Peak Drupal 2011: Real Drops of Open Source Alternate Energy to Fuel and Feed Villagers in "The Social Network" Desert

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 03/02/2011 - 15:00.

Screen Shot of White House Gov website March 2 2011

At the beginning of the 21st Century - a time when the pace of global evolution was certain to be astounding in every way, in accelerating change each day - especially as driven by transformational new Information Technologies (IT) and services - a serious, young college computer science student wrote some historic collaboration software, in his dorm-room, to help his fellow students communicate more effectively in their evolving, un-tethering, socially-networked world, and that software has been helping citizens freely interconnect with greater impact each day since, to save the world.

The early days of this software are beloved, in real geek-lore:

In 2000, permanent Internet connections were at a premium for University students, so two students set up a wireless bridge between their student dorms to share one of the students' ADSL modem connection among eight students. While this was an extremely luxurious situation at that time, something was missing: There was no means to discuss or share simple things.

This inspired the other student to work on a small news site with a built-in web board, allowing the group of friends to leave each other notes about the status of the network, to announce where they were having dinner, or to share some noteworthy news items.

The software did not have a name until the day after that student moved out after graduation. The group decided to put the internal website on-line so they could stay in touch, keep sharing interesting findings, and narrate snippets of their personal lives. While looking for a suitable domain name...

Thus began the greatest IT-legend to be written in the 21st Century, to-date - still being written, daily - the true-life yet allegorical IT-tale I find most compelling of all... most guiding, comforting and uplifting for our economically-, environmentally- and socially-challenged, inter-networked, globally-disrupted, often unjust, brain-numbing times... for planning a far better future ahead.

The tale of a small village growing into the world's dominant, ever-present global community, now helping raise all the world's children better...

The tale of the Mouse that Roared, 1,000,000s of times over, soon daily, and was and is heard worldwide...

The tale of a socially-responsible, sober, technologically-disruptive computer scientist - who defended his PhD dissertation in Computer Science on January 27, 2008  - who has gone on to better the world...

... NOT The Social Network tale..

... not another face-mashing, exploitative Harvard drop-out-becomes-billionaire tale...

... not another FaceBook-tail-wagging-the-dog-days of 100,000,000s away each day tale...

... not a Dork tale...

A Dorp Tale!

The tale of Peak Drupal 2011: Real Drops of Open Source Alternate Energy to Fuel and Feed Villagers in "The Social Network" Desert

While the Drupal story begins in the dorm-room of Dries Buytaert (born 19 November 1978 in Wilrijk, Belgium) - an open-source software programmer and the founder and lead of the Drupal CMS - it now has extended to every computing device accessing the Internet, as Drupal is truly Everywhere.

The Drupal story begins each day refreshed, with 1,000,000s of new chapters of original content (words, pictures, images) freely created and posted to Drupal sites world-wide by global-citizens interacting on the Internet - Drupal now accounts for the technology of over 1% of the world's millions of websites running the World-Wide-Web, world-wide

I estimate, by now 10+ million websites are running Drupal Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in the background... and growing at an over-100% annual rate, to be sure...

This website,, where you read this today, has been running Drupal since our birth, in 2004 - we are each using Drupal right now.... the world's dominant FOSS CMS, to be sure... and neither of us paid for the software code or right to do this.

That is the reality of FOSS... from the FOSS Wikipedia:

Free and open-source software (F/OSS, FOSS) or free/libre/open-source software (FLOSS) is software that is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to use, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporations.

In the context of free and open-source software, free refers to the freedom to copy and re-use the software, rather than to the price of the software. The Free Software Foundation, an organization that advocates the free software model, suggests that, to understand the concept, one should "think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer".

This FOSS Foundational ecosystem is the environment where Drupal was rooted, an 2001, and has grown into a dominant component of global IT, being constantly developed and freely supported by the Open Source community - now proudly serving release Drupal 7...

Now entering its second decade of saving the world...

Now preparing to celebrate great achievements worldwide at DrualCon 2011 in Chicago, March 7-11, 2011, as you'll see.

I'll be covering DrualCon 2011 for and this year the theme is "Drupal is Everywhere".

And, you shall realize, Drupal is everywhere in your life, in very good ways.

