Drupal: from a drop in the ocean to a big fish in the CMS world
Drupal started out as a college experiment.
In 2000, permanent Internet connections were at a premium for University of Antwerp students, so Dries Buytaert set up a wireless bridge between student dorms to share an ADSL modem connection among eight students. This led Buytaert to work on a small news site with a built-in Web board, allowing the group of friends to leave each other notes and messages. While looking for a suitable domain name for his Web board, Buytaert settled for 'drop.org' after he made a typo to see if the name 'dorp.org' was still available. Dorp is the Dutch word for 'village', which was considered a fitting name for the small community. The message board, which got its name via a typo evolved in to an open source project called Drupal in 2001. Drupal is derived from the Dutch word "druppel", which means "drop" as in a water droplet.
The Open Source content management system, which is written in PHP and runs on a LAMP stack, now powers about 200,000 public facing Web sites and numerous intranet sites around the world. Needless to say, it has thousands of contributors.
In this interview Dries Buytaert, the man who finds himself the accidental leader of a project, tells us all about the project which manifested from a chain of unexpected events.