How Drupal Came to Be

As with so many modern success stories, this one started in a dorm room with a couple of students needing to achieve a specific goal. In this case, Dries Buytaert and Hans Snijder of the University of Antwerp wished to share an ADSL modem connection to the Internet. They managed this via the use of a wireless bridge, but soon after, Dries decided to work on a news site, which would in addition to the simple connection the students already shared, allow them to share news and other information.

Over time the site grew and changed as Dries expanded the application and experimented with new things. However, it was only some time later in 2001 when it was decided to release the code to the public in the hope this would encourage development from other people that Drupal became open-source software. It's clear that releasing the source to the public was the right choice, because today Drupal

Introduction to Drupal

has a well organized, thriving community of people ranging from contributors, adminsitrators, a security team, and a global presence, to plenty of users who make invaluable additions to the Drupal project on a regular basis through bug reports and suggestions.

In only a few years, Dries and others have taken a small inter-dorm-room application and turned it into a technology that is contributing to the way in which the global society communicates through the Web. This is embodied in their brief mission statement that reads:

By building on relevant standards and open-source technologies, Drupal supports and enhances the potential of the Internet as a medium where diverse and geographically separated individuals and groups can collectively produce, discuss, and share information and ideas. With a central interest in and focus on communities and collaboration, Drupal's flexibility allows the collaborative production of online information systems and communities.

Ultimately, where Drupal is going and how it came to be are also driven by the philosophies that guide those responsible for developing this technology. As you will see throughout the course of this book, it is fair to say that the Drupal community has so far succeeded in meeting its lofty targets.

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