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Drupal on Windows and other tales of open source partnering

Drupal is being certified on Windows. Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal, didn't know about this until the press release hit the wires. Such is the nature (and power) of open source.

In the open source world, you never know who will be certifying you next. Dries Buytaert (Founder and project lead of Drupal) and I were chatting today and he pointed me to this. Microsoft and Spikesource are both certifying Drupal on their platforms.

In true open source fashion, they didn't bother to tell him. The news did.

In this case, it is actually Spikesource that is certifying Drupal on the Windows platform. But the effect is the same: open source frees the code for development...and partnerships. Interestingly, these partnerships might well be those that a project (i.e., its sponsor and community) might not have the inclination or bandwidth to seek out. But they happen, all the same.

However, the hard work begins after the press release hits and the initial certification concludes. Contribution of code is the true measure of an open source partnership. Whether Microsoft will participate in that aspect of its "partnership" with Drupal remains to be seen, as Dries notes:

I've never been close to either SpikeSource or Microsoft's business but hopefully it won't stop with an announcement. It remains to be seen whether they live up their marketing drum. With the help of Larry Garfield we already started planning a redesign of Drupal's database abstraction layer. I'm curious to see if they'll contribute to that, and if they will help us add and maintain MSSQL support in future versions of Drupal core. In the Open Source world, contributions speak louder than press releases.

I hope Microsoft will, too. Drupal is a great project. Microsoft has a range of engineering resources that it could apply to Drupal to improve it, thereby strengthening its own platform. Windows is only as good as the applications that run on it. Many of these will be open source going forward.