76: Kyle Browning on the open-sourced Drupal Create iOS app

Kyle Browning, the Director of Mobile at WorkHabit, talks about developing for Drupal as a mobile platform and the open-sourcing of the new Drupal Create app for iOS.

The evolution of mobile + Drupal

Kyle describes his work as "handling the communication from a mobile phone to a website," and talks about the need for mobile-capable websites and apps that has developed since 2010. The Drupal Create app builds on Kyle's work building the Drupal iOS Software Development Kit and the rewrite of Drupal's Services module before that. "I wanted to focus on making sure that the Drupal community had this as an option; to be able to communicate to their website from their phone."

A dynamic app for a dynamic platform

Drupal Create lets you post content, handles your session data, but it does much more, too. Kyle explains, "You can dynamically change what content you can create from your app, via configuration on your Drupal site. You can reorder your forms, just like you do with the regular Forms API ... Since Drupal is such a dynamic platform, we wanted to make the app listen to the website and 'take note' of how how these forms are built and things like that."

Fly! Be free! Open-sourcing the code

The Drupal Create codebase is licensed under the MIT License, not the GPL as we said in the podcast audio. The MIT license is more permissive still than the GPL, but also compatible with it.

Open sourcing the full Objective-C source code for Drupal Create on GitHub not only puts the code out there for other developers to use and improve on, it can also help people learn how to do their own mobile development. "It'll be great to see what features people in the community add. It'll be great to see what things they hated that I did ... It's going to be really fun to hear from the community what they think about it." At WorkHabit, "we really care about Drupal and we want to give the tools to the community so it can foster innovation inside of itself."

Moshe Weizman, Acquia's Director of Research and Development, and manager of the Drupal Create project underscores that sentiment this way, "We want people to take it and do anything they want to with it." Moshe didn't actually say, "Fly! Be free!" but I pictured him doing so and the image stuck with me.

Acquia's official press release puts it pretty well, too, saying the release of a fully functional mobile-communication codebase "is kick-starting development of mobile content publishing apps for Drupal."