Home / DrupalCon Austin 2014: Keynote: Dries Buytaert

DrupalCon Austin 2014: Keynote: Dries Buytaert

Dries Buytaert, CTO and founder of Acquia as well as the project lead for Drupal, Speaks at Drupalcon Austin 2014.

Publish on date: 
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Acquia Product: 
Click to see video transcript

Moderator: …to the reason we’re all here. Since starting Drupal in his dorm room roughly 15 years ago or so, Dries’ vision in leadership has grown Drupal from a custom CMS to the enterprise software it is today. He’s passionate about the web, open source, and photography. He’s obviously the original creator in lead of Drupal. He’s also the co-founder and chief technology officer of Acquia, a venture-backed software company that offers products and services for Drupal. Please help us welcome the man himself, Dries. [Applause]

Dries Buytaert: Thank you, Eric. Congratulations, Cathy. Good morning everyone. Thanks for getting up early to be in this keynote. As Eric mentioned, I love photography. So here’s a photo, an image or a drawing of what is called a photographic apparatus. It’s one of the early, early cameras that existed. If you look at the manual of the photographic apparatus, it has a lot of different steps. A lot of manual steps, steps done by many different people even, like you see women and men basically all working together to make one photo, and so it was a lot of work. It wasn’t easy to take a photo with this thing and yet it got adopted, right? The invention of the photo was so big that it actually did get adopted. So a little bit later, along came the Kodak. As you can see, it already looks a lot simpler and so what they actually did – so this is an ad from Kodak - and one of the things you’ll see is that they have this notion of “You press the button and we do the rest.” It sort of encapsulates how they simplify photography and actually on a quick side note, it actually works a little bit like cloud computing. So, you would take a photo and then you would ship the film to a factory and they would actually develop the film and then ship the photo back to you. A lot of the complexity was sort of outsourced and obstruct it in the cloud. Of course the history of photography has many, many steps and along the way things changed drastically and were simplified drastically.

Another thing that happened was the introduction of the 35 mm film. So that was actually originally invented by Edison. I’m not sure how many of you knew that. What’s interesting about the 35 mm film is that it was actually a form of standardization. We standardized on a common format. As a result, there was a whole ecosystem born of different cameras - Nikon, Canon - but also different tools. Tools to project photos and all these kinds of things. But it also drastically simplified cameras again. If you start to look at the first 35 mm camera shown on the slides, you can see that there were still a lot of steps involved. You needed to load the film and you needed to make the photo, unload the film, develop the film, enlarge it, print it and eventually you could store it, keep it and share it with your friends or your family. So if you look at the history of the camera, beyond that you’ll see that every single iteration of the camera essentially replaced one or more steps and so it’s the introduction of the instamatic, enlarging and printing was replaced by developing film in a store. With the polaroid, basically you no longer had to unload the film, it was directly developed there for you. At the time, people thought that the polaroid was it. It was the easiest, simplest camera that we could ever invent, right? So they felt like we plateaued, it couldn’t be made simpler. Yet with the introduction of digital cameras, you didn’t need film at all. So you didn’t need to load the film. Yet it wasn’t still optimized for sharing. Most lately of course with the iPhone or other smartphones, it can just shoot photos and they’re instantly shared, like with things like photo streaming and these kinds of things.

Eventually, over more than 100 years, we were able to simplify this huge process with all these people, all these different steps into something which became much simpler. So that’s really interesting to me because I feel there’s a lot of relevance to what we do. What’s also interesting is that with every step along the way, it actually became easier for the end-user but the complexity under the hood drastically increased. Right? If you think about a digital camera, it has all sorts of things going on; hardware, software, jpeg, compared to the initial camera which was just basic chemistry, just to simplify things a little bit. So for that kind of innovation, for that kind of simplification and evolution to happen, we needed all sorts of innovations and so obviously before cameras could exist, we needed to invent optics and that led to telescopes. After that, we needed to invent technologies like chemistry and silver nitrate which led to the creation of a camera could take one photo, a single print camera. Next, we invented things like printing and plastics which led to film cameras which could take multiple photos and eventually things like electronics and LCD screens and sensors led to the digital camera. So there’s these big technologies that need to come together for us to make the transition from one phase to the next phase.

Of course, the same is true with regards to the web. Like if you think back, first we needed to invent HTML and HTTP in a browser and that gave birth to the static web where it could share information with each other online. It wasn’t until five years later, around ‘95, that technologies like PHP and MySQL and Apache and Linux came about. So they magically emerged around the same time and it really led to the creation of what I call the dynamic web. The dynamic web was huge because it gave birth to Drupal. Drupal would not have been invented if it wasn’t for these technologies to be invented first. If you look at how dynamic websites are built, they’re pretty complex, right? Some of you probably remember this. Actually, many of you still live in that era with your sites where you have to define the database schemas, you have to build your own authentication system, you have to write your own queries. There’s a lot of complexity involved. What happened next is that CMSs were born. Solutions like Drupal sort of led through the creation of what I refer to as the assembled web where you have modules and themes and web services and effectively what it did, it created this very complex experience and it simplified it to something that is much easier where you have a core platform, you have modules, you have themes and you can download and install them and configure them and then you’re basically good to go. So, huge evolution which would not have been possible without some of the other steps along the way. Of course the question is what happens after the assembled web? What is the next big thing that we need to chase? What is the next big simplification just like with the camera that we need to bet on? I want to talk a little bit about that in this keynote. Alright.

