In Defence of DrupalModules.com

Does supporting resources outside of Drupal.org hurt the community? Laura from RarePattern talks of Risk, Splitting The Community, and Disparate Sites, but is that really the case?

DrupalModules.com patterns itself after a number of other successful community sites, including DrupalSites.net, ThemeGarden.org, and DrupalDojo.com. There are dozens of other influential, unofficial Drupal resources in the community. Perhaps you run one yourself.

These sites don't take anything away from Drupal just because they are not under the Drupal.org domain name. In fact, they contribute diversity, which is a critical part of any sustainable ecosystem.

Like those sites, I believe DrupalModules.com is extending the community in exciting and important ways.

The numbers indicate DrupalModules.com is playing an important role in the community.

Drupal.org serves a vital function as a Support Forum and Issue Queue. It's my opinion that trying to graft a rating and review system onto that mission critical framework is not the right thing to do. It will detract attention that would be better paid to the more important aspects of Drupal.org, increase costs for the association, and require even more maintenance and moderation than the forums.

If Drupal is to have an official rating and review system, I believe it needs to stand on its own. A dedicated module rating and review site will always be more flexible and better able to serve the public than one squeezed into the gaps.

There are many important reasons to favor a dedicated solution. For example, users can benefit from the latest, cutting-edge technology, like the new Module Finder feature I just released. It finds modules as you type, updating at a rate of 10 times a second, highlighting keywords and building rating graphs in real time. The Drupal.org architecture just wasn't designed with this kind of thing in mind.

The precedent was set when Drupal shut down the Theme Garden last year. Live theme previews, site showcasing, module reviewing: These projects all needed their own room to grow. And that trend will continue. This is a good thing. Drupal has a healthy, growing community, filled with passionate users, and ignoring their individual efforts will hurt everyone in the long run.

Drupal.org does not have to be the only site for Drupal content. And it isn't. The great thing about the internet is that everything is just a click away. Whether this resource ends up at DrupalModules.com or Modules.Drupal.org, it's the content users are after.

I have invested considerable time and money into helping bring that content to the community. There is no advertising, and there are no membership fees on DrupalModules.com. What I have created is a labor of love, and it will remain free and open to everyone.

In closing, I would like to invite the entire Drupal Community to show their support for expanding the Drupal ecosystem instead of contracting it, and I would like to thank those of you who are already supporting my efforts.

Posted by John on 2008-03-17