Drupalcon Lille 2023: Dries Buytaert's Keynote aligned with Smile's R&D initiatives!

  • 27 Oct 2023

The European Drupalcon 2023, which Smile had the honor of sponsoring, has just concluded in Lille, and I wanted to share here the insights inspired by the keynote speech given by Dries Buytaert, the creator of Drupal (this keynote is affectionately known as the "Driesnote" within the Drupal community).


This Driesnote took the form of a story and was illustrated for the occasion using generative AI (Midjourney, if my information is correct).


Keynote Drupal


The story begins in the Drupal Village, which features houses of all sizes and has a democratic organization. Dries took this opportunity to reiterate the 8 core values in the Drupal ecosystem: creativity, flexibility, scalability, accessibility, collaboration, empowerment, security, and freedom.

In the rest of the story, we follow Drupal's Journeys through the surrounding villages and the lessons it learned from them. I'll let you discover the rich metaphors used to analyze tools like React, Contentful, Wix, or Adobe, but I'll summarize it this way: Dries wants Drupal to draw inspiration from the strengths of all these software products without inheriting their weaknesses. This means that a Drupal project should become easier to initiate, simpler to use, and lighter to maintain.

In particular, numerous developments aimed at simpler and more powerful content editing were announced. This gives me a smooth transition to talk about the Streamlined CMS, an internal project funded by Smile's R&D budget.



From the need to offer our clients an easy-to-use design system approach, our Streamlined CMS platform was born, based on Drupal, an open-source CMS that is one of the market leaders.

Depending on your needs, several strategies are possible, from the simplest to the most ambitious:

  • Use an existing design system supported by the Streamlined CMS.

- Bootstrap's design system.
- The French government's design system.

  • Configure Bootstrap's design system to match your branding (configurable in the back office).
  • Implement your design system into the Streamlined CMS, allowing you to produce future sites at an optimized cost.
  • Create your design system with UX Republic, Smile Groups's design experts, if you don't have one yet.


While the Streamlined CMS is a Drupal distribution designed by Smile using its R&D budget, it relies on modules developed by the community, especially those in the UI Suite ecosystem :

Smile actively contributes to all these modules, and the code used in our distribution is entirely open source and widely distributed, ensuring no vendor lock-in.

This project was presented at the Drupalcon to an enthusiastic audience.



An important aspect of the Streamlined CMS is that it is a Drupal project for our clients, and as such, it aligns with Dries' keynote, confirming that Drupal software is, and must remain, a champion of the open web.

To illustrate this point, let me tell you what happened at our booth.




One of our clients, whom we had invited to Drupalcon, asked us how our Streamlined CMS would handle the fact that, if Dries's wishes come true, some elements of Streamlined CMS would become duplications of native Drupal features. I was delighted to see that, without prior consultation because we had just learned of Dries's announcements, the lead developer of Streamlined CMS and I had almost the same response:

"We will, as we are already doing, advocate for the modules we have chosen and contribute to being integrated as much as possible into the standard Drupal distribution. However, if other equivalent options are chosen, we will gradually decommission the modules we use to replace them with future native Drupal features."

I think this is a beautiful illustration of the spirit of efficient and open governance within the Drupal community.

I invite you to explore the last part of the Dries Note, which focuses on marketing ambitions to promote, and I hope to have the pleasure of demonstrating the Streamlined CMS to you soon.


Feel free to contact us.