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Drupal will not be ugly; we will not punish dissent

The Drupal community is looking inward. This introspection was in large part sparked by the BackDrop fork of Drupal. In short, Jen Lampton and Nathan Haug selected a specific commit of the Drupal repository and set off on a new project from that point in time in Drupal's development.

Drupal is an open source project. Forking is a right anyone has under its licensing terms. We all make a little fork of Drupal whenever we create a local copy.

I don't really want to address the issue of forking the project. I want to bring up one very important point.

We are not an ugly community.

I have heard whisperings during the first two days of DrupalCon Prague about Jen and Nate. Ugly things being said. I want to declare that we are not mean; we are not ugly. We do not ostracize individuals because they dissent. I, personally, will not tolerate anyone treating a member of our community with disdain because that person has a different opinion, or because they look or act in a non-normative way. We need non-normativity to remain fresh and cutting edge. We can deal with dissent through communication and debate. Sure, the debate might be intense and emotional. That's ok. But don't make it personal. Don't cut down the person because you disagree with the idea. Instead, let's really try to understand each other deeply. Drop your defenses for a moment and listen.

And just don't be mean, please. That's just not who we are. We are open, welcoming and supportive. That's what makes us Drupal.


Posted on by Sina Salek (not verified).

Well said Jesse

Posted on by Angela M (not verified).

Why not think that Backdrop is another Drupal Lab?

I believe they will build something that give interesting ideas and samples back to Drupal community in future, which can influence some aspects of Drupal.

As a whole, Drupal and Backdrop are still in the same community.

There'll be many projects that won't be ready to step to D8 and need Backdrop. So, Kudos to them.

Posted on by Cameron Eagans.

Very well said, Jesse. Thanks for posting this :)

Posted on by Les Lim (not verified).

it shouldn't have to be said, but I'm glad you did.

Posted on by Tim Holt.

I think that happens in any community like this. To take the analogy further, if you fight with your brothers or cousin at Thanksgiving, you still will see them at Christmas. I think the concern here is that that won't be the case, that people are already leaving not to return, and that there is no chance at making up. This makes people understandably emotional, and ups the chances that things get heated.

Also while I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, pointed discussion is sometimes necessary, as long as it's not personal attacks. And even then, people pour their hearts into this stuff, so it's always going to be somewhat personal and feel that way even if it's not meant to be a personal attack. I just don't want us all to be so polite that we never actually discuss the real issues present in this situation.

Posted on by Dig1 (not verified).

Totally agree.

I can understand why Backdrop has forked and I support it. I can understand why D8 has adopted Symfony as a core foundation and I support it.

Different strokes for different folks and thats a good thing. :)

Posted on by Joe (not verified).

Reminds me of this slide in Addison Berry's Presentation: The Drupal Movement: where do you fit in?

http://image.slidesharecdn.c om/atlanta-camp-keynote-090919114135-phpapp0...

http://www.slideshare.net/add1sun/the-drupal-movement-where -do-you-fit-in

Posted on by Jamie Holly (not verified).

Thank you for this post. I've been involved in numerous open source projects over the years and the Drupal community is by far the cream of the crop. The community is very open to new ideas and helping out anyone. Coming from the Wordpress community 8 years ago, this was such a welcome change.

I think these kind of problems really aren't problems at all. They just symbolize the enormous growth that Drupal has seen over the past several years. So many times people look at forking of projects as being an indicator of a fracture or problems, yet forking can always help a project grow stronger with ideas that may not work or too immature to work in a project like Drupal, with it's large usage and mature architecture. Those ideas can then be hammered out in that fork and later merged back in or used as a blueprint for something much better. It's one of the strongest powers of open source software and something that can really help with Drupal's tremendous growth.

Posted on by katemoss (not verified).

Nate has contributed his heart and time to the drupal community (family), people who disagree please grow the **** up and respect his choice.

Posted on by btopro1 (not verified).

Come for the community, always remember that. Stay for the code, no matter where or of what quality or under what current implementation that code is called.

Very well put Jesse

Posted on by Karl Scheirer (not verified).

And thanks for posting, I think that's just the right attitude.

Posted on by Grace (not verified).

I love how @josereyero have put it two weeks ago: "Having a fork may help Drupal grow up. Think of it not like splitting, but like having children. Welcome #Backdrop http://backdropcms.org"

https: //twitter.com/josereyero/status/378072891285196801

Posted on by meichr (not verified).

Ever since I saw a top level Drupal developer removing his comments from the backdropcms issue queues because of being shouted at by somebody offscreen from the community, I was waiting for exactly such a comment by one of the top D8 developers - thanks a lot for this post, Jesse.

Years ago I came for the software, and I have been staying for the community since, before this even became a mission statement on drupal.org.

I am here at DrupalCon Prague to learn D8 developing and theming, the first new project after D8 release and contrib catchup will be a D8 based project for sure. But at the same time I'm dreading the day Drupal 6 will be out of support, as there are some existing D6 projects which cannot be upgraded for the expected price.

When I read the backdropcms statements, I only see concerns, no personal attacks.

Here at DrupalCon Prague I see Nate giving a session about Webform 4 with interesting new features and I see Jen heavily involved in helping with Twix: in a Twix session, a Twix lab and as part of the D8 Twix team.

I see a together!

Everyone of us owes the Drupal community to also try to understand Nate's and Jen's concerns and at least learn about them on the backdropcms website. Top concerns being about DX and performance in D8 and about the price of upgrading every three years, which will not be paid by small customers when there is no need for new features. Some true weak points of current D8.

If only one of the Drupal community learns from the backdropcms concerns and finds a way of improving one of these points in D8, that one will be a hero, start making backdropcms obsolete in the most positive way.

On the other hand, if only one goes the cheap and easy route to blindly repel earnestly made concerns, that one will be a threat to the community, not Nate or Jen or anyone of the backdropcms people.

If the community would seperate, it would be not because of backdropcms, it would be only because of people not listening to each other and because of people hurting each other.

Posted on by Cameron Tod.

Great post. This community is a model of cooperation and tolerance, and long may it continue. Onwards and upwards, together.

Posted on by Anonymous (not verified).

People are ignorant of their tendency to try and stifle freedom with shame tactics. Let's enlighten them. Free as in fork :)

Posted on by Seth Brown (not verified).

Nice post Jesse.

Posted on by arx-e (not verified).

It's nice to read such a post!
That debates often turn into wars is a plaque for civilization and for the evolution of ideas.
Humans can fight as in work, develop, evolve and respect. Not only as in war, dominate, impose and destroy.

Posted on by Stan Ascher.

Thank you for this refreshing insight.

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