From Wikipedia, regarding Drupal growth in 2010: "From May 2007 to April 2008, Drupal was downloaded from the website more than 1.4 million times, an increase of approximately 125% from the previous year... hundreds of well-known organizations use Drupal, including companies, governments, non-profits, schools, and individuals. An estimated 7.2 million sites used Drupal as of July 2010."

Making this November, 2009, headline unsurprising: re-launches on Drupal and engages the Drupal community at DC users meeting

November 18, 2009 at 10:23pm

Earlier this month, the Executive Office of the President of the United States of America relaunched their website,, using Drupal. This week three members of the White House new media team presented at the Washington, DC Drupal users group. New media director Macon Phillips, deputy director of technology David Cole, and creative director Nik Lo Bue talked about their use of Drupal.

In this video, Macon Phillips addresses how they want to create opportunities for citizens to participate in their government. David Cole talks about why they wanted to change their technology platform, what they actually built, and where they are going with that new platform. Nik Lo Bue addresses how he wanted to use an amazing brand experience to visually communicate with citizens using Drupal.

White House New Media Team on Using Drupal from Development Seed on Vimeo.

I began analyzing and reporting on the development of FOSS for large global enterprises in the 1990s, as lead consultant for the Information Technology and Infrastructure Management Exchange (InT+IME), and developed a strong, client-driven focus on the WWW and content management systems (CMS) and social computing for Internet and Intranet telecommunications from the beginning - lasting over 15 years now. Drupal has shown explosive, market-shifting growth the last 10 of those years.

But, it wasn't until I was selecting a CMS for building the social network Regional Economics Action Links For North East Ohio (realNEO.US), for myself and my community - my Dorp, in 2004 - that I began installing, configuring and developing my personal FOSS social community in the Drupal world.

I couldn't be more pleased.

RealNEO.US has been humming away on Drupal since I first configured it, with barely a cost, change or upgrade. Name any other "system" in your life that has done that well, and constantly gotten better - your car... telephone... electricity... government?!?! Perhaps your marriage.... but Drupal shall never die.

In fact, realNEO is now such an old-school Drupal community - so lacking in the technological bells-and whistles a revolution of Drupal module development and theming has brought to the forefront of social computing - so out-of-step with contemporary IT-fashion - as to qualify as a Drupal-retro-community, at its best.... even our original theme - CSS by David Moss, of Moss Media - has barely changed since our earliest days of around 7 years ago.

Analog Chicken Soup in today's sickening digital gluttony...

A 1950's rotary-dial phone in a mulit-tasking Android touch-screen video world...

Yet we're State-of-the-Art in every way - the members of realNEO have the freedom to make us their way, and never miss a digital call.

We're part of FOSS' Drupal Soup, and that is the healthiest elixir for what ails the world today. does a great job of showcasing the best the open source Drupal code and Community has to offer with state-of-the-art information technology today... as do Sony Music corporation... and 1,000,000s of other leading global enterprises, government entities, global organizations, and plain old people.

But does an exceptional job of showing the least FOSS and Drupal have to offer a community of simple citizens - or even just one citizen - being a way for an individual to inexpensively and easily establish an economically and technologically sustainable, continuously improving virtual presence, content management system, and social network of Earth-changing significance on the Internet - a way for anyone to create and maintain a digital existence that is as good, innovative, transformational and powerful as the home of the President of the United States - a way for any individual to make their presence as valuable to the entire world as does President Obama.

In the FOSS ecosystem, the creators of the virtual world shall never be locked- or priced-out of the best information technology resources and capabilities possible in the world, to better their virtual world, and so the real world.

That certainty for individuals' IT future is embedded in the Free Open Source Software world, and protected by the personal rights and interests of all the members of the massive Drupal Community... and all our Dorps... our 10+ million small villages... being at least 1% of ALL WEBSITES WORLDWIDE, which are now using Drupal as their back-end system, and growing.

Like dorp White House Gov, helping citizens interested in the United States of America to best serve our home and world...

Like dorp realNEO, helping citizens interested in Northeast Ohio to best serve our home and world!

In its first decade - the first decade of the most important Century of human times -  Drupal has evolved into a core component of a THE FOSS ecosystem, allowing citizens to save the world.

Yes, Drupal - the first Dorp - is saving the world.

Yes, Dries - a simple college student, who built the first Dorp - is saving the world.

