Drupal, I’m taking sides.

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Google image search results for “DrupalCamp”

Like so many of you in our community, I have been consumed by the awful, messy events unfolding before our eyes in the last week, the “Crellpocalypse”. I’ve lost sleep, been upset, and fielded a lot of questions from friends, colleagues, and others. It’s been pretty awful. Now, I’ve decided to take sides.

Whose side am I taking? Yours. Ours. I am for the Drupal community in this. We and our project are worth it and we have a lot that is worth fighting for. Are you upset, too? Do you need to take some time to calm down? I totally get that. But, as awful as it’s been, it’s not time to abandon ship.

I’ve been talking about this with my officemate and DrupalCon Prenote partner-in-crime, Campbell Vertesi. Read his thoughts about the situation and why we need a Prenote at Baltimore more than ever.

This is bigger than any individual

Our community is bigger than any one member, any one company, or any one group. And for me, the reasons to stay and contribute and work in the community far outweigh any individuals, incidents, or actions.

We — tens of thousands of us — have worked and fought and struggled on every front for 15 years:

  • to get people to accept this crazy idea that open source software is reliable and safe to use
  • to figure out how to make a living while giving our best work away for free
  • to build a community of commercial competitors who turn around and cooperate to create their key technology. As Campbell points out in his post, “No one has ever done this before.” This is a powerful and unique ecosystem.
  • to enable anyone with access to the web to communicate, build community, and realize their vision for improving the world.
  • … and to build a community that we want to be a part of … tens of thousands of us. Thousands of developers, thousands of companies, making stuff benefitting uncountable millions of end users. By my reckoning, the overwhelming balance of Drupal is good.
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Hussain Abbas at DrupalCon New Orleans via https://www.axelerant.com/blog/see-drupal-community-differently

We’ve poured our hearts and souls and billions of hours of coding into building an incredible toolset. And we’ve shared it; anyone can use it to make a difference:

  • Drupal powers online presences for governments, educational institutions, nonprofits, and companies of every size … communities, activism, doing good in the world. If it is online, we’re doing it somewhere. And WE built it.
  • Drupal literally enables how many of us to feed, clothe, and house our families. How many people is that? 100,000? 200,000 people?
  • We are a large, diverse force for good. My good friend Hussain put it in numbers in his See the Drupal Community Differently session at DrupalCon New Orleans. We’re spread around the globe, speak so many languages, and combine so many skillsets into this thing we call Drupal.
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Drupal Camp Chongquing, China, 2016 via https://it-consultis.com/blog/drupal-camps-china-we-were-there

Now is when community counts

Remember when you came for the code, and stayed for the community?

The community needs you now, maybe in ways it never has before. Your efforts, your contribution, your spirit. Don’t stay/leave for [this person] or [that person] or the Drupal Association or whomever. Now is the time to stay, engage, iterate, improve, (re)define who we are, what we stand for — together — because of what we’ve all built and accomplished together in the last 15 years.

Now is also the time to keep this terrible event from ever happening again. And now is the time that we need to bounce back from this together. Our killer app was never the code. Our killer app is a global community of smart people solving hard problems together — in tech, online, and between humans.

What now?

It’s up to all of us to be the community we want to be. I will be posting more over the next few days … when do I ever not post? :-) I’d be keen to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas about what we can do for our community, too. Ping me. horncologne@gmail.com, @horncologne

Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire

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Drupal Camp Costa Rica 2016 group photo, “pura vida!” via https://www.acquia.com/blog/news-%26-updates/4-weeks-4-events-wheres-drupal-mid-2016/21/09/2016/3298081

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