The history of the taxonomy sprint
Back in March 2008, Scott Mattoon, from the Open Architecture Network and Sun, contacted me regarding a TED prize alumni, the Encyclopedia of Life(EOL) who wanted to attend Drupalcon Boston. I was introduced to David Shorthouse, from EOL, and was eager to help the encyclopedia of life adopt Drupal. The TED prize wish video for the EOL project is below.
David Shorthouse and Peter Mangiafico attended Drupalcon Boston to evaluate the Drupal community and quickly embraced the potential we displayed to meet EOL's needs. A few months later Chuck D'Antonio, head of Acquia's professional services, began talking with David about how Drupal could help meet their needs for integrating with their Ruby on Rails system and some ideas they had for multi-site configuration. Some of the big technical challenges they faced were the scale of taxonomies they needed to use, and how the biology field needed richer meta-data for taxonomy terms.
Chuck, Robert, and myself helped put forth some recommendations on how to do a taxonomy sprint including goals and a recommended list of attendees. Around the same time Nathaniel Catchpole and Peter Wolanin were talking about some ideas for improvements in taxonomy module for Drupal 7. Nathaniel started a taxonomy improvements for Drupal 7 thread in the taxonomy group.