Personally, I’m very, very excited about what’s happening in the world today. If you think about how evolution happens, there’s all of these technologies coming together and I feel like today we have a whole bunch of exciting technologies that didn’t exist five years ago just like PHP and MySQL didn’t exist when we started with the static web. So we have things like augmented reality. We have things like machine learning that are very hot topics. We have things like wearable technology, Google Glass and others. Things like near-field communication, with iBeacon, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. We have drones. Holly mentioned there maybe drones flying around later but also geolocation and personalization and social log-in. They’re kind of a big deal. Just think about Uber. Uber is, as you guys know, it’s a company which is extremely disrupted because it uses geolocation and personalization. It knows where we are, it knows where the drivers are, and therefore it can disrupt an entire industry. So think about what some of these technologies could mean for your business and how it could revolutionize what you do today. So more than ever, I feel like there’s this whole slew of new things which just were invented but weren’t necessarily mainstream yet, so at the verge of these things becoming widely spread. So just like the way PHP and MySQL and Linux and Apache came together, I feel like all or some of these technologies will come together as well to basically get us to the next wave in the web. I believe that we’re at the beginning, the early, early beginnings of the fourth wave of the web which I call the experience web. I want to talk a little bit about that. But first, I want to caveat that we’ve been working on this vision for the assembled web for over 10 years. We’ve been working on these for a long time and we’re not quite done yet either. There’s more work that we need to do. Your experience may not happen overnight either. It may take us 10 years as well to basically fulfill that vision of where to go next.

So, what is the experience web? I want to give you two examples. One is around commerce and two is around search. If you want to buy something today, you may start from a catalog. You see a dress or something that you like. So usually what you do is you go to their website and then you start looking for the product which there’s a lot of products in that website. Once you find it, you add it to your cart. You have to create an account. Next step is you need to enter your payment information. You have to enter your shipping information. You have to enter your billing information. Finally you review the order and then you hit submit. What happens next, it gets shipped essentially and you wait another three to five days or more for that product to be delivered. A lot of different steps involved. Let me get water really quick. So the question is what would that experience look like in the future? Excuse me. So, this is pretty exciting. Here’s all the steps of today’s experience. It’s exciting because the commerce industry as a whole, offline and online commerce is roughly – is almost $5 trillion. It’s massive, right? Only or less than 6% of all the commerce in the world happens online today. There’s a massive opportunity for Drupal or for the web to basically embrace e-commerce. What limits people from buying things online today is the experience. All these steps get in the way. There’s also physical things that get in the way, like you can’t feel the fabric of something that you want to buy. But on the flipside, there’s also advantages to the web. When you walk into a physical store, they don’t know anything about you versus online, people actually may know a whole lot about you. There’s tradeoffs. So if we start to think about can we eliminate in this experience to make e-commerce go easier, there is a massive opportunity in terms of capturing that market.

So, imagine we have some sort of magical identity server. Imagine going to a website and never ever, ever having to trade an account. The account follows you. You go to the website and with one simple click, you can actually create an account. Imagine if an electronic wallet was attached to that identity server and now you never ever have to enter your payment information. You never ever have to enter your billing information, your shipping information, and all of these things. Effectively, we could take a whole bunch of steps out of the process and that would be huge. That would be a huge invention that I don’t believe exists today. But even further in the future, we may be able to eliminate more steps. We talked about drones, we talked about self-driving cars. Now all of a sudden, these things are no longer dependent on humans and could start driving or flying at night. Right? So things like drones are pretty interesting. Amazon is actually doing interesting things here as well. They’ve started to pre-ship items from one warehouse to another warehouse that is physically closer to you if they can predict with a certain level of certainty that you’re going to buy this product. So they’re already starting to do some of these things to reduce shipping times and to improve the e-commerce experience.

