Editor's Pick | Vol. 2 | Issue. 20

Starshot is Drupal's "Moonshot"!

Starshot is Drupal's Moonshot!

Dear Readers,

Much has happened in a week. The biggest open-source event in North America, DrupalCon Portland 2024 has come to a close. A convergence of technology and community weaving tales of innovations gathering Drupalers worldwide has successfully concluded. Among the many highlights of the DrupalCon Portland 2024, some stole the limelight. The introduction of the Drupal Starshot initiative definitely tops the list!

What is Drupal Starshot?

It is a long overdue strategic overhaul aimed at improving Drupal's functionality and usability.  This project introduces a new "Drupal CMS" that seamlessly integrates core modules with popular community modules through a Recipes API, facilitating easier setups. Additionally, the "Experience Builder" tool, built with React, is designed to enhance page-building capabilities. Dries Buytaert propelled the Drupal Starshot rocket during DrupalCon with the help of John. F. Kennedy's "moonshot" speech. 

"We choose to go to the moon, not because that will be easy, but because it will be hard" - JFK

From learning the Soviet Union had put a man in space, the space war began. It was followed by eight years of failed attempts from the part of the US before they finally succeeded in launching Apollo 11. Dries had chosen the perfect analogy to fuel Drupal Starshot because the competition in the CMS landscape is much similar to that of the space war and failure is not an option. He reiterates that if Drupal needs to stay relevant, it needs to have its moonshot moment and Drupal Starshot is the moonshot Drupal needed.

With Drupal 8, it was more or less like Drupal had abandoned small and mid-websites for enterprise sites, but this has adversely affected its market. Additionally, Drupal's sub-standard page-building capabilities have been finally identified as the primary reason for Drupal's shrinking adoption. Now, there is only one way to go about it, make the fundamental changes urgently enhancing Drupal core with additional components tailored to everyday users of the interface.

The path that has been declared by Dries is easier said than done. But this is a race Drupal can't afford to lose because Drupal has a strong legacy to safeguard. It was born to be open and has been the defender of the open web for the past 23 years.

"Some people feel like we're falling behind, and no one wants our competitors to win because they aim to colonize a web that's less open, more closed, less creative, maybe more expensive, less accessible, and more proprietary." - Dries Buytaert

The web is moving forward it is up to Drupal and its community to decide whether they want to be a part of it. The need for change is evident and Drupal Starshot is the way to a rejuvenation. So join the Drupal Starshot initiative and make your pledge today. A comprehensive and detailed account of Driesnote that introduced Starshot can be found here.

With that let's move on to the important stories of last week.

DrupalCon Portland came up with many insights and announcements. Elma John, our sub-editor has gathered the key insights from DrupalCon Portland 2024. Drupalers are excited about DrupalCon North America  2025 declared to be held in Atlanta from March 24 to March 27. The dates for DrupalCon Singapore have been confirmed: November 18th to 21st, 2024. The event is to be held at the prestigious Pan Pacific Parkroyal Collection in Marina Bay.

Michael Anello, co-owner of DrupalEasy, has received the prestigious 2024 Aaron Winborn Award at DrupalCon Portland 2024. The award, presented by the Drupal Community Working Group, honors individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and contribution to the Drupal community.

The Women in Drupal Luncheon headed by the female stalwarts of Four Kitchens was a huge success. The event titled, "The Lonely Only: Women in Tech and Navigating a Male-Dominated Landscape" featured Sebastianna Skalisky, Laura Johnson, Jenna Harris, and Shanice Ortiz in a compelling discussion about the dimunitive presence of women in the historically made-dominated tech landscape. Most of these women have been the only women in their department and even at their company. For detailed insights into this session, please read my article, "Women in Drupal Luncheon at DrupalCon Portland 2024: A Convergence for Change."

A supportive initiative bloomed at DrupalCon Portland this year, introducing green sunflower lanyards to support individuals with hidden disabilities. These lanyards marked a significant step towards making Drupal events more accessible and comfortable for everyone. 

Jesus Manuel Olivas, CEO of Octahedroid, unveiled a new Headless Drupal content structuring approach improving the balance between developers, site builders, content editors, and marketers at DrupalCon. The system called Drupal as a Composable CMS, introduces three key modules: the Composable Module for better content adaptability, a Decoupled Preview Iframe for real-time content previews, and a Visual Editor for streamlined editing.

In other news, The DropTimes has published a new study revealing a global trend of governments favoring free and open-source software (FOSS) for their official websites. Team TDT analyzed the websites of 194 countries to understand the extent of this trend and uncover which content management systems (CMSs) are preferred for official government communication. Interestingly, Drupal emerged as a top choice when analyzing the top 100 country websites based on popularity (Tranco rank), Additionally, WordPress remains the most widely used FOSS option globally.

Kazima Abbas, a sub-editor with TDT had the opportunity to sit with Tim Hestenes Lehnen, Chief Technology Officer at the Drupal Association and Author of Young Adult Fiction, to talk about his latest novel, 'Fog & Fireflies'

DrupalCon Barcelona 2024 Calls for Artists to Enter Drawing Contest. Participants are encouraged to create an original drawing of Mercè, the celebrated figure of Barcelona's annual festival, in any artistic form they prefer. The winning design will earn a spot on the official event stickers, giving artists a unique platform to showcase their work. 

LagoonCon Portland 2024 offered a night of tech insights and connections. The conference featured three sessions dealing with Lagoon, Open Web Alliance, and Large Language Models. The free event also had a Lagoon round table discussion. Read more here. 

Events in the Drupal community are always a matter of celebration. It brings together Drupalers from various walks of life and forms a support system with Drupal at the core. Here is a list of Drupal events you can attend this week.

The 2024 Drupal Developer Survey, led by Michael Richardson, provided a comprehensive overview of the global Drupal community. With 648 developers from 65 countries, including significant contributions from the United States, France, and India, the survey showcased a mature developer base, with 76% aged between 30 and 49.

James Shields has launched the 2024 Drupal Advent Calendar, inviting contributions from the Drupal community. This year's theme, "People of Drupal," aims to highlight individuals who have significantly impacted the Drupal ecosystem. In another update, Promote Drupal committee member Emma Horrell has launched a comprehensive initiative to demystify Drupal's specialized language, known as "Drupalisms," to make the platform more accessible, especially to newcomers. The new initiative is named "De-jargoning Drupal".

1xINTERNET has announced its support for Drupal Starshot, promising to contribute with its expertise in pre-configured Drupal applications. Their existing CMS, Try Drupal, showcases their capabilities and will integrate with Starshot to further enrich the Drupal community and promote widespread adoption.

We acknowledge that there are more stories to share. However, due to selection constraints, we must pause further exploration for now.

To get timely updates, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Also, join us on Drupal Slack at #thedroptimes.

Thank you,
Alka Elizabeth
Sub-editor, The DropTimes.

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