If we want Drupal to grow, it has to make inroads in the commercial market. For that to happen, we need a certain level of support that is currently not available. Commercial training is part of that.
So while I applaud Lullabot for providing commercial Drupal training, some members of the Drupal community expressed concerns that making profit of what is a collaborative work is a questionable business practice that shouldn't be promoted. Of course, people can believe what they want, and I don't want to come across as self-righteous, but I think that such people need to be whacked with a foam cluestick. Repeatedly.
A couple months ago, I wrote about the fact that Drupal needs more mentors. Well, the Lullabot team dived head first into the mentor role. Through their audiocasts and videocasts, and now by means of commercial Drupal training, they help people get on board. And them getting paid for doing what they enjoy doing most, and what is necessary for the Drupal community at large, is simply great. Rock on, Lullabot!
At the same time I invited Neil Drumm to help Steven and myself out with the next Drupal version, I asked Gerhard Killesreiter to help with the day to day maintenance of the current Drupal version, Drupal 4.7. Having a dedicated maintainer who's task is to secure the stability of the Drupal 4.7 release series is going to be extremely valuable. I choose Gerhard because he has the kind of unspoken commitment that a father shows to his child. That and he is particularly skilled in saying "no, only bugfixes are allowed", and "what part of 'no' don't you understand?" in particular. So far, it's been one of my best decisions in months.
Recently training was conducted for participants representing a number of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) Training Centers.
Participants were led through a set of scenario driven exercises using a system based on Drupal and XMPP. The scenario encouraged participants to "meet" online (even though they were sitting across the room from each other) and coordinate events and information in "semi public and private spaces". The group also modeled and simulated how to find subject matter experts using the expertise keywords, profiles, tagging, and search.
Interesting to see how social software tools (i.e. Drupal) are used by institutions such as NATO, and glad to see that we help make the world a better place ...
A <a href="http://www.nato.int/issues/pfp/index.html">Partnership for Peace (PfP)</a> website using Drupal.
Drupal training at a <a href="http://www.nato.int/issues/pfp/index.html">Partnership for Peace (PfP) Training Centers</a>. © <a href="http://www.exposur3.com/">Chrys</a>.
Two months ago I invited Neil Drumm to become a core committer of the next Drupal version. For the duration of one release cycle, Neil will help Steven Wittens and myself to shape the face of the next Drupal version by identifying and coordinating interesting development efforts. I haven't been very verbose about my choice of Neil, but I figured it would be a pretty good hint as what I'd like to see us work on. Not unsurprisingly, this went mostly unnoticed.
I picked Neil for two reasons. First and foremost, Neil doesn't like complexity. People tend to propose incomprehensibly complex solutions, and Neil has quite a knack for detecting attempts to get cruft into Drupal. Secondly, Neil has been the co-founder and maintainer of CivicSpace, the first Drupal distribution. In his role at CivicSpace, Neil has been actively involved with the development of an install system. I hope that in his new post, Neil will help coordinate the development of a cruft-free install, upgrade and dependency system for core.
It is needed to get custom content types in core and part of the larger goal to make Drupal easier to use and develop for.