But what if every item in the world had an RFID? What if we have really strong image recognition? Now, I’m wearing my Google Glass. I can just look at something like maybe I really like the bottle of water and I can say, “Buy me a bottle of water.” Google can just go and buy that for me. This is starting to look really, really interesting because again, just like with the camera, it eliminates all of these steps. The experience could pretty much look like this. You’re hanging out with your friends, you’ll see, “Wow, what a nice jacket.” and you say, “Glass, buy me a jacket.” [Laughter] Basically Glass is smart enough. Let’s see. What’s it showing? It’s smart enough like it knows – it can identify where the jacket comes from. It knows your size because it has your profile. It says you’re a medium and it knows it’s in a warehouse nearby. So it says, “I can deliver this immediately.” You say to Glass, “Buy it now.” Right? Glass buys it and 30 minutes later, it will basically be delivered wherever you are because Glass knows where you are thanks to things like geolocation. So basically there’s this opportunity to go from one click purchase to one blink purchase. [Laughter] I think it will happen. I think it will happen.

What’s interesting about this story is what is the role for Drupal in this? Because nowhere did you go to a website. You didn’t go online. You didn’t look at products. You didn’t have to fill anything out in a form. So magically, these things started to work. Just like with the camera, this may be the optimal experience. Let’s look at the second example which is the search. Alright. Let’s go back in time. This is Google in 2010, five years ago. If you search for Lady Gaga you would get this and I first did this with another artist but she wasn’t an artist back then. [Laughter] We had to change it. Imagine you search for Lady Gaga. It would look like this. Very textual, just links. No graphics. If you do the same search today, you’d get exactly this. Right? So you can see some images. Is it blinking? So in the sidebar, you have all of this rich information like upcoming events. It even knows that I’m in Boston. It says, “Near you.” It has all of the songs. It has recent Google+ messages that you may have posted, albums, there’s all of these rich information. Her age, her real name. That’s a big change in five years. So why would Google stop there? Why wouldn’t Google make that experience even more compelling? So five years from now, this could look like this. Obviously we had to create a mock up here but as you can see it’s much more rich experience. It shows things like concerts near you. Again, it knows that I’m in Boston. It knows which albums I have. It says, “Your albums.” I have those albums. It knows that. It also knows which songs I don’t have yet. It has a buy button there so I can buy it straight at the Google homepage. I don’t have to go to any other site. Then Google integrated social. I can chat about Lady Gaga online on google.com. All the way at the bottom of course, there is still the old Google links. Why wouldn’t Google do this? This seems to be their natural evolution and also in this example, it’s interesting. What’s Drupal’s role in this website? Because now I can find a whole lot of information about Lady Gaga without having to go to ladygaga.com. Google effectively gave me all of that information. I think this is a big question for us.

So what’s happening really is kind of funny. In a way – well, it’s called disintermediation which is a big word for “cutting out middle man.” What’s interesting about the web is that the web is sort of disintermediating brick and mortar stores. Amazon has replaced many bookstores. Obviously there are still bookstores. iTunes has replaced many CD stores or digital music has replaced traditional CD stores. eBay has replaced a lot of flea markets. Things like monster.com has replaced I guess newspaper ads for job postings. So what’s happening right now is Google is actually disintermediating the web. At first, everything which had a physical listing was moved online and everything which has an online listing, Google is starting to take over. Google can do these things. Google can build this e-commerce experience because it basically controls all of these pieces. It has self-driving cars. It has drones. It has Google Glass and then it has cloud and big data. It has all of the different building blocks to build this today. The same thing with search. Of course, it’s not just Google. I don’t want to talk about Google all day here. It’s the same thing with the other big platforms. Like the Facebooks of the world, the Apples, Amazon, and LinkedIn. They’re basically building these very rich experiences which users like. But in doing so, they pose some interesting challenges for us. So, let’s talk about what that means for Drupal.

So what’s kind of happening is the open web as we know it is closing up. The big players are taking over more and more of the frontends of the web. Drupal sites risk being sort of the deep web if you will for a lack of a better word. The sad part in a way is we won’t be able to stop it. I thought really, really hard about this. I couldn’t think of a way to stop this and I couldn’t think of a way to stop this because one, it’s actually easier for the users. It’s simpler for the users. Secondly, it’s actually better for the businesses as well. I talked to the people that run ladygaga.com. They said it’s great. “Google sends us a lot of traffic.” It’s better for users, it’s better for businesses. So how would we be able to stop this? Here are some quick examples. You can now enter flight destinations straight from Google and Google will give you pricing right in the main page. This one was the creepiest which I found out by accident - sorry, it will come later. Same thing if you look for a camera. Now, all of a sudden in the sidebar, you have all of these information about cameras. It’s very convenient for users because I can compare prices, something that wasn’t necessarily easy to do in the past. Plus, it’s also great for the companies who were being listed there. Alright. So in a way, Google is becoming the big box of the web. It’s becoming like Best Buy for the web with all of these different cameras listed on their front page which is, of course, a very powerful position to be for the Googles of the world.

