Jason's blog

The ENGINE Blog Is Currently on Hiatus, Due To How Busy We Are

Stay tuned!

How People Will Inspire Curiosity About the Farmer's Market in the Year 3000 [Three Best Things 8/2/10 - 8/8/10]

Thing: Futurese: The American Language in 3000 AD by Justin B. Rye. TIME MACHINE PREP: unless you can tell what the word ZHÜBwatögh refers to, you’re going to need to click and read, overwhelmedly. Also, a tremendous quote:

When looking at a biological family tree (such as the evolutionary history of the horse), the general public insists on seeing any movement as intrinsically progressive, moving from primitive to advanced designs. Yet somehow when looking at the linguistic equivalent (such as the development of the Romance languages from Vulgar Latin) they see exactly the reverse - any change is proof that the language is in decline. In reality they’re just as wrong both times!

Thing: The Itch of Curiosity from Wired.

Thing: Creating Cultural Change by John Rauser. The keys to cultural change — whether that means getting people to brew another pot of coffee, dance en masse on the side of a hill, or buy more of a particular brand of cereal — include letting them in on the big joke:

It’s Not Really a Bonus If There’s Always a Bonus

A montage of the greatest Iron Chef America mystery ingredient reveals. Stick around for honeycombs wielded as weapons, the overwhelming glory of the farmer’s market, and Bruce Lee swish noises used to punctuate eyebrow gestures. I don’t understand any of this:

[via Ryan See]

Which Open-Source CMS Has the Most Active Development Community? [Part Two]

In Part One we estimated the number of websites that use Drupal as of July 2010. You can read that.

Per capita (so to speak), which of the big three open-source content management systems (Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress) has the most vigorous development community? This isn’t about the biggest community, but the busiest. For reference, here’s the estimated number of sites powered by each of the big three as of July 2010:

I’m going to keep this post shorter than the previous one, mainly because there’s much less estimating to philosophize about this time. Like our first post, there’s no direct way to quantify something like this, so we’ll have to fly at it from various angles.

Extensions

One way to measure developer industry: the number of extensions each community currently offers. At the moment, here’s how many community-developed CMS extensions are listed by each community’s official repository:

Drupal: 6,190
Joomla: 5,274
WordPress: 10,278

WordPress has almost double the extensions of either Drupal or Joomla. But we’re not evaluating numbers without context; we’re interested in how many extensions each generates relative to its community size.

According to this, we can reasonably conclude the average Drupal developer is somewhat more likely to work on an extension than the average Joomla or WordPress developer. For the value of such an observation, I turn to you, comment section.

Of course, this isn’t a comment on the quality of these extensions. All three have pearls of really stunning work, and all three have duds and abandoned projects. It would take a million monkeys on a million keyboards a million years to learn how to operate a single module, let alone rank 21,742 extensions by quality. It would take a million people much less time, but there’s only one person writing this post, so any rankings based on quality won’t be considered here. Only sheer volume.

Forums

Did I take the time to add up the posts found at the official community forums of Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress? Afraid so. Totals:

Drupal: 836,000+
Joomla: 2,042,000+
WordPress: 470,000+

Totals in the context of community size:

So Drupal and Joomla people like to talk to other Drupal and Joomla people all day long, while WordPress people just blog it out. One could point out that Drupal and Joomla are much more complicated and powerful than WordPress, so of course more message board questions, strategies, theories, taboos, memes, and myths will arise from their respective camps.

Conference Attendance

All three communities have meetups around the world, whether they’re called WordCamps, Drupalcamps, Joomla! Days, or what have you. All three communities have these things several times a year in cities around the world. Attendance at these deals tends to range in the 100-300 ballpark. We’ll call attendance even for all three. Seriously, Google your mind out if you want, but it’s pretty close across the board.

However, Drupal also holds DrupalCon twice a year (once in North America, once elsewhere). WordPress and Joomla don’t have anything that compares — the most recent DrupalCon, an April weekender in San Francisco, was the tenth such event (we attended #8) and featured around 3,000 attendees, while the inaugural Joomla! World Conference has been postponed. In fact, DrupalCon has been such a success that WordPress is considering following in Drupal’s footsteps:

I’m not going to add up the claimed attendance of the dozens of Temples of Joom! and WordFests and Drupaloozas that have popped up all over the world, but DrupalCon makes it pretty clear Drupal developers are the most likely to gather with each other in large masses to be nerds all day. Until WordStock takes off, at least. And considering Drupal is the smallest community as far as user base goes, that’s pretty impressive.

In Conclusion

I feel we’ve made a non-insane case that Drupal’s development community is the busiest of the big three’s. While all three are amazing products and capable of doing just about anything, we’ve chosen to hitch 70% of our wagon to Drupal for a reason. (30% of our wagon remains hitched to WordPress, so here’s hoping they don’t go and call their conference WehatedrupalconCon.)

BONUS SECTIONDESIGNERS

So that’s developers. What about designers? This one’s a blowout.

I Googled X themes (X being WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal) and noted the number of results for each — 775,000 for Drupal, 4 million for Joomla, and almost 54 million for WordPress. Divide those by the number of sites for each, and we have:

Even though wordpress themes is a popular spam thing, surely inflating those Google results, it’s still apparent that WordPress is the most designer-y CMS. Not that we didn’t know this, but here’s a little visualization of the nerdiest possible way to perceive the disparity.

Unveiling the Best Magazine Articles Ever and the Mood Swings of America: Three Best Things 7/26/10 - 8/1/1

Thing: The Best Magazine Articles Ever by Kevin Kelly. KK is putting together a list of the best magazine articles ever, spanning from an 1816 article on criticism to a piece from tomorrow’s New Yorker on hospices, and people are voting on them. This is the most obvious instant bookmark you’ve come across in quite some time.

Thing: Your Complete Guide to Bad Burqa Puns by Muslimah Media Watch. For newspaper headline editors, stupid burqa wordplay has replaced meet the new boss, same as the old boss as the cliche of choice.

Thing: Mood, twitter, and the new shape of america by Harvard’s Complexity and Social Networks Blog. Some math people did a Twitter-data thing to map our state-by-state zeitgeist as it changes throughout the day and across the country. You can read about how they did it, or you can watch the mesmerizing video:

Conclusions: people in Florida and California are pretty much never unhappy; Georgia is happy but the relatively grumpiest state in its neighborhood; and the Mississippi delta region and parts of the midwest are pretty much never happy.

America’s favorite time of day: quittin’ time is an obvious favorite, but early birds (people up between 5 AM and 7 AM) tend to be obnoxiously chipper* and have skewed our whole mornings green. America’s least favorite time of day: the post-lunch-pre-quittin’-time death march is pretty bad, but apparently oceans of horror start washing all over Twitter after 1 AM. Except in Florida and California, where they just have oceans of warm water.

* Full disclosure: I’m an early bird.

Doing Some Drupal for an International Travelers Social Network

MyNaTour is a travel community committed to sharing “real and responsible tourism,” living green, and respecting local ways of life. Their web presence is a fine Drupal site, and they asked us for a little help in making it even better.

We upgraded MaNatour’s core Drupal installation plus about three dozen modules, correcting several major security issues along the way. We also added Facebook integration, migrated the site’s hosting to Bluehost, removed an obsolete subdomain, and more.

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