Acquia = RedHat for Drupal

Several key Drupal community members have gathered together with some others to form Acquia, a new commercial firm that hopes to sell subscriptions to Drupal a la RedHat’s linux distros. Acquia has already generated $7 million in funding.

I notice the similarities between Acquia and rSmart, where I now work. Both are focused on the open source web application layer, both think of RedHat as a model, both are working within large, already established open source communities. There are other examples…but apparently the idea of commercial subscriptions for open source web applications is catching on…

Open Source Census

Let’s heed the call for an open source census with the open source discovery tool.

We’ve long been maintaining that open source technologies are in wide—and often unrecognized—use in many organizations. Now we have an initiative and a tool to help demonstrate that claim with real numbers.

I’ve submitted requests for the OSS Discovery tool to establish fingerprints to discover three open source technologies I’m involved with, Drupal, Sakai and Kuali, and I’ll call on those communities to help make sure those fingerprints become a part of the tool.

Open source technology solution providers and institutions implementing open source might also consider making a formal OSS discovery part of their readiness evaluation.

Comment/vote/collaborate on my tickets for the following fingerprints:

Nate Moves On

After 5 years as Portland State’s Director for Web Communications, I’ve moved on to work for The rSmart Group, a commercial provider of open source technologies working mostly in the education sector with Sakai, OSP and Kuali.

To extend my engagement at Portland State with open source communities like Sakai/OSP and Drupal, I’m looking forward to a fulltime focus on open source at rSmart, as well as the mandate to expand my thinking beyond local, institutional concerns.

With this move from public to private, I’m happy to still be connected to education. There’s much work to be done to help make open source technologies the obvious choice to support educational missions. rSmart’s definitely part of that work. And rSmart’s attitude toward its clients and open source communities aligns closely with my own. In many ways, my drive to do good feels more empowered in this for-profit company than it did in public education.

Although rSmart’s based in Phoenix, AZ, I’ll still be in Portland, OR. I’m not yet ready to trade the rain for the heat.

Look for much more activity here as I start to spread out in my new role.

UC-Davis University CMS Survey

UC-Davis just published results from a well-designed survey on university web content management system usage.

Over 60% of respondents were using a web CMS and homegrown/open source systems were more common than proprietary systems.  Plone/Zope combined was the most common, followed closely by Homegrown, and then Drupal.

Today, the Requirements and Evaluation committee of the UC Davis Web CMS initiative posted results from an online survey of campuses completed last month.

The survey was conducted to collect comprehensive data about the adoption and use of Web content management systems among institutions of higher education, and to make this information available to communicators, webmasters, technologists and other key campus personnel. Our goal was to learn about the experiences – both positive and negative – of other universities in the adoption of Web CMS, and to share this information with those who may currently be considering the same.

Read the summary, and view and discuss the survey results at:
http://pubcomm-29.ucdavis.edu/?p=35

Now Blogging with PHP 5/MySQL 5

Thanks to quick work by my host Liquidweb (thanks Siena!), this site is now delivered by the three fives: Drupal 5, PHP 5 and MySQL 5. Still waiting for Linux 5 and Apache 5 ;)

One of my goals here is to demonstrate/evaluate how this technology will operate on a forward-looking platform. Ever since Rasmus Lerdorf himself suggested dropping PHP 4 for the good of all at OSCMS 2007, I figure we better get ready for the future.

Check my blog recipe for platform details.