Development Seed has been one of the foremost Drupal agencies worldwide in recent times - and has even shaped the work of all the other agencies through projects such as Features, and distributions such as Open Atrium. They are very well respected in the community, and have brought a lot of positive attention and business to the Drupal project as a whole.
Recent projects, however, have been developed on node.js, and the company hasn’t reaped the anticipated commercial rewards from projects such as Managing News and Open Atrium into which it invested a lot of time and money.
Today it has emerged that all Drupal projects by Development Seed developers have been transferred to Frank Febbraro, CTO of Phase2 Technology. This includes Features, Messaging, Notifications, Case Tracker, Context, Spaces and many more. The Open Atrium install profile remains under the ownership of Jeff Miccolis of Development Seed, but all the modules that make up the distribution have been transferred.
Further, Drupal Radar, has learned recently that Development Seed has been referring enquiries for Drupal projects in developing countries - normally its core activity - to other agencies.
The community is already reacting. Matt Farina tweeted:
It looks like Phase2 now owns the features module. Interesting. http://drupal.org/project/features #drupal
Then Dave Reid tweeted:
Looks like @developmentseed has transferred its stack of Features/Context/Admin modules to @phase2tech. Thanks for all their hard work!
Also abandoned by @developmentseed: Spaces, Boxes, Rubik, Tao, Persistent URL, Strongarm, Feeds, Data. This is a big #Drupal change.
If @developmentseed has actually retired from Drupal, I proclaim today a day of mourning and of praise for their great work.
Of course, they may not be leaving altogether - perhaps just changing priorities. Most of the community will certainly be hoping this isn’t a complete departure.
There’s been no official announcement yet, and these reports are unconfirmed. We’re contacting Eric Gunderson, President of Development Seed, and others, for comment and will bring you updates as we learn more. Any further information is welcome to editor [at] drupalradar [dot] com.
Eric Gunderson of Development Seed has just given me this quote for publication:
“There is something awesome about to play out. Stay tuned, this is going to be hot […] Few more details need to be tight before we talk. Keep up the good work”
He tells me that details are still being worked out of their announcement, but that he will give an interview to DrupalRadar as soon as he can. We’ll bring you updates when we get them.
This suggests the coming announcement, whilst a major change, may still be positive for their involvement in Drupal, but we’ll have to wait and see.