I believe there will be no harm if Drupal community learns about an interesting discussion on Acquia's business practices going on currently in Wordpress community, namely on the personal blog of their project lead. Matt for Wordpress community is like Dries for us:


Personally I think it's just ok for Acquia staff-member to approach anyone with that kind of advertisement. It is just little awkward when another world-wide popular CMS' lead is targeted and invited to switch to Drupal :)

What worse is not Acquia's methods of expanding, but Acquia's blocking its competitors from getting listed on http://drupal.org/hosting. We (http://drupion.com) have applied numerous times and we meet all their requirements, however they keep asking for evidences of our contributions to the community and declining our requests. The Association never could present the evidences of what kind of great contributions to the community have been made by some of the following companies, which somehow got listed in "Other great hosts" section: 2020Media, CiviHosting, Cruiskeen, EchoDitto, Egressive Limited, Holistic Solutions' HotDrupal.com, Koumbit.org, Promet Solutions.

I am not talking about companies like GreenGeeks, BlueHost, A2hosting, Arvixe, Inmotion - capitalism works there perfectly - they pay money and the Association doesn't even care if those companies are specialized and knowledgable enough in Drupal, whether they comply with their own security requirements or not (as noted on http://groups.drupal.org/node/206978 number of companies listed on http://drupal.org/hosting fail to comply with the security team requirements). These companies just pay big money and get through. To me even the fact the Association needs funds to support its activities doesn't justify this kind of purely mercantile practice. It is simply not fair to the end-users, who have no idea they have better options than being sold to ordinary hosting company which doesn't care about Drupal, but has money to bribe the Association.

And what is saddening is that the Drupal Association is headed by Dries Buytaert, who, at the same time, is the head of hosting company called Acquia. Isn't it little controversial? And we at Drupion start to believe that it is simply not in the best interests of Acquia to let other Drupal-specialized hosting companies to get into that list. We have respected and loved this guy for years, but unfortunately commercial interests of Dries Buytaert have corrupted the whole idea of Drupal being an open-source project and providing equal opportunities for everybody in the community.

And I really regret that impervious stance of Dries Buytaert and his association is getting more and more ridiculous and causing more and more controversies within and outside of Drupal community.


futuredigitalmedia’s picture

Lol. Some of the comments below on matt's post. Created quite a stir.

dman’s picture

Can you spell out why everyone is OMG ROFL at that rather bland 3-paragraph email?

From what I see on that link, some marketroid employed by Acquia sent out a form letter to someone that was vaguely identified as being in the web-dev industry. I get the impression that Acquia is a business that employees over 300 folk nowadays, some of whose job it is probably to post out to "marketing leads".

Is everyone just finger-pointing because they have never seen a spammy email before? Is the joke that a spreadsheet listing a bunch of industry professionals included this guy and didn't get automatically filtered to exclude him from, the mailout because he's special?

I totally agree that the phrase "Redhat of Drupal" rings wierdly off-tone, but awkward language is sorta to be expected with marketing form-letters. I don't much like marketing cold-call letters, but in general terms it was probably at least relevant to its target segment.

What is the offensive line in that copy&paste marketing letter that makes you think a personal attack on Dries the human is the appropriate reaction?

It sounds like you've got a personal axe to grind with the company listings process. Ar you taking the opportunity to point at how "somebody on the web is making fun of the language in an a email that someone in a company that supports a product that is published on a website that I wasn't able to put my advert on without meeting the criteria - ha ha, someone sux" ?

What is the actual connection between your complaint and that blog post?

friendlymachine’s picture

I agree with most of what you're saying, but I have also wondered, where does Acquia end and Drupal begin? I'm not really clear on that. It's a very blurry line.

I don't know if the OP has a legitimate beef or not, but he has been a member for almost 7 years and he's made significant contributions. The email the Acquia rep sent is beside the point in my view. The WordPress guy acted like a prick when the Acquia rep obviously made an honest mistake.

