Acquia, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert's new company, took to the stage last Thursday at the Launch Pad session at the web 2.0 Expo in SF. Although they didn't win the people's choice for best startup (this honor went to Triggit), their soon to be released Carbon and Spokes programs are still plenty enticing.
What is Carbon?
Acquia was formed by Dries Buytaert to provide value-added products and services for Drupal. Their first offering, Carbon, is a commercially-supported release of Drupal 6 that will consists of Open Source Drupal 6 core plus a group of popular contributed modules.
It can be thought of as the equivalent of Red Hat distributions of Open Source Linux in that it's essentially a commercial supported distribution of Open Source software. The benefit of such a system is that it offers users all the glories of open source software and community support along with business-quality support and response time guarantees.
Drupal, which we've covered many a time, is a premier Open Source social publishing system with over 2 million downloads under its belt. It delivers a wide range of applications like single or multi-user blogs, wikis, community networks, digital media portals and web content publishing and management.
The focus of the Carbon distro, first announced on March 3, will be on social publishing applications, that is, allowing customers to quickly build interactive, community-based publishing sites that include a combination of editorial and user-generated content. Carbon Modules Included with Carbon, along with the latest release of Drupal 6 core, will be a carefully selected set of modules chosen based on their relevance to common social publishing use cases for both public-facing web sites and intranet team collaboration sites.
The module set is still under review, but it currently includes things like:
* Page layout and Views: Panels 2, Views 2
* Custom content: CCK, Date, Imagefield, File
* Lightweight markup: Marksmarty
* Scheduled publishing: Workflow, Actions
* Image management: As fields - Imagefield, Imagecache; As nodes - Image, Image assist
* Events Calendar, Forums,
* Comment spam filter: Mollom * Content rating: Voting API, Fivestar
* Tag clouds: Tagadelic
* Utilities: Primary Tag, Custom pager, JS Tools, Google Maps, Google Analytics, Wiki freelinks
* Authentication: Persistent login, Securesite, LDAP, OpenID
Carbon site owners will also have access to Acquia's special update notification service, called Spokes, which will provide site owners personalized alerts with actionable recommendations. Not much else is known about Carbon, but if all goes well, Acquia will begin shipping it in the second half of the year.
Acquia on the LaunchPad at web 2.0
Acquia had a chance to show their stuff at the Web 2.0 Expo Launch Pad, a session in which six startups have five minutes each to present their wares on stage to a panel of VCs and an audience.
The companies receive feedback from panelists in real time, and depending on how well they do, can have the option to receive non-binding term sheets for financing. The winner was Triggit, a start up that lets website publishers easily add advertising to their sites with a simple WYSIWYG editor. Visit Acquia for more information.