Meeting Joshua Lawrence, a Footnotes user, at the Drupal booth of the MySQL conference

hingo's picture

I have to confess I'm kind of a wannabe hacker. I think of myself as a developer, yet in practice I always end up being a customer facing person like a Sales Engineer, a Trainer or basically anything where you do more talking than coding. But there is this tiny little Drupal module, footnotes, that I'm actually the proud maintainer of for several years now.

So as a delayed note from the MySQL Conference... I visited the Drupal booth. Despite jet lag + late nights + information overload from the conference + shock of being bought by Oracle + both of us being out of business cards, I think the guy I spoke to was Joshua Lawrence from Chapter Three, a Drupal contractor shop. I told him that I did use Drupal for a few projects and that I'm proud of the time when as an architect I decided for Drupal a long time ago when it was not yet clearly the nr 1 PHP CMS.

Then I realised that of course it's more than that, since I'm actually a maintainer of a Drupal module. Joshua said, oh yea, we use Footnotes a lot at Chapter Three. I realised this was the first time I met a live person that had used Footnotes. He couldn't name many of their clients by name, except for Stanford University which he did mention. I briefly surfed around various Stanford sites but wasn't lucky enough to spot any footnotes. If you spot a site where it is used, I'd be happy to hear about it (at

I get some feedback from happy Footnotes users, and the occasional feature request (like Monty, my code of course never has any bugs ;-). But it was great to meet a live user of it, not to mention to hear it has been picked up by the professional Drupal shops.

Footnotes has been a great example of the power of Open Source. I created it to scratch a personal itch - well, this site really. Drupal's great modular architecture and documentation made it really easy to implement and it is less than 1000 lines of code. Since it is well defined and restricted what a Drupal filter can or should do, I can point most feature requests in some other directions, and those that end up being implemented are usually relatively simple. And sometimes someone else implements them for me :-)

I also advertised to Joshua that some of his devs could spend time trying ot get commited my fix to the broken URL filter, since probably a Drupal insider could have more luck getting it committed than me. But I haven't heard back from anyone. Since they met over 100 people at the booth, you might not always remember everything. (Not that there is any urgency to the issue anyway.)

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My own little open source project: Released Footnotes 2.2 ov's picture


[...] like solving crosswords or something, I knew from the feature requests it must have some users. Last year I actually met one professional Drupal coder who uses Footnotes. When creating the newest release, I realised actually provides module usage statistics. [...]

Bon Voyage, Drupal Footnotes module! |'s picture


[...] like when I found out that my book had been downloaded over 10.000 times within the first year.) In 2008 I met in person someone who used my module in his Drupal [...]

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