15 May 2006

Drupal Ottawa User Group: Making Web 2.0 Happen

A lot of talk in the blogosphere (see posts by Dion Hinchcliffe, Rod Boothby) about making Web 2.0 happen in corporate contexts, behind firewalls. How can you go beyond the hype and fancy graphs and introduce web 2.0 technologies in corporate and governmental contexts?

One such option is to seriously consider Drupal as a solution of choice when it comes to a fully web 2.0 enabled Web Content Management System. Drupal is Free and Open Source software and is favourably commented upon in Open Source for the Enterprise: Managing Risks - Reaping Rewards. It has a very active and vibrant community as seen from the frequency of recent posts (about a post every other minute), to the point a distinct, related site called Groups.Drupal, fostering geographical and working group affiliations, has been created. Drupal offers community management, forums, blogs, wikis, comments, RSS feeds and aggregation, taxonomy management (categories, free tagging or both), etc...

Are you from Ottawa and interested in Drupal? Consider joining the newly created Drupal Ottawa User Group (guess I thought of you Doug when I created the group) - especially if you are interested in the creation and sharing of a reusable Bilingual, Common Look & Feel compliant distribution of Drupal throughout the federal government; and in corporate / behind the firewall installs of drupal.

Prefer to get to know Drupal by reading? Consider these two books:

As written in the announcement on drupal.org: Written by David Mercer, this book is a complete guide to every aspect of creating a variety of different websites using Drupal. The book has been written against the latest release v4.7. "From top to bottom, Drupal is the type of project that makes the Internet work as a medium for communication" explains author David Mercer. "With powerful and flexible functionality, it is the ideal tool for people to begin creating their own Websites, without being subject to the burden of learning how to program."

From the announcement on drupal.org: "When I first met Dries Buytaert, in February in Antwerp, we discussed the need for a book explaining how to use Drupal. We agreed that such a book would be a great asset to the many people who are becoming interested in our great software. Since I had already decided that it was my goal to write a Drupal book, I expressed this to Dries. (...) The result was a project that lasted until October; writing the first book about Drupal."

I attended last week DrupalCampToronto: I was blown away (and I'm not easily blown away) by the exciting range of capabilities of Drupal. Here are a few things that I have confirmed or found out:
  • The internationalization module (Drupal Module i18n developed by Jose A Reyero) has been successfully implemented on several site to achieve fully mulilingual sites - see for example telecentre.org
  • The Liquid Wiki module (Liquid Wiki Module developed by Sören Petersen) is working with Drupal version 4.7, as evidenced by this test site by Bryght - thanks to Boris for his excellent review of the features and potential of this module
  • The rich set of information that can be derived from a Drupal web site incorporating CiviCRM, as explained Phillip Smith from communitybandwidth.ca in his tour of admin features associated with one of his recent sites (kleercut.net).
If you are interested in introducing Drupal in the federal government, please also see Project Eureka from Government 2.0 Think Tank, consider becoming a member of that association and a contributor to that project.