Where designers fail at open source.

This was too good not to pass along: following a serous article at Open source needs designers, some wag posted the following story as a comment:

Developer: Hi Designer! We’re really glad you decided to join our project. We could really use a kick ass UI because we all suck hippo ass at design.

Designer: Thanks! I’m looking forward to helping out. I have some really great ideas for the project.

Don't confuse Drupal core with Drupal out-of-the-box, please.


For months, the Drupal community has been confusing two issues: smallcore, which I see as a lightweight Drupal kernel and Drupal's out-of-the-box capabilities as a product.

From experience with a variety of software firms, I feel that these goals may overlap slightly, but they're incompatible in the long run. And yet, both of these are important objectives for the future of Drupal.

The coming @font-face storm

Will font foundries become the next RIAA?

The field of typography for the Web has been changing quietly over the past 15 years, and it’s about to take a dramatic twist.

I can remember online typography being an issue since I first accessed the World Wide Web in 1993. Actually, I had been working in Cambridge for a major publisher for years on one of the “walled gardens” that predated the public Web. Ironically enough, it offered better typography than is generally seen on the Internet today.

Do offline mores trump social media mores?

Today’s New York Times offers an interesting story about attorneys who are being penalized for speaking out online about their profession. [A Legal Battle: Online Attitude vs. Rules of the Bar by John Schwartz] Some are speaking out against unfair judges; others are blogging about cases in ways that aren’t entirely prudent.

Has Drupal peaked... revisited.

Author’s note: This is an update to a previous post from August 28, published right before Drupalcon Paris.

F**k you, this is Versailles.

After spending nearly a week in the lightly controlled anarchy of an open source conference, I indulged myself in a day trip to Versailles. Having done the Liberace-esque excess of the palace already, I chose to see that gardens instead.

Michelangelo in the Age of Open Source

After a long review process, a talented but unknown painter by the name of Michelangelo was awarded a huge contract to paint the Sistine Chapel for Pope Julius II.

After a few months of back and forth, the Pope and the artist had agreed on the design of the paintings for the Chapel. Now it was a matter of applying paint to the walls and the 20-meter-high ceiling, and Michelangelo chose the to enlist the help of the Volunteer Guildsmen of Drupalo.

Has Drupal peaked?

Drupal, a leading open source content management system, is at a crossroads. The same traits that have made Drupal a strong framework are likely to create a glass ceiling for its growth and acceptance.

Drupal is the product of a devoted, closely knit developer community spearheaded by Dries Buytaert. In many ways its evolution and structure has mirrored the Linux community as led by Linus Torvalds. Its name is owned as a trademark by its founder, there’s a nonprofit foundation named after the application… the comparisons abound.

Open Source, Open Standards, Blue Sky

Here's a link to my presentation on the economics of open source, given at HealthCamp MD. A few salient points from this talk:

  • Open source makes economic sense for corporations, because it allows them to invest their resources in differential technology development, instead of spending across the board to re-invent the wheel
  • We are shifting from a 20th-century economic model based on proprietary intellectual property to one based on open source and open standards.

Let's pray that CCHIT takes a crash course in open source.

The new proposed CCHIT certification standards [ PDF, slide 8 ] are a small step in the right direction. Unfortunately, they also betray CCHIT's profound lack of understanding of the economics and technology behind open source.

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