Why 1xINTERNET Rushed to Support the Starshot Initiative: Insights from Baddý Sonja

Lessons from Try Drupal Can Be Applied on Drupal Starshot
Why 1xINTERNET Rushed to Support the Drupal Starshot Initiative: Insights from  Baddý Sonja Breidert

Just after Dries Buytaert announced the Drupal Starshot Initiative, a parallel version of Drupal that gives an outright default experience of the famed CMS, a few companies openly pledged their support in building it. 1xINTERNET was one of the first, if not the first, to do so. 

Now, this was a tall commitment to make. Most agencies face stringent budget regulations post-pandemic as the clients prioritise their spending in other areas. So, to divert your attention from the business at hand and focus on core development, you should be sure of that shift's benefits. 

What made 1xINTERNET do so? Our curiosity led us to set up a conversation with Baddý Sonja Breidert, CEO and Co-Founder of this Frankfurt-based Drupal agency with offices in Frankfurt and Berlin in Germany, Reykjavik in Iceland, and Conil in Spain. Kazima Abbas, a sub-editor at The Drop Times (TDT), spoke with Baddy and had an intriguing conversation. It focused mainly on Try Drupal, the agency's default implementation of Drupal, which can be tried out by prospective clients before deciding upon the adoption. 

Founded in 2013, 1xINTERNET has established itself as a premier Drupal web agency. The company has built nearly +200 web solutions for clients, focusing on Drupal as its core development framework. Their extensive experience includes offering consultancy, digital strategy planning, development, and web analytics setups. As staunch believers in open-source software, 1xINTERNET has consistently championed Drupal for its robust capabilities and flexibility.

Baddý Sonja Breidert, known for her expertise in site building, web and project management, and Drupal business, is a notable figure in the Drupal community. She contributed extensively to Drupal issue queues and documentation and mentored countless new contributors. Baddý also chaired the board of the Drupal Association in an earlier stint. 

Baddý Sonja says Drupal adoption often fails because there is a high barrier to entry for those without technical skills. Starshot will change this by offering an easy way to experience Drupal's strengths. 

1xINTERNET’s pledge to support the Drupal Starshot Initiative is rooted in its longstanding investment in Try Drupal, a default Drupal installation that exemplifies its commitment to excellence. Try Drupal is the cornerstone of all their projects and is open to the public, allowing users to explore its features firsthand. 

The Starshot initiative, announced by Dries Buytaert at DrupalCon Portland 2024, aims to elevate Drupal by integrating refined features from the contributed project ecosystem to enhance user experience. Recognizing the synergy between Try Drupal and Starshot, 1xINTERNET is committed to contributing its expertise and resources to the Starshot project, improving its capabilities and user experience, says Baddý Sonja. 

Now, let's delve into their conversation. 

TDT [1]: How does 1xINTERNET perceive the potential impact of the Starshot initiative on Drupal's adoption and its out-of-the-box experience?

Baddý Sonja: The adoption of Drupal often fails because it has a high barrier to entry for those without technical skills. This blocks many potential users who would benefit from it, leading them to choose alternatives.

Starshot will change this by offering an easy way to experience Drupal's strengths. It will make Drupal more attractive to a wider audience, driving adoption. Starshot will be feature-rich and intuitive, with minimal setup needed, appealing to first-time users, simple site creators, and teams with limited technical expertise.

Starshot is a unique opportunity for Drupal. For the first time, Drupal will offer a consistent, out-of-the-box experience, providing a solid foundation for developers. This will encourage the creation of new themes and modules, leading to a thriving ecosystem and enhancing Drupal's appeal.

TDT [2]: What specific contributions is 1xINTERNET planning to make towards the development and success of the Starshot initiative?

Baddý Sonja: Years ago, we recognized the benefits of investing in Try Drupal, a default Drupal installation. We knew success depended on clear governance in decision-making, development, coding standards, infrastructure, user experience, design, and content. This clarity helps all of our teams work cohesively towards a shared vision.

Our biggest contribution is sharing our experience to accelerate progress towards Starshot, ensuring focused efforts on achieving these ambitious goals quickly. Of course, we will continue contributing all generalised code from Try Drupal, and maybe some of our modules become part of Starshot's default configuration.

TDT [3]: Can you elaborate on how 1xINTERNET’s existing CMS, Try Drupal, aligns with the objectives of Starshot and how it might influence or enhance the project?

Baddý Sonja: Try Drupal—our default Drupal installation—has expanded our market reach without extra resources. Prospective clients can visit our website, explore our CMS, watch videos, and take guided tours using the Tour module. This interactive experience helps organisations see us as the ideal partner with the perfect solution. It also helps organisations try out Drupal and compare it to other solutions on the market.

Try Drupal is our opinionated version of Drupal tailored to larger organisations. As a result, it has a specific feature set. It comes with a certain amount of complexity because of its architecture (several theme layers, an independent design system based on web components, fully modular configuration options, coupled or fully headless, etc.). Starshot will do the same but on a larger scale and for a broader audience. In contrast to Try Drupal, it (Drupal Starshot) will most likely have a lower complexity to avoid providing barriers that prevent adoption.

However, just like we will continue contributing all generalized code from Try Drupal, we can also learn from Starshot to improve our default configuration. Therefore, we think both projects will strongly benefit from one another.

TDT [4]: What are the key functionalities and modules from Try Drupal that 1xINTERNET is considering integrating into the Starshot framework?

Baddý Sonja: The decision as to what will be incorporated within the Starshot framework is a community decision. However, we recommend that the following functionality supported by 1xINTERNET should be added to Starshot:

TDT [5]: What role does the Gin theme play in the Starshot initiative, and how is 1xINTERNET supporting its development and integration?

Baddý Sonja: We have been the main sponsor of the Gin theme for a long time and will continue to support it.

TDT [6]: What are 1xINTERNET’s plans for migrating Try Drupal configurations to recipes, and how will these recipes be made available to the Drupal community?

Baddý Sonja: Last year, we refactored our configurations into independently installable modules in preparation for recipes. We are currently converting these modules into recipes. We plan to contribute certain recipes, such as default configurations for SEO and accessibility, but we are not yet ready to finalize what we can contribute.

Disclaimer: The information provided about the interviewee has been gathered from publicly available resources. The responsibility for the responses shared in the interview solely rests with the featured individual.

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