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In 2000, two University of Antwerp students, Dries Buytaert and Hans Snijder, needed an internet connection they could rely on. But permanent internet connections were rare for Antwerp students. So, Dries and Hans set up a wireless bridge between their dorms, sharing Hans's ADSL modem connection among eight students. It worked, but they thought something was missing: a place to talk to each other.
Behind the name
Dries turned that missing feature into an opportunity. He started a small news site with a web board. He and his friends could post notes about the status of their network, talk about where they were having dinner, share interesting news, and more. They'd created a small content framework.
For a while, the software they'd built was nameless. But when Dries graduted and left his dorm, they needed a way to stay in touch, so they decided to put the internal site online. While looking for the right domain name, Dries considered "dorp.org." "Dorp" is the Dutch word for "village," so it fit the small community they'd started.
When checking to see if "dorp.org" was available, Dries mistyped "dorp" as "drop." The mistake stuck. Once drop.org was live on the web, its audience changed. It attracted new members, and they started talking about new web technologies, such as moderation, syndication, rating, and distributed authentication. Drop.org slowly turned into a personal experimentation environment, driven by discussions sprung from an ever-changing flow of ideas. These ideas became methods and features in the software running drop.org.
It wasn't until January 2001 that Dries decided to release the software behind drop.org. The idea was to let others use and extend the experimentation platform so even more people could explore new paths for web development. He called the software "Drupal." Pronounced "droo-puhl," the name derives from the English pronunciation of the Dutch word "druppel," which means "drop."
To see all the changes to the software since its initial release, check out Drupal’s release history.
The making of the Druplicon
Drupal needed a unifying symbol. The logo's concept is based on a drop—the same theme that inspired the software's name. The first ideas were simple: a drop within a circle, a circle within a drop. But just like with the software itself, new ideas emerged from the community.
One idea was to use a cartoon-like drop with a face. A 3D version created by Steven Wittens (Steven) was a great example of the community's commitment to innovation. Ultimately, though, the community needed something it could easily share and work with. That's when Kristjan Jansen (Kika) put two sideways drops together to form an infinity symbol. When placed inside a filled circle, they looked like eyes and the drop resembled a face. With contributions from Wittens, the Druplicon was born: a stylised drop with "infinity" eyes, a curved nose, and a mischievous smile.
There are more versions of the logo in the media kit.