There is a big “but” here. On the other hand, brands don’t want to share their customers with Google. Brands do want to build very custom experiences. So here’s a crazy example. I searched on Google my recent Amazon purchases and this is what showed up. Because Google connects some log-in with Gmail, Google actually knows exactly what I bought on Amazon. I don’t think Amazon likes that. So you can see, you can actually drill in and you can see about this multi-purpose pastry scraper [Laughter] and a couple of other things. This is a real order and you should definitely try it out later today. It’s kind of creepy but it works. Think about how Amazon feels about that because now Google knows exactly what I bought and why wouldn’t they inject themselves there? Next time I try to buy something, it could easily try to steal Amazon’s customers. So these large platforms are kind of like this. They have these tentacles and multiple eyes and they say, “Don’t run. We are your friends.” Everybody loves their functionality but if you look under the hood, it’s actually quite scary about what it all does.

So brands actually do want to own the experience. They totally want to own the experience because if you think about Best Buy or other big-box stores, you get all of these cameras and there’s no differentiation whatsoever. All you see is a bunch of cameras, some pricing and in the best case scenario, you get one or two bullet items like these little cards that differentiate one product from another. So imagine companies putting so much effort and energy building better products and then once you end up in the store, it’s reduced to one bullet item or two bullet items. So that I think is a huge opportunity that we have with online commerce. We can actually provide a lot of great information about each of these products. Alright. So brands don’t want that. They don’t want to be sort of the online equivalent of the big-box stores. So one such organization is Whole Foods. They’re local here in Austin and they’re basically using Drupal to create really branded experiences. I have a quick video that I would like to show you about what Whole Foods is doing with Drupal. Here we go.

[Video Presentation]

Pretty awesome. [Applause] Because Whole Foods is local, I reached out to Jason Buechel who’s their CIO, the CIO of Whole Foods. I asked him to come on stage and to give a little bit more background information about what they’re doing for a few minutes. So, welcome Jason. [Applause]

Jason Buechel: Thanks very much. As one of the local companies, we want to welcome you here to Austin. What I want to share with everybody today is sort of three different things: why we chose Drupal; two, some of the things that we’ve done; and three, where we plan to go. First and foremost, when we look at selecting technology partners and solutions at Whole Foods Market, we do it very similar to what we do in our supplier world as we select products for our stores. It’s very important that those partners match our core values and some of our principles. For those of you who don’t know Whole Foods Market, we’re about a $14 billion local retailer comprised of 382 stores that are focused on community, innovation, and having a local presence. For us, when we were looking to expand our website and as you saw on the video, we are pretty much a brochure website, it was important that we’re able to capture that local experience and have the local content for each one of our sort of individual microsites if you will. As we looked to select a partner, we wanted to make sure we had something that was flexible, something that allowed for innovation. We didn’t want to be tied to a traditional product, release schedule and road map. We want to be able to control our own destiny and that was really important for us. Secondly, we wanted speed to market and being able to leverage the portfolio of modules that Drupal had to offer made a very compelling case. Lastly for us, one of our core principles and core values of our company is community, and we’re very excited to be part of this community where we can be part of giving back and part of something that’s in for the good of all.

The second thing I wanted to cover is what we’ve done and you saw on the video we were able to pull together what I would say in a very rapid phase compared to a lot of other retailers, a mobile and a web presence that allowed us to differentiate experience with both local content and experiences that can be driven and supported with a global team as well as local presence of some of our team members that are in our stores. Secondly, what we want to do is make sure that we were able to have a platform that could expand and could connect with other aspects of our environment. Where we planned to go is to connect to some of the broader ecosystems that you just heard about for us to be able to capture some of that customer acquisition in places where other customers are at but at the same time now develop more enriching environment through content and we’re very excited about where the future is going with this and can’t wait to hear about more.

