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On August 5, 2010 Acquia released Drupal Commons. So far, the reviews appear mixed. The product appears to be targeted to the business enterprise. Moreover, out-of-the-gate it appears to have some significant limitations, making it for now a niche community building application. My guess is that Buddypress, based on the WordPress platform, still has an edge in user friendliness, which is important for many markets without strong IT staff support. Here are a few useful websites.
Acquia Drupal Commons website:
1) Dana Blankenhorn & Paula Rooney, “Drupal Commons targets the enterprise,” ZDNet, http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/drupal-commons-targets-the-enterprise/7039
2) Moshe Weitzman, “Quick peek into Drupal Commons,” Cyrve, http://cyrve.com/commons
3) Jim Storer, “Drupal Commons – Open Source Social Business?” The Community Roundtable, http://community-roundtable.com/2010/08/drupal-commons-open-source-social-business/
4) Dee-Ann Leblanc, “Drupal Commons Social Business Software Released,” CMSwire, http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-cms/drupal-commons-social-business-software-released-008257.php
I think the open source movement is largely based on the assumption that there is a free lunch. Most developers to core open source code don’t expect to be paid for their work and most users of open source code don’t expect to pay for use of the code itself. To the extent that useful WordPress/Buddypress themes and plugins become proprietary, I think there should be some concern, partly because it undercuts the argument for open source software. Lastly, I believe that open, public discussion of a platform’s strengths and weaknesses is the best way to move an open source platform forward.
Thanks for the additional info / corrections.
It’s sometimes hard for me to keep track of all the various definitions of open and free. My impression from what you’ve said is that Drupal Commons is open and free to the same degree as Buddypress. It just has additional commercial options.
You apparently misread the review. By weak support, I meant that Tiki Wiki did not have the same quality of support as WordPress and Buddypress. I thought that was clear from the context (and, by the way, I’m a great fan of @LisaSabinWilson‘s books, which is why I mentioned their titles). In any case, I welcome any additional insights into the relative strengths of Buddypress and its peers.