The Future Web at DrupalCon Denver

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It's DrupalCon season once again, which means Drupalers from all over the world will converge next week on Denver, Colorado, to educate each other about their favorite CMS and platform, and this eternal debate about CMS vs. platform seems to be at the heart of this year's event.

After a recent conversation with representatives from a couple of very prominent companies in the Drupal space, Mike O'Connor, co-founder of Commerce Guys, and Amy Cham, Director of Marketing at Treehouse Agency, I am even more anxious to hop on my flight to Denver. The theme for DrupalCon Denver is "Collaborative Publishing for Every Device," and I am excited to see which new developments people will be talking about most.

As most regular Linux Journal readers know, I am heavily biased toward the wonders of Drupal. I don't deny it. All bias aside, however, I am quite impressed by the forward thinking of the Drupal community with regard to future releases and not only keeping up with web development trends, but really anticipating and helping to form the future web in a way that can't help but give the platform a leg up in coming years. With several initiatives led by Drupal community members and focusing on mobile friendliness, HTML5, and web services integration, the next version of Drupal, Drupal 8, will be a powerful contender.

The potential for Drupal as a context-aware platform is interesting in particular. The ability to serve data across multiple formats, devices and platforms will likely be absolutely essential to content producers in the very near future. This portability of information is not only valuable in the world of mobile devices, but also in the field of eCommerce, as Mike and the Commerce Guys know very well. And someone's paying attention to this great potential, as Commerce Guys just received $5 million in venture funding.

Starting Monday, there is much to see and do at DrupalCon, and it's not just for core developers. There is content for all types of citizens of the Drupalsphere, and the event has become increasingly useful for those on the business side of things with offerings that should help evaluators learn why so many of us swear by Drupal as a platform.

"It’s been amazing to watch the growth of DrupalCon from something that was almost developer-exclusive to a much more recognized event,” said Mike O’Connor. “Microsoft and Oracle are sponsoring this year; big agencies with, currently, small Drupal positions are getting involved because Drupal is gaining recognition as a leading framework for its prowess and flexibility."

Drupal continues to be popular among government entities, and there will be plenty of content that speaks to that. I am particularly anxious to see How Drupal is Transforming Government: 7 Case Studies by Phase2's Jeff Walpole, as these types of case studies can frequently teach us all something about user involvement, accessibility, and data visualization, which have important applications accross the web.

"The wealth of content around Drupal and Government is very exciting. Drupal is spreading like wildfire through the government sector, with a long list of US federal agencies and offices using the platform, along with 29 states and well over 100 other countries around the world.  At the federal level, we expect to see more widespread adoption of centralized agency platforms supporting office and program sites; just two examples are our current engagement as development partner for the Environmental Protection Agency, and the widely anticipated RFP for's new platform," said Amy Cham.

So, if Linux Journal using Drupal wasn't enough to convince you, how about NASA?

I hope to see many of you next week at DrupalCon, and happy Drupaling!

Katherine Druckman, a self-described Drupal fangirl, is the Director of Digital Experience at Linux Journal. She’s an HTML-flinging, PHP-hacking ​webmistress by day, and a refined connoisseur of historic architecture and fine Chinese ceramics by night. She usually can be found surrounded by the charm of aging Texas buildings from the pioneer days or appreciating ceramics of the Song and Qing dynasties.

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