Getting Over NIH: Taking Ideas and Code From Other Projects

Drupal has historically suffered from NIH syndrome: we've been, for the most part, unwilling to take code or ideas from others. Instead, we have a record of reinventing things ourselves. While this has always only been a trend and never a hard-and-fast rule, we're beginning to see a cultural shift toward getting over NIH. This session will start by looking at where we've already incorporated code (KSES, jQuery, and now parts of Symfony) and the rationale behind their inclusions. Then it will move on to look at other potential targets for inclusion, and in a broader sense, what ideas and insights we can gain from other projects (while there's definitely a lot that can be talked about here, there won't be time to go too in-depth with lessons we can learn from others -- but we'll take a look at what it means to be taking ideas from others). Lastly, we'll look at the broader impacts of this cultural shift on Drupal's community and philosophy


Time slot: 
Thursday 2:15pm-3:15pm
Drupal community
Experience level: 
Questions answered by this session: 
Why have we historically been averse to using code from others?
Even though we have a problem with this, Drupal does have some external code. Which code? Why?
Where else can we look for inspiration?
How can we be inspired by them?
What broader implications does this have on Drupal's community, culture, and philosophy?


Good topic! I'd also add that our testing system and our xml-rpc libraries both originated from external projects and then heavily refactored and Drupalized to a point where they barely resemble the original code. So that is also a pattern we followed for better or worse. Would be great to include that in the session as well.

Yeah, this is one of the most frustrating aspects of Drupal. There are so many issues, bugs, workarounds and hurdles that simply would not have ever come up if Drupal did not re-invent the wheel in so many areas.

See also:

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