hours of work [a day into Drupal] for a period of two or three years. It's huge. We need to account for the fact that we need to make that sustainable at some point. We need to get our funding tools straight."
"The project, whether Drupal core or critical contrib. modules, or contrib. modules that are experimenting with what will be critical three years from now – the next Views, the next Panels – really need some backup. The message should be if you're using Drupal and making money out of it (which we very much hope!), and you're not contributing something, you're doing something wrong. At the same time, we have no identified place to funnel that. We're asking you to do something for us, but we have no place to direct or point those people to."
Read more about yched's campaign on the Drupalfund.us blog: Melting laptop kicked off Drupalfund's success
Yves goes on to mention using Gittip to support Drupal developers on an ongoing basis and also the challenges of this model, especially when it comprises individual actions, rather than a community strategy.
More on sustainability in Drupal
- This is the campaign that was kicked off and fully funded for yched during DrupalCon Prague: Funding yched to complete D8 Entity Field API
- More about yched's campaign on the Drupalfund.us blog: Melting laptop kicked off Drupalfund's success
- Here's another perspective on the sustainability of Drupal from Mike Gifford at Open Concept: Gittip, Nurturing Community & a Drupal Shop Challenge
- Tom Geller discusses the broader topic of crowdfunding and technology investment here: Raising Money the Old-Fashioned Way - Crowdfunding for technology gains traction
- I spoke with the team from Top Shelf Modules about these issues in Acquia podcasts 110 and 111.
I am a community advisor the Drupalfund.us.