Buytaert: Actually, it's one of the things which sets Drupal apart from other open source content management systems in that we do break APIs. That's something that a lot of people in the Drupal community, developers especially, buy into. One of the reasons people enjoy working with Drupal is because we don't have to drag all of that legacy stuff around. A lot of developers are actually quite pleased with that. The pain is actually with the end-users. Say you build a website and you have a lot of custom modules. Because we break the APIs, you need to update your modules. And if you worked with an external consultant to develop your modules, you need to hire that person again. So there's some pain involved for end-users, but I think for developers and the long-term health of the platform, I think it's very important that we made those changes.
InfoWorld: I understand that Drupal 7 will feature a database abstraction layer.
Buytaert: Drupal 7 will have a completely new database abstraction layer. It will be written from scratch and it actually does address a whole bunch of shortcomings with the database abstraction layer in Drupal 6. It actually allows for better scalability. It allows for master/slave configurations, meaning you can load-balance your database servers much better. With the new database abstraction layer, we'll see support for many more databases. Drupal 6 essentially supported MySQL and Postgres. I think Drupal 7 will be the first version that will support Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle [and] maybe an IBM database.
InfoWorld: What's going to be the impact of having that support in Drupal 7?
Buytaert: A lot of large organizations standardized on Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. The fact that Drupal supports these now will essentially make it easier for [these organizations] to adopt [Drupal]. They don't need to sneak it into the organization, as sometimes is the case.
InfoWorld: You have the behind-the-firewall version of Drupal and you have the cloud version, Drupal Gardens. Why not just go with the cloud version and get rid of the behind-the-firewall version?
Buytaert: I don't think that's a good idea. If you look at large organizations, they have their main websites. It's unlikely that they want to run their main Web site on drupalgardens.com, right? They want to host it themselves so they have all the flexibility in the world to make changes to it. However, it might be the case that [users] are organizing events or need some microsites and so for the microsites, Drupal Gardens [will] hopefully be a great fit.
InfoWorld: Is security a concern for Drupal users?
Buytaert: I don't think so. We have a lot of security best practices. We have a security team at Drupal with more than 30 people. The fact that organizations like Whitehouse.gov use Drupal -- they obviously have high security and scalability requirements.
InfoWorld: What is your perspective on the emergence of commercial open source?
Buytaert: I'm not the kind of person that is against commercial open source. One of the big lessons that I learned through Drupal is if you want to build a successful open source project, it's important that you build a commercial ecosystem around it. In Drupal's case, as you probably noticed, at DrupalCon there were thousands of people building websites with Drupal, making money with Drupal, and I think you need to figure out ways for people in your community to make money.
InfoWorld: How do you define commercial open source?