Dries Buytaert: Awesome. Thank you, Jason. Thank you. [Applause] Alright, great! So it proves that organizations do what to tightly control and own that experience, of the flexibility to make it their own. So, of course, I think it’s time to sort of jump to Drupal 8 a little bit. I painted this picture probably some of you may be a little nervous about what that means for our future but let’s talk about what it really means for Drupal, and specifically in the context of Drupal 8. I think one of the things that we’ve done really, really well with Drupal 8. When you think about assembled web journey map, I put it back on the screen, it actually make each of these little steps better so we’ve become a lot better in being the assembled web platform. There’s a lot of room for growth of just being that because, as I mentioned, most organizations are still stuck in the dynamic web. They’re still messing around with the database and SQL queries and all of these things are writing a lot of code from scratch. So let’s talk a little bit more on what exactly we’ve done. One of the things we’ve done actually is, we’ve adopted Symfony and we’ve talked about that but I wanted to talk about it in the context of, let’s say, the 35mm film. Symfony is a way for us to standardize. If we adopt Twig - Imagine if WordPress adopted Twig so now every WordPress themer would automatically be able to build Drupal themes. So by leveraging something like Symfony we actually are able to innovate faster, we’re able to attract more people to Drupal faster as well. It’s not just Twig, there’s many other things that we’ve done that way, but it also begs the question and I don’t have all the answers, “Can we give back more to Symfony?” Like we’ve built things like CMI, I’ll talk a little bit about that in seconds, and there’s actually not that much Drupal specific to what we’ve done around for CMI or Configuration Management. Is there a possibility to put that back in Symfony so every other CMS can maybe leverage that? Is that a way that we can grow and increase our adoption over time? The other thing we’ve done is, Drupal 7, one of our strengths is actually our data modelling tools: Entity, CCK, all of these things, we’ve worked on these for many, many years but it still wasn’t quite perfect; still wasn’t quite right. Some of the things we have like Blocks that were not entities, Aggregator feeds were not entities, and if you look at Notes, Note titles were not proper fields like the publication dates of Notes were not proper fields. So one of the things we’ve done in Drupal 8 is we made that already great modelling tool even better so now Blocks, for example, are entities and every little field will be a proper field that is configurable, that can be added to something, all of these things. On top of that, we’ve also added Views to Core which will make it even more powerful. The other thing we’ve done here is we’ve added actually more fields than we had in Drupal 7; things like link fields, phone fields and date fields, an email fields, some entity reference fields. In doing so, these are actually semantic fields so we’re able to support things like schema.org. Drupal 8 will be semantic from the ground up, and we’ll talk a little bit about that in seconds. Both the entities and views have actually made them completely RESTful from the ground up as well so every time you have an entity, you’re able to update it, delete it, edit it to RESTful API; same thing with views that you can quickly configure a view and then not only can you output that view as HTML, you can also choose to edit output it as Chason or any other formats. That is quite powerful as I’ll show you in a few minutes. Theming - we’ve done a lot of work there. We simplified a lot of the HTML. We’ve adopted Twig, I mentioned that, we added responsive theming throughout core and we’re also working on making themes more secure. Chicks is doing some work on that this week, actually; which makes it easier to share things so you have other people help build your themes. Configurations - views and REST are basically all configurable through UI. You don’t actually have to write codes to start using these things, which again fits into this vision of going from the dynamic web to the assembled web, and really simplifies building great experiences. Then we’ve done a ton of work on the authoring experience, from in-place editing to redesigning the content creation page to responsive backend so you can edit things on your smartphone. A lot of work has gone into simplifying this experience here as well. Every little step along the way, we’ve made these things better and we’ve simplified the experience. Same thing with deploying codes; Configuration Management will make it easy for people to deploy Drupal sites and give them greater control over that as well. So, how does this all add up? Well, in Drupal 8, once we’ve released Drupal 8, you’ll be able to create semantic content like in events with a name and a date and location, even on image and that will map onto entities in Drupal in different fields. These are structured in the database and you can create branded experiences out of the data, you can reuse those data elements entities in Views, you can contextual them, you can translate them or you can even change location because you now have all that in a structured format that you can work with easily. It can make these things discoverable like you can easily output these things for the Googles, Facebooks to pick up. Of course, thanks to the RESTful APIs and responsive design and all of these other things, it will also be completely multi-channeled so it will work in any device. I wanted to take a moment and actually talk about that because we kind of forget about that sometimes and there’s really no other system in the world that does this or that does this so effortlessly. I feel like we’re always criticizing ourselves but there’s really nothing else and people complain about how WordPress is easier to use; again, maybe it’s easier to use but it doesn’t even come close to doing these kinds of things. It doesn’t come close. It’s like miles and miles away from this. So we shouldn’t take this for granted. This is pretty amazing that’s not available anywhere else; not just with WordPress, same thing with our proprietary competitors. This is a very big deal for Drupal 8 and so effectively what that will allow us to do is to loop it back, is we can actually embrace these big players because what will be really good at with Drupal 8 is creating this semantic market and content creation and content curation and we can easily output that and let the big players sort of visualize it in whatever way they want. It actually gets us a little bit closer to this notion of a headless Drupal where Drupal is sort of a content repository but where multiple other frameworks can interact with that. We’ve made a lot of progress on that. All the things I talked about but also we’ve been talking a lot about notion of addressable blocks and the improvements in a render API actually will allow us to do these things and hopefully, we’ll be able to integrate with frameworks like AngularJS and sort of embrace some of the newer alternative ways of building websites. I feel very, very excited about that. At the same time, we can also focus on building these experiences. We can actually do both; we can play with the big guys and make data available to them for them to visualize and we can create our own experiences as well. The way to do so is we don’t control all the pieces the way Google does, but we can actually build a bigger platform by using integrations with other systems. We can do all of these same things on our improvements to the RESTful APIs and all of these other things will actually make it easier for us to integrate with many players. This is also not a small deal. It’s a big deal because none of our proprietary competitors can do that. They can integrate with a few platforms but they don’t have the flexibility that we have in Drupal to integrate with hundreds or thousands of different platforms. If you use a proprietary CMS and your integration doesn’t exist, you’re toast versus Drupal, you have the flexibility to actually build it. There’s no limits in what you can do. So this is a very unique advantage in open source and Drupal and I think, sometimes we don’t realize that. I don’t even know how these other players will actually compete in that world when they can’t build these really compelling integrations that we need to build; very strong unique advantage. It effectively will enable brands like Whole Foods and many others, hundreds thousands of others to build unique experiences that aren’t just big bucks experiences. I think that’s really important. So all things considered, I really truly believe that Drupal 8 will be a game change; like we’ve done so many things right. We have all the right ingredients to get to that next level, to the fourth wave of the WEP, the experience WEP.

