Summary: Making Views part of Drupal "core" will make its future more secure, but will take substantial resources. Therefore, please donate 1/1,000th of your annual income ($50 if you make $50,000/year, for example) using this widget.
Now, the why.
Few Drupal sites could exist without Views, which lets site builders easily combine and display data. For example, let's say your site includes employees and store locations: Views lets you produce a list of employees, a map of what stores they work at, and a schedule of when they're working.
These are typical requirements, but without Views you'd have to know PHP and MySQL to make them happen. With Views, an intermediate-level site builder without programming experience -- like me -- can make truly professional sites.
Views is one of Drupal's strongest competitive advantages, and why I created a video training series about it. I've never heard of a working site built without Views.
Maintainer Earl Miles' original post gives the details. In short:
There's a (reasonable) argument that Views would bloat a Drupal core that should remain small. I disagree. For discussion, see this thread on Drupal.org.
Simply put, it's the simplest way to contribute. As Earl wrote, the project will also put other resources to good use, and (as always) your help actually working on the project would be greatly appreciated.
But money is liquid. You can give any amount, at any time, without any other requirements. It's convertible to plane tickets, catering, hosting, and other things that project maintainers need. (Note that the money generally doesn't go to pay developers: They're either volunteering their valuable time, or being sponsored by companies such as Acquia.) I propose that you donate 1/1,000th of your annual income because if you work with Drupal, Views has probably earned you at least ten times that much.
From earlier initiatives, Earl and his team have proven that they use such money well. So do it: You'll feel better every time you work on your (Views-enabled) site.
It's been a busy few months since ending my time at Acquia last October. I've returned to freelancing, bettered by having worked with some of the best people in the business: It was a pleasure to see them at DrupalCon Denver, and I've been enjoying our continued (albeit changed) good relationship.
One result of leaving is that it gave me time to create a long-overdue course for lynda.com: Drupal 7 Advanced Training. My other courses aim to teach specific skills, such as creating a store with Drupal and using Drupal to display complex data. Drupal 7 Advanced Training is a general tutorial for those who already have basic Drupal skills.
It's intended as a follow-up to the course that's proven by far my most popular: Drupal 7 Essential Training. As usual, the new course gives away a few videos, while a free 7-day pass provides full access.
Here's the intro video:
It was a great pleasure to deliver the keynote talk to the first-ever DrupalCamp Western New York, held in downtown Buffalo on October 14-15. The camp's theme was "Hello, Universe", which you probably know as an expansion of the programmer's meme, "Hello, World". The idea is that "the web is wider than you think" -- and that Drupal is expanding to fill the space.
I agree with the premise that Drupal is growing beyond its past uses, and used my time to examine how its spread will affect the culture of Drupal. This is a very personal matter for me, from having been part of other communities whose increase alienated their founders, eventually to their doom.
But I'm optimistic about the Drupal community; watch to see why, and how we can foster its growth beyond the world it now occupies.
(Many thanks to Stephen Rosenthal of Caramax Studio for the high-quality video!)
I said that two new lynda.com video courses would be coming out soon, and here they are:
There are a few free videos for each course at the above links, and a free 7-day pass gives you access to both full courses, along with hundreds of other from lynda.com.
Here's the intro video from the Drupal Commerce course:
...and the one from "Drupal 7: Reporting and Visualizing Data".
lynda.com has now released five of my Drupal courses (which you can watch for free, by the way), and there are two more coming soon. Part of the company's model is to include exercise files for each course, so that students can (a) follow along with the same assets the instructor uses, and (b) jump in at any point.
For Drupal courses, the first criterion is easy to solve: We just include the same graphics and text I use to create the model site, and instruct students to add them as they go. But Drupal doesn't have a good way to let students jump into the course in the middle. Such a packaging system needs to:
Those are the challenges. On the other hand, we can make some assumptions that make the job easier:
I tried several solutions, even attempting to commission an all-in-one solution. Previous courses used varying methods, with varying degrees of success — and they usually required too much explanation. Here's what I finally settled on:
How would you solve this problem?