Drupal Association blog: Drupal Association Co-Founds the Open Website Alliance

The international community organizations behind Drupal, Joomla, TYPO3, and WordPress join forces in a leadership-level alliance. The members of the Alliance are united in their shared values and their message to decision-makers to always choose open source software over proprietary systems.

The Alliance represents the content management systems (CMS) behind roughly 50% of all websites online today. The Open Website Alliance was founded to promote the choice of open-source software and facilitate collaboration between free and open-source web content management projects, furthering openness, trust, and quality. Other free and open-source CMS organizations are encouraged to apply for membership.

Open source is not just the future of software, it is the present,” said Tim Doyle, CEO of the Drupal Association. “At a time when some market forces are pushing solutions that require users to sacrifice ownership of their data, we know that open source offers a better way. Through this alliance, we can help promote, educate, and inspire end-users to take back control of their software, their data, and their own words. Together we can build a better web.

Collaboration on Leadership Level

The Alliance comes about as the result of the collaboration between the Drupal Association, Open Source Matters (Joomla), the TYPO3 Association, and the WordPress Project around an open letter to the European Union.

The Alliance uniquely connects its members on a leadership level. This means the organizations can more easily coordinate strategy and actions, fostering new cross-community collaboration projects and strengthening those that already exist.

The organization’s leadership is also based on collaboration. The presidency rotates among the members, and all decisions are consensus-based. 

A Common Stance for Open-Source Software

According to the Alliance’s purpose statement, the “members commit to jointly encourage prospective website owners and developers to always choose open source software over proprietary systems, and to educate why this decision is the first and most important one in a website project. Through this advocacy, we are expanding opportunities for all open source CMS projects.”

The purpose statement describes the Alliance as a “community of communities, built on and furthering openness, trust, and quality.” The collaboration organization also seeks to “benefit the public perception of open source projects, the reliability of open source software, [and] the quality and safety of open source communities,” by being “a platform where members can share and discuss best practices.”

Accounting for the distributed and collaborative nature of open-source software — also beyond content management — the Alliance also includes support of upstream dependencies: “Whenever possible, the Alliance should support third party open source projects and communities upon which our projects depend.”

Shared Values on Open Web

In addition to a promise of joint collaboration, the Open Website Alliance members adhere to the Open Web Manifesto. Originally pioneered by the Drupal Association, the manifesto is a commitment to the web as an empowering tool, built on freedom and decentralization: “Everyone in the world, regardless of background, identity, ability, wealth, or status, has a home on the open web as a user, creator, architect, and innovator. It requires participation: The open web is a shared resource and a shared responsibility, sustained by deliberate choice and collaborative effort.”

Harnessing the concept of shared responsibility, the manifest describes the open web as a protector of privacy and freedom of speech. It should also “enable the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs” and “must be resilient to a changing world and not controlled by a select few.”

Drupal Association a Proud Co-Founder

The manifesto ends with a grand perspective on the role of the open web and open-source software that could also be a credo for the Alliance’s member projects: “Together, we’re shaping the foundation for how the digital world operates, and how future generations will live, work, connect, and express themselves. As long as our software exists, that foundation will be an open web that is open source, open access, and always open to improvement.”

The Drupal Association is proud to be a founding member of the Open Website Alliance and extends a special thank you to Matthias at Typo3 for his leadership in its formation. This work firmly aligns with the Drupal Association’s vision for a web that is innovative, inclusive, and open.