I tweeted, but in 140 characters I wasn't able to be clear, and some people are misunderstanding what I was tweeting about, so I'm using G+ here with more space to try and provide some clarity to what I'm trying to say.

What I'm responding to is non-specific, merely second hand information I've received because people talk to me. What I've heard -- from multiple sources -- is that my withdrawal from the community is a sign that Drupal itself is decaying or failing. I'm not trying to justify anything about myself, or my choices, but I also don't want to be used as evidence for something that isn't even true.

The idea that the Drupal project is dying can't be farther from the truth. There are several misconceptions to begin with:

1) I haven't left the community, but I have reduced my involvement.
2) I still work full time doing Drupal things, but
3) My current source of income is primarily for internal work that isn't something that will (or should) ever be shared.
4) I don't have the patience to work full time, have a family, have a hobby, AND contribute to open source in my spare time.
5) My early involvement in Drupal was always going to end up unsustainable, and everyone knew that. The fact is, for several years, I had a corporate sponsor that made it possible. But when that corporate sponsorship went away, my involvement scaled back (and back and back).
6) Contributing to open source on a large scale is mentally taxing.

Now, the project itself is thriving, and is bigger than ever. It is one of the top open source communities in existence. It's true that Drupal 8 will be another bellwether of this, but every Drupal release to date has been. This isn't new.

The community -- in particular the Drupal Association responsible for the maintenance of the infrastrcture -- has morphed from a hobby-based piece of software that was pretty big to something that is ultimately managed by professionals who need to be paid to do it. This is because the Drupal ecosystem is huge. There's a lot to do, there's always a lot to do, and volunteers aren't reliable. And when they are reliable, it's because they're burning themselves out.

People who are paid are more reliable. Mostly.

So the Drupal Association has finally decided to take the step to try to pay people to make core happen.

This is a good thing. Sure, Drupal is driven by the interests of business; if this statement is offensive, then there is a massive misunderstanding of what Drupal is all about, and has been since at least 2007. But Drupal is what it is today because there is money to be made. And that money needs to flow back into the project, where it can, and the people who actually do the really heavy work can be rewarded.

And the last part is this: It doesn't have to always be the same people. The only reason that I had the impact I had in Drupal is that I devoted a lot of time to a project for personal reasons. But let's be honest: I am and always was an exception to the way things really work, and an unsustainable exception at that. For one, what I did wasn't truly innovative, it just didn't exist in the Drupal context before. But Views was modeled on software I used in the 1990s; the basic ideas had always been there. For two, it took a lot of different iterations to get to where it was even decent. Views had a long path of growth including a complete rewrite to get to be something that was on nearly every Drupal site every created.

What I did isn't the model for moving forward with Drupal, and the fact that I'm not spending my full time job doing that isn't a bad thing for Drupal.

What would be a bad thing for Drupal is if there weren't businesses paying to have their people contribute to the project. When that's happening, that means there are businesses getting so much value out of Drupal that they are able to repay that value back so that, in the future, they will continue to get more value from the contributions.

I'm not looking for thanks (really, please don't post/comment just to thank me) -- I've gotten a lot of thanks for my contributions. I'm proud of my contributions. I'm still in the community, even if it wasn't the way I was once in the community. But the community is large, it is vibrant, it continues to grow, and just like anything that grows, the changes sometimes make it look vastly different than it was before. My seven year old looks very different than when she was a toddler, and even more different than when she was the baby wearing the Drupal hat. And in another few years, she'll look different still But she's prospering and she's growing and she's still vibrant.

So is Drupal, and so is the community. If you want to use me as evidence, turn it around. I stopped paying attention to the issue queues most of two years ago and...your sites didn't burn down. You didn't have to switch away from Drupal because I didn't answer issues anymore. Other people are still writing patches and issuing releases of (most of) my modules, and nearly all of them are supported by companies who see value in their work.

And if those contributions continue to be valuable, when they move on, other people will step up and take their places too. And your sites will continue to work.
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