As Holly mentioned, the number of people that contributed just to Core has actually doubled or more than doubled since Drupal 7. [Applause] That is a very impressive number. If look at patches committed per day, you’ll see that number is up by 55% as well so not only more people but also of course, more velocity in terms of patches committed. This is just for Core. I wanted to take a minute and ask everybody that has a patch in Core to stand up because I think you guys have done such an amazing job. [Applause] Thank you! I’ve been working on this for over three years and you can use that – it’s not been easy. So of course the big question is, “When can I use Drupal 8?” I’d like to talk a little about that right now. Today, there are only 15 beta blockers left. [Applause] We may actually be at 14, I don’t know. Last night, we were at 15. Alright, we need to fix one and then it’s 14. [Laughter] That adds up to me, 15 minus 1 [Laughter] is 14. So if we get to zero this week, I’ll buy everybody an ice cream. How about that? [Laughter] [Applause] Promise. We need to get to zero by the end of - before Friday night. So once we get to zero, what’s going to happen is we’ll start doing beta releases; so beta 1, beta 2 and beta 3 and what that means is that it’s sort of the starting point where we would encourage you to start reporting your modules from 7 to 8. The APIs, I know, should be stable but we may still change the APIs based on feedback, critical bugs but pretty much we commit to trying to keep the APIs stable. It’s not ready for production yet but it’s sort of at the point where contributors should start upgrading their modules. Once we get to zero critical bugs, which is different from the beta blockers, we will start doing release candidates. Once we feel good about it, we will eventually do the Drupal 8 release. Today, we have 99 critical bugs left to resolve. As you can see, this graph shows the number of outstanding critical bugs over time and you can see that we sort of peaked in September last year and that ever since, the number of critical bugs has been going down. Today we have 99 critical bugs left which is a good thing because it means the number of bugs we fixed on a weekly basis or a monthly basis is actually bigger than the number of new criticals that are being filed, because of course we still discover new bugs as well. The fact that it’s going down is great. It also means that if you want to release, if you just look at the data, if you want to release Drupal 8 this year we somehow need to increase our efficiency by a factor of three. So we can do that in multiple ways. We can get more people involved to help work on this critical bugs and I think we should.

Too many companies, frankly, that use Drupal, don’t give back to Drupal. I think it’s a great opportunity for these kinds of companies to get involved here. I think we should also be smarter about what we treat as critical bugs. We should think about, “Is this really critical?” or “Can this be fixed in a.1?” that way we can also increase our efficiency, alright, be working on that pretty hard. We’ve made big improvements lately in the way that we deal with these critical issues. Once we get to zero critical issues, we’ll basically throw a party and release Drupal 8! I don’t know exactly when that will be, but I’m guessing that it may be early or middle of next year; and that’s not everything. We’ve decided to introduce continuous integration so even after the release of 8.0, we’re now going to be able to add new things to Drupal Core. This is something which we haven’t done in the past. For example, in 8.1 we could maybe choose to migrate module to core or in 8.2 we could add media functionality or layouts functionality and so forth. This will allow for more continuous integration, it allows us to key Drupal relevance that way, and the way we’ll do that is the way that doesn’t break backwards compatibility. We’ll try not to break backwards compatibility but we can add APIs; we’ll manage that process that way. Alright, so to wrap up the keynotes, I think this is a really exciting time. As I mentioned, there’s all these new innovations, many of which I mentioned, but there’s many more and they’re all coming together. We’re at the early stages of that like they’re not readily available for everyone yet. It gives us an opportunity to rethink what the experience of many things online should be, how Drupal can help accomplish that. As we’ve shown with the camera, it’s all about the experience; simplifying the experience over time. As I mentioned, under the hood things make it more complex. Ultimately, we need to think about the experience for the end user; the end user being the visitors of the website, not the site builders. I think that’s the big shift that we have to make. We need to continue to improve to develop our experience but we also need to start thinking about how to improve, drastically improve the end user experience. That will allow us to build this great experience and work with the big players. I feel really, really good, frankly, about where we’re at with that with Drupal. I think more than any other CMS, I think, we’ve navigated us to the right place at the right time. With that, I’d like to thank you. [Applause] I believe there may be some questions?