I think there is no connection - maybe the OP is just blowing off some steam. But whether his particular complaint has merit or not, it doesn't undermine the fundamental issue he's bringing up. There are some conflict of interest issues here that virtually no one ever brings up. I think it's healthy to talk about it.

Just my two cents.

John Hannah
Friendly Machine

dman’s picture

I understand and agree that there are ongoing "conflict of interest" questions to be asked.
I disagree with your idea that "no one ever brings it up" though.

In *every single one* of the public presentations I've seen Dries present at, a question of this nature has been asked in the Q&A segment, and been answered frankly (often anticipated and addressed beforehand even).
In most of the blog posts where "Acquia" and the "Drupal" direction are mentioned together, you'll probably find this question given air-time.

Yes, it's a fair question to ask, and it has been asked and answered. And it's even fair to keep keeping it in mind as time goes forward.
It's not fair to say that nobody has ever thought to ask this question before, or to claim that it's never been addressed though.

This topic however has nothing to do with *either* that misdirected spam *or* someones inability to post a company profile listing. It's just a bit of a rant I think.

I searched and could not find either the unapproved company node, or any accompanying issue that would have been started to support the validation process - and I do have "promote" rights and I don't think the "numerous applications" described here are hidden from me. Everyones company listings are published and findable in the search, even if they are not fully promoted to the top-list of endorsed hosters. I just can't find any footprint for Drupion.

friendlymachine’s picture

I really don't have a dog in this fight. I think Drupal and Acquia are too close for comfort. I've heard what Buytaert has to say, and I'm unconvinced that everything is hunky dory. But it's just my opinion, man.

John Hannah
Friendly Machine

WorldFallz’s picture

You're absolutely right-- this is nothing more than a rant by someone disgruntled at not being listed as a featured provider or whatever they call it these days.

afaik, the origins of the grudge appear to be security related and begin with http://groups.drupal.org/node/206978. I won't bother regurgitating it here.

As a side note, i take this post with even more than a grain of salt since it's from someone who repeatedly violates the hosting forum guidelines (as well as in this very post before it was edited out) and clearly has an axe to grind.

And no, there is no secret hosting company syndicate or cabal, lol. As mentioned there are lots of valid CoI concerns to be addressed, but imo this isn't one of them.

yngens’s picture

You might ignore the connection, but to me Acquia is not only expanding using such doubtful methods disclosed by Wordpress lead Mat externally in the outer world, but also overpowers other Drupal-oriented hosting companies abusing Dries name, authority and position in DA internally within the Drupal community. I am not going to argue further with you on this, but have to state we've been around here for many years and have full moral rights to voice out our concerns and frustrations. Moreover, it is ridiculous to doubt we did not apply since if you read through http://groups.drupal.org/node/206978, then you will see we were ones who helped to get even worse earlier policy about /hosting page changed.

Now, to make it official here is my request for another change: http://drupal.org/node/1956666

I ask those who are not afraid of Dries and company to voice out their support to our request as no doubt there will be plenty of those who will dislike our position and rush to support Acquia, Dries and headed by him Drupal Association, who controls /hosting page. There is an undeniable conflict of interests here, which can be addressed simply by removing that section for "Other great hosts" or by finally letting all other Drupal-oriented hosting companies to get listed. Put your sympathies and antipathies aside and try to see the essence of our request, which pursues the aim to protect the interests of Drupal community in general.

And believe me we've been trying hard and since long to get this issue resolved without disturbing and abusing the Drupal community's attention, however being nice with DA doesn't help at all. You will just get ignored, your questions remain unanswered, unfortunately.

bojanz’s picture

The ugly behavior and name calling that drupion has resorted to (both here, on groups.d.o and on twitter) has really cooled me off any arguments they want to make. No wonder they couldn't co-operate long enough to get themselves listed on the hosting page.

dman’s picture

Looks like the marketing letter worked perfectly!
It seems that Acwia is taking over the world like a corporate giant after all - exactly like yngens fears :The Red Press of Drupal. It was all part of a sinister plot, and yngens saw it first!