RIP Content Management System

Loose notes from SXSW 2010 session RIP Content Management System by Drupal creator Dries Buytaert.

Unfortunately, the “R.I.P. part of the session title was never addressed, nor were any of Drupal’s core shortcomings or architectural annoyances. This was unfortunately just a 30-minute informercial for Drupal.

Would really have preferred to have heard Dries talk about plans to address Drupal’s deep archtitectural problems like lack of object orientation, lack of an ORM, lack of MVC, and annoying templating system. Took notes anyway.

Users today expect a lot of features “by default”. “Old skool” sites don’t cut it any more.

Problem 1: Your webmaster doesn’t scale. The traditional role of the guy who writes HTML in Notepad doesn’t exist any more. CMSs have eliminated the traditional role.

Problem 2: Your proprietary CMS is slow to innovate. They wait and see until certain services go mainstream before deciding to integrate. Slow to adopt. But OSS solutions adoption happens quickly.

Problem 3: Users are your content creators now. UGC is everywhere. Trying to control UGC can be daunting. The internet doesn’t work 9-6. UGC crap keeps rolling in 24/7.

Problem 4: Vendor lock-in. And when they wither away, that leaves you… where? Spend millions on Vignette, then the developers move on to another role… then what?

Open source is the/an answer to these problems. Freedom to run the program. Freedom to study the program. Freedom to modify the program. Freedom to redistribute the program.

Advantage 1: Control over the software.

Advantage 2: Cheaper.

Advantage 3: Innovation and passion.

This is turning into a rah-rah session for Drupal. He’s talking about next-gen goals, but the irony is that Drupal uses decade-old dev paradigms that make it miserable to develop with.

Drupal core is downloaded 300,000 times per month.

Success stories: A lot of time/effort has gone into making Drupal scale. has two traffic spikes – the day they announce the nominees and the day they announce the winners. has similar situation. Still need to work on the Oscars. Verizon wireless’ intranet is based on Drupal, with 60,000 employees. Sony Music – 150 sites on Drupal, maintained by small group of people. switched to Drupal a few months ago. More than 1 million visits during President’s soto address, watching streaming video.

Distributions = Drupal core plus modules

Tim Berners Lee worked on, which includes data visualization stuff.

“Open source is disruptive…. same old shit vs. crazy new shit.”

CCK is the module that lets you create arbitrary content types. The Views module is what lets you slice and dice that content. In other words

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