Moderator: We have some questions for you, Dries. Thank you very much.

Dries Buytaert: Thank you.

Moderator: We have a lot of great questions come in.

Dries Buytaert: Alright.

Moderator: We’re to get to as many as we can. You kind of just answered this first question in one of your last slides. Indie Drummer from Butler University just tweeted, “Butler University is new to all this. Before starting a complete overhaul of our .edu site now, Drupal 7 or Drupal 8…

Dries Buytaert: Drupal 7.

Moderator: Drupal 7 right now?

Dries Buytaert: Yes.

Moderator: Okay.

Dries Buytaert: The answer for 99% of the cases.

Moderator: What’s the 1%?

Dries Buytaert: I think if you have core developers on staff, people that really know Drupal 8 inside out or willing to, what we call “chase head”, if you’re okay with APIs that change, data models that change then you’re capable of sort of migrating your site from one unstable version to another unstable version without a provided upgrade path, then you’re welcome to start with beta. [Laughter] That’s really where we’re at today.

Moderator: So God forbid you get hit by a bus or malfunctioning camera drone flying around, what happens to Drupal leadership? I mean, right now you’re in a unique position.

Dries Buytaert: Right. It’s a good question. I’ll say that in the past it was actually worse. By that I mean, that over the last years I’ve actually put many steps in place to sort of remove myself from being the bottleneck; all the way from co-finding the Drupal association that took over managing the server and organizing the conference for me to more recently putting in place a governance model, the different committees that Drupal.org Software Group and security team, we formalized that. We started a Technical Working Group. Each of these groups or committees have leaders that are officially appointed so that’s another way for me to sort of make sure that we have a governance structure in place. Having said all that, there’s probably more I should do and can do. I don’t have the answers today, but I think something that I’ll continue to work on.

Moderator: Okay.

Dries Buytaert: I definitely want to make sure that if something were to happen, Drupal is in good shape and to be honest, I feel pretty good about that. I feel like we have a lot of strong leaders in the community today.

Moderator: I think the question was more or less about the governance structure and the organization around it, but your role as someone who basically chooses the next core committers and helps push things along, people come to you to make the big decision, when a decision has to be made.

Dries Buytaert: Right. I think that we have many strong people that do a lot of that today. People like Catch and Alex Pott and Angie just relative to the core. They’re making a lot of big decisions along the way. Again, I think, there’s more it can do and I’ll think about what else we can do. I don’t really have that answers.

Moderator: I don’t think you have anything to worry that a few people would jump in front of you if the drone starts heading your way so I think we’re good there. JCL324 asks, “How do we not leave behind the freelancer or small shops as Drupal continues to grow in the enterprise?”

Dries Buytaert: That’s a good question. I actually feel like a lot of the things that I talked about from the improvements to our data modelling tools, to describe it abstractly, CCK, entities and views, as well as to all of the authoring experience improvements, there are usability there. They are great improvements for both small and large organizations. I don’t necessarily feel like we’re leaving them behind that way. I feel like we’re actually doing a lot of things which benefit both of them; that is in line with where we need to go as a project to stay relevant.

Moderator: I think it might be one of those things where people in the community feel that to be a developer, Drupal developer, is being more complex…

Dries Buytaert: It is more complex.

Moderator: Then could become – they could further fall behind that way. What you’re saying is that the improvements you’re making to Drupal 8 make it so that more small shops or more hobbyists can get involved without having to know more code?

Dries Buytaert: It’s a very complex topic.

Moderator: Yes.

Dries Buytaert: Because one of the things I mentioned in my keynote is, as we evolve the complexity under the hood, it becomes more complex, just like with the cameras. That’s reality. Another questions is, “How do we best manage that?” I think, us adopting object-oriented program and techniques in Symfony, which brings a level of standardization and we use, is actually the best way to do it even though it’s still becoming a little bit more complex for some. I think we’re doing what we need to do and I feel good about that.

Moderator: Okay. I think you made a trip to Asia last year for…

Dries Buytaert: It’s a couple of years ago.

Moderator: A couple of years ago. We have a question from HPNADIG, I’m not sure how to pronounce that, he asks, “How do you see Drupal in South Asia or India during the next few years? What’s the priority or what is unpriority?”

Dries Buytaert: I’ve been to India a couple of years ago and I was amazed. I was there for 10 days or something organized or I attended a Drupal camp in a different city in India every other day. It was organized by the local community so I went to Mumbai, Hyderabad, a couple of other big cities and at every one of these events hundreds of people showed up. In some cases, 500, 600 people showed up. It’s impressive to see how much Drupal there actually is in India and also how advanced they are. I think they get a lot of negative credit oftentimes from our part of the world, so to speak, but I think they’re actually doing really, really well and there’s been a lot of growth and adoption there of Drupal as well. Same thing, I’ve been to Australia a couple of times. Obviously, a big difference with India but I’m very impressed with the level of maturity there as well. I’ve never been to China or Japan so I’m planning a trip this year, September, to sort of go to China and take temperature of the state of Drupal in China because I honestly don’t know much about how things are going there. I think it’s important for us that we try to be inclusive and that we think of Drupal as a global community, a global project. I know we can get all these people involved.