Yes, YOU - a simple dorp-in-the-ocean - may help save the world.

    Drupal (pronunciation: /ˈdruːpəl/) is a free and open source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License.[2][3][4] It is used as a back-end system for at least 1% of all websites worldwide[5] ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including and[6][7] It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.

    The standard release of Drupal, known as Drupal core, contains basic features common to CMSs. These include user account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS-feeds, page layout customization, and system administration. The Drupal core installation can be used as a brochureware website, a single- or multi-user blog, an Internet forum, or a community website providing for user-generated content.

    Over 7000 (as of November 2010) free community-contributed addons, known as contrib modules, are available to alter and extend Drupal's core capabilities and add new features or customize Drupal's behavior and appearance. Because of this plug-in extensibility and modular design, Drupal is sometimes described as a content management framework.[3][8] Drupal is also described as a web application framework, as it meets the generally accepted feature requirements for such frameworks.

    Although Drupal offers a sophisticated programming interface for developers, no programming skills are required for basic website installation and administration.[9]

    Drupal runs on any computing platform that supports both a web server capable of running PHP 4.4.0+ (including Apache, IIS, Lighttpd, and nginx) and a database (such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, or Microsoft SQL Server) to store content and settings. Drupal 7 requires PHP 5.2 or higher.[4]

Here's the refreshing and fulfilling history of Drupal, looking forward to a better world-future... from

In 2000, permanent Internet connections were at a premium for University of Antwerp students, so Dries Buytaert and Hans Snijder set up a wireless bridge between their student dorms to share Hans's ADSL modem connection among eight students. While this was an extremely luxurious situation at that time, something was missing: There was no means to discuss or share simple things.

This inspired Dries to work on a small news site with a built-in web board, allowing the group of friends to leave each other notes about the status of the network, to announce where they were having dinner, or to share some noteworthy news items.

The software did not have a name until the day after Dries moved out after graduation. The group decided to put the internal website online so they could stay in touch, keep sharing interesting findings, and narrate snippets of their personal lives. While looking for a suitable domain name, Dries settled for '' after he made a typo to see if the the name '' was still available. Dorp is the Dutch word for 'village', which was considered a fitting name for the small community.

Once was established on the Web, its audience changed as the members began talking about new web technologies, such as moderation, syndication, rating, and distributed authentication. slowly turned into a personal experimentation environment, driven by the discussions and flow of ideas. The discussions about these web technologies were tried out on itself as new additions to the software running the site.

It was only later, in January 2001, that Dries decided to release the software behind as "Drupal." The purpose was to enable others to use and extend the experimentation platform so that more people could explore new paths for development. The name Drupal, pronounced "droo-puhl," derives from the English pronunciation of the Dutch word "druppel," which means "drop."

To view a complete list of changes to the software since it's initial release, see h A graphical timeline of Drupal releases (from 1.0.0 to 6.9) is available here.

To learn more about the history of Drupal, see also the Drupal videos from Drupalcon (2006) in Vancouver.

From Drupal history as seen by Dries:

Initially Dries wanted to register the site under the Dutch word "Dorpje" which in English means "little village". While registering the domain, Dries made an error and typed "Drop" instead of "Dorpje". He decided to keep the domain because the name was not owned by anyone. So the first Internet website powered by an online version of Drupal was

After almost a year, around 2000 and 2001, Dries saw a lot of interest from people that provided him with new ideas and features to add to the "Message Board". Dries also carried out a broad research in the direction of RSS feeds, Content Moderation and other Internet technologies.

As the interest in his software grew, so did the requests to add new features. Dries decided to open source his software so that the community is able to experiment on their own and leave him the time and space to do his own experimentation and developing. It was at this moment that the "Message Board" software became the Open Source Software "Drupal". Drupal itself is the product of many unexpected sequence of events.

One of these events was related to the website (still exists today), owned by Jeremy Andrews. Dries wrote him an email suggesting that Jeremy should convert his website to Drupal. They then worked together to make the site handle unexpected surges in traffic. As a result of their collaboration, Jeremy developed a few modules for Drupal and also wrote many articles about his Drupal modules and how Drupal works. He focused on the technical characteristic of Drupal. This caused a broad wave of interest in Drupal from the community.

