122: Ryan Weaver and Jeffrey A. McGuire compare notes on Open Source - 2/2

Ryan Weaver looks better with a mustache

Ryan Weaver is the single biggest contributor to the Symfony2 framework's documentation (which is excellent, check it out!), a self-described Symfony evangelist, and lead at KnpUniversity.com, makers of fantastic PHP tutorial screencasts like this one on using Composer to include PHP libraries in Drupal 7.

This is part 2 of a 2-part conversation with Ryan Weaver from SymfonyCon Warsaw 2013 - This recording is a little different: Ryan and I were chatting during SymfonyCon Warsaw. I had asked him about doing an interview for the podcast and we got to talking about our projects, business, and the open source world. At some point I thought, "I shouldn't lose this," and switched on my recorder. While part one is a more 'formal' interview as described below, this is an excerpt from our casual conversation on the floor of the convention. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed speaking with Ryan.

Here, we touch on a bunch of things, including Drupal's history, sprints and the culture and value proposition of contribution; how clients are becoming savvy about open source and demanding more of us as service providers; in-person connections fueling remote collaboration; my personal contention that Drupal.org is better than GitHub would be as a home for the Drupal project (centralization, reputation economy, "Darwinian" survival of the fittest code); adding to existing solutions instead of reinventing the wheel (hello using Symfony2 components in Drupal 8 core!); the shift from "not made here" to "proudly found elsewhere" in Drupal and the new spirit of embracing change, PHP convergence and Drupal's new relevance ...

In part 1, we talked about the great Symfony documentation and its team, discovering the power of community in open source (instead of doing it all yourself), Symfony2 components in Drupal 8 bringing the two communities together, the advantages (present and future) of loose coupling in Drupal 8's architecture, the next big thing, and more!

Drupal's New Relevance

The next step beyond "Getting off the Island": Drupal's innovations can now become relevant and helpful in the broader software world because the project becomes up-to-date in so many ways with the advent of Drupal 8. "I did a talk a couple of years ago at SymfonyLive, talking about Symfony components and that was one of the points I brought up," Ryan adds, "Okay, how great is it that Drupal's able to use Symfony components? That's great. But, what if ... fast forward a couple of years ... What if modules in Drupal start to become decoupled? What if the module, which holds everything right now, actually ends up being a small glue layer for Drupal? And all the innovation, all the core stuff that people have spent years getting perfect, is extracted to its own PHP library? Just a PHP library and the module leverages the library ... and I, Symfony developer or any other developer in PHP, now leverage this library that has all this amazing stuff in it! The possibility of the Drupal world starting to push things into the PHP world is incredible, with how big the Drupal world is and how many people are contributing to it." Ryan goes on to paint a vision of a more unified PHP community through this kind of mechanism.

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