There's no shortage of people willing to rhapsodize about why their favorite open source content management system is better than everyone else's. So it's sure to be interesting to watch three skilled, dedicated teams trying to prove the superiority of Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress, respectively, in a three-way showdown next month at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival.Earlier this week Palanstir's George DeMet announced the details of the contest on his blog. From DeMet's post:
...the project is essentially an "Iron Chef"-style competition pitting three teams of all-star Web developers from the Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress communities against each other to develop the same Web site in each of their chosen open source content management platforms.
DeMet also posted the project specification as well as a set of design concepts from author and contest judge Mark Boulton.
Although they'll have almost a month to mentally prepare, starting on March 16 each team will have only 100 hours to actually build a site to the specifications DeMet has laid out. The teams of five people each are being led by Colleen Carroll for Drupal, Arno Zjilstra for Joomla, and Matt Mullenweg for WordPress.
Tip of the hat to Seth Gottlieb's Content Here blog, where I first read about the showdown. Gottlieb also points out the few reasons why this may not be a completely fair fight, notably that George DeMet, one of the main organizers of the contest, runs a consultancy that specializes in Drupal.
Nevertheless, I love this sort of thing, particularly because there's nothing up for grabs other than bragging rights. Even if it's going to be impossible to crown an undisputed champion, real-world proof-of-concept exercises like this can go a long way toward getting the word out about excellent free content management tools. I'll be eagerly awaiting the results.