Moderator: Alright. So mentioned, again, this topic towards the end that you wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago about employing more or the community organizations employing more Drupal core contributors.

Dries Buytaert: Right.

Moderator: What more can we do to help that process along?

Dries Buytaert: I think one of the biggest things, I think, we can do – so the way things work in my mind and it’s a simplification is, large organizations like Whole Foods that I met with, companies like Pfizer, and they are literally spending millions of dollars on Drupal. So what happens, they spend that money on Drupal shops and those Drupal shops hire people, actually Drupal developers, and they’re contributing. We should recognize that that is how the world works a little bit and we should provide credits to these organizations that actually do give back because oftentimes organizations don’t have developers that give back to Drupal. I think we do an excellent job in giving individual developer credits but I think if we were to give organizations credit for having developers that contribute back to Drupal, whether it’s Drupal shops or sort of end users like Whole Foods, I think that would really stimulate that organizations to give back more; like it provides real incentive like the visibility that they get from giving back is really valuable to them and encouraging. Actually I have some thoughts, which I’ll write up and post today or tomorrow. I post it in my blog about how we could actually implement that on Drupal.org.

Moderator: We can do it right now because I think since your blog post chapter three, is that hired out?

Dries Buytaert: It is.

Moderator: Eric mentioned earlier that BlackMesh hired Cathy so I think the more we can see that…

Dries Buytaert: Exactly. That’s fantastic. So in my blog post, I suggest that you need to understand the impact of hiring people. So for example, in the case of my company Acquia, the core developers, they also are involved to webinars. So we’ve actually started tracking how much revenue comes back from these webinars and that allows us to make business cases. If you can demonstrate that there’s real financial value in having core developers and staff, I think a lot more organizations will be eager to hire core developers. I think that will help us sustain Drupal development and increase our velocity.

Moderator: It sounds like you’re talking about, it’s less about just the feel-good aspect of doing it but we need to move towards being able to quantify – provide numbers and cards on return on investment

Dries Buytaert: Exactly. I gave some numbers in my blog post. I don’t know them off top of my head but I encourage you to have a look.

Moderator: Alright. Just a couple more questions and we’ll have the drones take off and take some pictures there. What surprises you the most about the Drupal 8 development process?

Dries Buytaert: Good question. I was actually – I should have learned this many times already, but I was actually surprised by how difficult it can be to cope with a lot of change and that it actually takes a lot of effort to help people move along and learn. Because Drupal 8 brings a lot of changes and I guess I sort of naïvely assumed that people would understand that easier. You know what I mean?

Moderator: So like once there was a decision, more people get on board quicker?

Dries Buytaert: Right.

Moderator: Is that what you originally thought?

Dries Buytaert: Yes.

Moderator: Okay. That’s a lesson we have to learn over and over and over again.

Dries Buytaert: I think making change in the community the size of Drupal is really hard. We need to retrain hundreds of thousands of developers to go from 7 to 8 and that is a massive undertaking.

Moderator: Absolutely. I will do three last quick questions. Byron Simms asked, “What kind of barbeque do you like?”

Dries Buytaert: I actually love Texas barbeque with the slow cooking; I don’t know how it works. With the big thing, with the steam coming through.

Moderator: I’m just saying, all the barbeque I don’t know how…

Dries Buytaert: I love all barbeque. [Laughter]

Moderator: This might be my favorite question. I’m kind of upset I didn’t think about it. AndreaWBack asked, “Dries, I’m an organizer for Drupal camp PA in Pittsburg. Will you be their keynote speaker?”

Dries Buytaert: [Laughter] Happy to talk about that. I need to look at my calendar. I don’t know when it is.

Moderator: Okay, very good. I told them I’ll ask. I’ve done my job.

Dries Buytaert: I like attending these events and I try to do a number of them each year.

Moderator: Last question. We had a lot of comments during your talk, mainly about privacy when you were showing the Google slides out there; a lot of nervous people. I think most importantly, the most tweets we got back was about your shopping history. What exactly is a vacuum beard?

Dries Buytaert: [Laughter] Funny. It’s actually quite cool. It’s a beard trimmer and it has a vacuum in it so it actually sucks in all the hairs and then instead of all the hair going all over the sink in the bathroom, it’s contained basically in your trimmer.

Moderator: I’m picturing you doing this in your car on the way to work.

Dries Buytaert: I don’t shave in the car. [Laughter]

Moderator: We’re all set. Thank you very much!

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