October 18th, 2016
At DrupalCon Dublin, I spoke about The Association’s commitment to help Drupal thrive by improving the contribution and adoption journeys through our two main community assets, DrupalCon and Drupal.org. You can see the video here.
One area I touch on was my experience as a new code contributor. Contributing my patch was a challenging, but joyous experience and I want more people to have that feeling—and I want to make it as easy as possible for others to contribute, too. It’s critical for the health of the project.
At the heart of the Drupal contributor community are our custom development tools, including the issue tracker, Git repositories, packaging, updates server, and automated testing. We believe there are many aspects of Drupal’s development workflow that have been essential to our project’s success, and our current tooling reflects and reinforces our community values of self-empowerment, collaboration, and respect, which we seek to continue to uphold.
It’s time to modernize these developer tools. To support the Association with this objective The Drupal Association created a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC consists of community members Angie Byron, Moshe Weitzman, and Steve Francia, who is also our newest Drupal Association board member. The TAC acts in an advisory role and reports to me.
Building off of the work the community has already done, the TAC is exploring opportunities to improve the tools we use to collaborate on Drupal.org. The crux of this exploration is determining whether we should continue to rely on and invest in our self-built tools, or whether we should partner with an organization that specializes in open source tooling.
Our hope is that we will be able to bring significant improvements to our contribution experience faster by partnering with an organization willing to learn from our community and adapt their tools to those things we do uniquely well. Such a partnership would benefit both the Drupal community—with the support of their ongoing development—and potentially the broader open source community—by allowing our partner to bring other projects those aspects of our code collaboration workflow.
The TAC will use a collaborative process, working with staff and community to make a final recommendation. The TAC has already begun the process and has some very positive exploratory conversations. The TAC and staff will be communicating their progress with the community in upcoming blog posts.