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A quora.com user asks, "What are 5 Drupal strengths that other CMSs or frameworks don't have?"

Fri, 2012-12-07 08:38 -- dougvann

See the  question and answer at http://www.quora.com/l/lwmlcCoiJ1

I love it when ppl directly ASK me to answer a question on Quora.com. I also enjoy when someone on LinkedIn sends me a direct message asking me to chime in on a discussion they started. I'm always quick to jump in and share my thoughts.

Here is my response to the question:

 What are 5 Drupal strengths that other CMSs or frameworks don't have?

OK. You asked for 5 so I'll give you 7!

This is just off of the top of my head. If I had more time to articulate this and build it out it could be glorious. But here it is. ;-)

  1. Community
    OK. Many projects have a "community" but what Drupal has is incredibly unique. We thrive on getting together. Our national North American conference [DrupalCon] brings in 3,100+ ppl. Our regional events [DrupalCamps] bring in from 100 in smaller towns to nearly 1,500 in major cities. When we get together we share all our best practices and show the methods used to release our most recent projects. We also have CodeSprints where we actively work together to advance specific projects. Right now the focus is building Drupal8 for release in August 2013.
  2. Distributions
    We don't expect ppl to always download Drupal core then build their own intranets or online stores or event management systems or news publication sites or Government portals. Instead we provide FREE distributions of Drupal that come pre-built for just those scenarios. See a full list of distributions available here: Distributions | drupal.org
  3. Market Share
    We're have an impressive presence within the market share as a whole. The further you climb up the Alexa 2million list, the stronger we get as the others are dropping from view. We really are the OpenSource CMS of choice for some very serious, important, widely used sites for Government, Entertainment, and more.
  4. Developer Pay
    This can be a curse and a blessing, but right now the income for a Drupal developer [or designer or themer or trainer, etc] is pretty dog gone high. This is a result of simple supply and demand. Many of us who saw a good thing years ago did NOT know the demand would be like this. Thus, here we sit today with a tremendous value being placed on our skills by the market place. The flipside of that is that some people failed to see this coming and have not jumped onboard and now we need a lot more talent than we have. If you want to talk about how to position yourself for a career in Drupal, drop me a line at http://www.dougvann.com/contact 
  5. The Drupal API
    Drupal is a hybrid between a standard CMS and a very progressive Framework. We never claim to be CodeIgnitor or Cake or Zend, but we do have an extraordinary API that allows for amazing granularity of workflow control. Our implementation of "Hooks" and "Callbacks" through our clever "Function Naming Convention" hands the raw power of customization to the code monkey who's client is a control freak. We never say, "Ehhh... That's just the way Drupal does it. Live with it!" By being a rapid deployment system, Drupal allows more time for tweaking what needs tweaked or adding what needs added. 
  6. Module Development Practices           [BONUS ITEM!]
    In Drupal everything is a module and ALL modules are free! We don't have plugins AND widgets AND components, etc. ALL Modules are listed at Modules | drupal.org and are well categorized. You will not find some ones personal website where they sell a module. If you want a custom module built you can find someone to build it for you.
    We share our time and talents in building these modules together as a community. We don't compete. Rather than have 5 twitter modules, we have one twitter module which has many ppl working on it. We submit security patches and increased-functionality patches and UI enhancement patches and documentation patches to one another's modules so that they are the best they can be.  
  7. Support                                           [BONUS ITEM!]
    CMS Support for Drupal Open Source
     provided by Acquia, a privately held company that started in 2007 and is now supplying a wide range of services to Governments, Military, and Private entities around the world. Their recent round of funding added $30Million to bring them to a total of $68.5Million. See Forbes article here: Acquia Looks To 2014 IPO With New $30M Round - Forbes
    Acquia provides a very strong "3rd Party Validator" role in winning bids. Shops of any size can, after winning a contract, have the client rely on Acquia for hosting, and/or Support and/or Training for the client. The Drupal shop can move on to build the next big Drupal project while Acquia supports the client. If a phase2 is needed in the future, the shop can choose to take on the additional work OR Acquia can help the client find someone who can.
    Not every site launched in Drupal uses Acquia services and some use a little while others use a lot. The options are wide and deals are struck that cater to the needs of each individual client.
    I could go on and on about how Acquia provides value to the Drupal community, the Drupal project, Drupal shops, and clients, but that would be a very long post. ;-)

Doug Vann [Drupal Trainer, Consultant, Developer]

http://dougvann.com 

Comments

Submitted by Will Vincent on

Good list Doug. As for your sixth point though, I don't believe that's enforced. I've run across some modules recently that while 'free' are limited in what they do unless you "buy the full version"

These, obviously, are the exception, not the rule, and the modules to which I refer are from someone who apparently is used to the Joomla ecosystem. They are, in fact, modules this person has built for Joomla and ported to Wordpress and now Drupal. The blatant beg for money on them irks me something fierce though.

So, while I agree with you insomuch as that's the way it _should_ be, it's just not always the case.

Submitted by dougvann on

I just searched and sure enough!!! I now know that www.VicTheme.com has some modules for sale. I know NO ONE who uses any of those modules. I doubt any one does. I think VicTheme is intended to be a THEME selling site more than a MODULE selling site. 
What's funny is... If I understand it corrently, any one who BUYS a module from VicTheme can turn around and give it away for free because the GPL license is VIRAL. I have heard it said that you need to NOT use images from OpenSource packages that you "buy" because those images are protected. 
But then again.... I'm not an attorney.
So to be clear... You can sell all the modules you want to sell. I just don't know who wil buy them! ;-) Which is why no one I know sells modules. 

Submitted by Patrick on

Another benefit of Drupal is a dedicated security team. Greg Knaddison and others are dedicated to keeping Drupal secure and notifying when issues are found. This has resulted in a much more secure development environment.