Today is a well established community with over 350,000 subscribed members (correct as of 08/2008) and provide support and documentation for Drupal implementation. Millions of copies of the Drupal application has been downloaded by the community. was first registered on: 26-Apr-2001 by a member of the community and given to Dries.

Drupal is powering a broad range of websites for small, medium and large companies. The Drupal community is working hard on the next version of Drupal, bringing a lot of enhancements to this great gift from Dries Buytaert. The core developers, the Drupal Association Members and the community collaborate tirelessly everyday to enhance Drupal. You can download it free from this website.

Thanks to the great efforts of all involved with Drupal, from the developers to the Site Maintainers, from the Handbook maintainers and Book contributors to the many people who develop Contributed Modules and Contributed Themes to the new members that every day submit new code and posting issues for testing and expanding Drupal into new areas.

Note: this Article is an extract of an interview. Recorded: 26 July 2007 in: Antwerp, Belgium by User Noneck at Dries on drupal

The Mouse That Roared:

The Mouse That Roared is a 1955 Cold War satirical novel by Irish American writer Leonard Wibberley, which launched a series of satirical books about an imaginary country in Europe called the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Wibberley went beyond the merely comic, using the premise to make still-quoted commentaries about modern politics and world situations. The book takes a satirical look at themes including the nuclear arms race, nuclear weapons in general, and the politics of the United States. The phrase "mouse that roared" has proved a durable meme.

Plot summary

The tiny (3 miles by 5 miles) European Duchy of Grand Fenwick, supposedly located in the Alps between Switzerland and France, proudly retains a pre-industrial economy, dependent almost entirely on making Pinot Grand Fenwick wine. However, an American winery makes a knockoff version, "Pinot Grand Enwick", putting the country on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Prime Minister decides that their only course of action is to declare war on the United States. Expecting a quick and total defeat (since their standing army is tiny and equipped with bows and arrows), the country confidently expects to rebuild itself through the generous largesse that the United States bestows on all its vanquished enemies (as it did for Germany through the Marshall Plan at the end of World War II.)

Instead, the Duchy defeats the mighty superpower, purely by accident: landing in New York City, almost completely deserted above ground because of a city-wide disaster drill, the Duchy's invading "army" (composed of the Field Marshall Tully Bascomb, three men-at-arms, and twenty longbowmen) wanders to a top secret government lab and unintentionally captures the "Q-bomb" and its maker, Dr. Kokintz, a prototype doomsday device that could destroy the world if triggered.

The "army" had been sighted by a Civil Defense Squad ensuring everybody was 'safe' in the subway tunnels and was immediately taken to be "men from Mars!" due to the metal chain mail of the invaders. When the Secretary of Defense pieced together what had happened (with help from the five lines in his encyclopedia on Grand Fenwick and the Fenwickian flag left behind on a flagpole), he was both ashamed and astonished that the United States was unaware that it had been at war for two months.

With the most powerful bomb in the world now in the smallest country in the world, other countries are quick to react, with the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom offering their support. With the world at her tiny country's mercy, Duchess Gloriana, the leader of Grand Fenwick, lists her terms: all the nuclear weapons of the powerful nations must go through an inspection by impartial scientists and that the "Tiny Twenty" (a joke about the "Big Three" Nations) should be formed, a group of twenty small nations so that small nations can get their voices heard as well as large ones. Soon Duchess Gloriana and Tully Bascomb get married, and during the wedding Dr. Kokintz discovers that the bomb is a dud and that the bomb Grand Fenwick used to threaten the world into obedience never had any power whatsoever.

The Social Network:

The Social Network is a 2010 semi-biographical drama film about the founding of the social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits.


In 2003, Erica Albright breaks up with Harvard University student, Mark Zuckerberg. Back at his dorm, Mark writes a scathing and drunken blog entry about her, and is inspired to create a website that rates the attractiveness of female students when compared to each other. He hacks into the databases of various residence halls, downloads pictures and names of female students and, in a few hours, using an algorithm for ranking chess players supplied by his best friend, Eduardo Saverin, he creates a website called "FaceMash," where students can choose which of two girls presented at a time is more attractive. Mark receives six months of academic probation after the traffic to the site brings down parts of Harvard's network, and becomes vilified among most of Harvard's female community.


WhitehousegovScreen.jpg37.11 KB
WhitehousegovScreen650.jpg35.98 KB