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Happy birthday, Dries (Mr. Drupal)

Dries Buytaert just turned 30, and has a lot to show for it.

Dries Buytaert in Brussels Matt Asay

Dries Buytaert celebrates his thirtieth birthday today. For someone that has built an open-source community that numbers in the millions of downloads and hundreds of thousands of contributors, Dries is a very unassuming, interesting, and likable person.

It's even more impressive to me that Dries wrote Drupal in his spare time as a PhD student in Belgium. Bonus points for doing it in PHP, despite the fact that most of his academic work has related to Java.

Businessweek paid homage to Dries earlier this year, naming him a "2008 top innovator." It's a nice honor, one that I'd love to have.

But for me the real measure of Dries' success is the thousands of cool websites that run Drupal, a number of which Dries has profiled on his blog.

Actually, the real measure of Dries' success is that he remains a good person despite the success. I was in Belgium last year and we sat down for gyros and frites, and dug deep into the metrics and methods for open-source success. I learned a lot, and loved spending time with him.

Happy birthday, Dries. You deserve it!