Editor's Pick | Vol. 1 | Issue. 2

The Need to Contribute

Gandhi speaking to the riot victims in Noakhali. Credit: Photo Division, Government of India

Gandhi speaking to the riot victims in Noakhali. Credit: Photo Division, Government of India

30 January 2023

Is there any human virtue worth more than liberté, égalité and fraternité, the motto of the French Revolution, that became the leading light for a liberal world? Some may not agree with me. But if you value moral excellence, integrity or being true to yourself should be the inner core of a free, egalitarian society.

Today commemorates the 75th anniversary of M.K. Gandhi's martyrdom. Gandhi was a mass leader from the Indian Freedom Struggle revered as the 'Mahatma', at least in some parts of the world.

The literal translation of the Sanskrit word 'Mahatma' or 'Maha Atma' means great soul. Can any person be 'greater' than another, or is 'soul' a physical reality are questions better left to philosophers. But if we analyse what made the world give him that distinction, we would end up in his endless struggle for absolute, not relative, truth.

In a post-truth world, he might be a yesteryear social scientist. Going through his autobiography and other writings, one could wonder, is this man self-contradicting himself? We might also find controversial or even scandalous ideas from his thought train. But he had the integrity to write it down and not glued to it to an obsession level, but reinvent himself and change his beliefs with each newfound fact. That constant urge to change and be better keeps any good project going.

Are we ready to rediscover ourselves, is the question I am posing today. The community around Drupal is one of the most influential Free, Libre Open-Source Software Communities worldwide. We had our annual global contribution weekend this Saturday and Sunday. How many of us found time to contribute, in any possible way, back to society?

People often attribute Gandhi to the 'Zen' quote, 'be the change you wish to see in the world'. He might not have said it in the exact words. But whatever he preached, he had first experimented and found to be achievable before asking others to do so. As a free software community, we must begin giving back to society before asking new developers or companies to do so. Let us start contributing today.

That said, the first story I would pick from the last week is a submission about Greg Boggs' blog post, "Get Involved: Ways to Contribute to Drupal, No Experience Required". Gregg is a freelance Drupal developer from Portland, USA. We have started publishing such submissions from various individual blogs and company websites to attract more visibility to their opinions and findings. Obviously, this newsletter would see more of them. 

Stating the ways to contribute, here is a listicle about the Global Contribution Weekend events that happened in eight locations. Congratulations to the user groups, volunteers and companies that participated. Kudos 1xInternet, SparkFarbik and Smile for joining in.

There might be an impropriety in picking up an interview I did among the best stories for the week. But the conversation with Italo Mairo was the best happening for us. He is the maintainer of several Web GIS modules in Drupal and speaks in detail about his contributions. In it, Itala Mairo stresses the importance of contributing to the documentation.

A significant happening in Druaplverse was the acquisition of Drupalware by WordSphere for $6.8M.

We aggregated two Drupal SEO stories last week. OpenSense Lab's Aruna Dhyani wrote a master guide for organic SEO in Drupal. The next is a submission from Neil Patel, the founder of NP Digital, who published a listicle on the ten best SEO practices one should follow when designing a Drupal website.

Last December, Suzanne Dergacheva of Evolving Web argued on opensource.com why Drupal is the future of content strategy, and we put out a note about her story last week.

We also wrote about two case studies published on Drupal.org. The first is about the Baptist University website that has stuck to Drupal for the past 11 years. The other was about the Morris Animal Foundation benefitting from migrating to Drupal.

Last week, TheDropTimes announced media partnerships with two separate DrupalCamps, Florida DrupalCamp, and DrupalCamp NewJersey. We had earlier announced our collaboration with the MidWest DrupalCamp.

OneWeb by Altudo is a software product to manage multiple websites that we discussed in our pages. Drupal Partners had put out a comparison of features in Drupal 9 and Drupal 10. Patti Cardiff Director of Support Services at Promet Source, has listed 8 concise reasons to upgrade to Drupal 10. 

Drupal Association was working on an Open Web Manifesto for strategising a 3-year plan. The community input survey 2023 undertaken as part of it closed last Friday. We had a story on that.

A story about Irish local authorities shifting to LocalGov Drupal is on our website. Although the decision to form an Open Digital Cooperative to own and develop LocalGov Drupal collectively was taken during their mid-December conference, it happened in January. There is also a story about their micro-site platform on the development front.

Talking about more stories that appeared elsewhere, TekCitadel published a report about who could benefit from Drupal, while Vardot listed data analytics platforms that work better with Drupal modules. News Anyway has explained what your website can gain by using Drupal. Five Jars, explain why Drupal is a good CMS for Enterprises.

Birds of a feather submissions at DrupalCon Pittsburgh are open, whereas preparations have started for DrupalCon Lille.

Then there were many other news stories as well. Read to your heart's content.

Yours Sincerely,
Sebin Abraham Jacob