Why PHP (and not Java)?

Almost every week or so, someone asks me: Why PHP? Apparently, you are doing Java too. So why not Java? Do you regret the fact that you wrote Drupal in PHP?

The answer?

No, I don't regret the choice of PHP. Both languages will get the job done, but Drupal's main target audience are not conservative verticals (government, healthcare, banking).

The web is built by millions of individuals, many of which are amateurs. They continuously update, tweak and rebuild their websites. Scripting languages like PHP lend themselves to that, and are widely available at affordable cost. Sun, on the other hand, failed to make Java accessible to amateurs.

It would have been very difficult to get critical mass if Drupal was written in Java.

Protest in Ghent

Hogeschool gent

What is all that noise outside?

Click here for more photos or here for a Dutch newspaper article about the protest.

BlogCom Interview

At BlogCom I was unexpectedly interviewed by Stefan Kolgen from Kolgen & Laenen. The raw and uncut interview (mirror) is now up at Antwerpen Blogt. The interview is in Dutch and talks about Drupal.

Traditional media to embrace citizen journalism?

Sharing photos, audio and video is hot. Every week, new tools are made available to make sharing videos online easier. Recently, the Flemish Radio- and Television Network (VRT) started using Drupal for 16+, an online community that allows students to share pictures, music and video. The written press touted it as the "Flemish YouTube". For details, see my older blog post on 16+.

This afternoon, I'll have a meeting with the VRT to talk about Drupal and 16+. While preparing my presentation I started wondering: why would a traditional radio- and television broadcast company like the VRT encourage people to share pictures, audio and video? Is the VRT preparing the ground and developing a platform for citizen journalism? Would the VRT dare to upset their "professional journalists" and embrace journalism practiced "by the people"? Will they open up the scope and target audience of 16+?

I don't know, but I'm going to tell them that traditional media has no choice but to move forward. I spent the last 5 years of my life developing software that enables individuals to publish and share content on the internet. Soon, amateur content providers will have very powerful tools to compete with traditional media. I'm going to tell them that we are reshaping the future of news, information and journalism, and that, if they want to avoid getting left behind, they have to position themselves at the forefront of citizen journalism, take part in it, collaborate with amateurs, and embrace new internet technologies.

Could be an interesting afternoon ...


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