Packt Publishing in England has named Drupal the best open source CMS for 2008.
This is the same award WordPress won in 2007.
UPDATE: Bryan House of Acquia writes to say that WordPress won the 2007 award as best social networking CMS, while Drupal won an overall CMS category. (Curious if Drupal finished second in the category WordPress won, but that's the source of my confusion.)
So has Drupal overtaken WordPress? That's hard to do, in either politics or business, and maybe we're comparing apples to oranges.
That's because in its latest press release Packt said Drupal won this award last year. (Not true.)
Also, when our own Dennis Howlett learned of last year's decision, he told Larry Dignan WordPress was not a CMS at all. Larry then corrected his own post to note that ZDNet, which runs WordPress, also runs a separate CMS on top of it.
So are Drupal and WordPress competitors, or not? My guess is they are. The "rat's nest" of CMS systems Larry refers to is typical in operations that grow higgledy-piggledy, from the bottom-up and more on the side.
This describes a lot of companies, not just media companies. We buy tools to do jobs. They do the jobs, then the tools expand to do other jobs for which we already have tools and it becomes chop suey.
But imagine you're new to all this, or you have finally decided to rationalize things, perhaps in an effort to save money. Are you choosing between Drupal and WordPress?
Because Dries Buytaert and Jay Batson are building a good team to support Acquia, which the open source product benefits from. By contrast, Matt Mullenweg's team at Automattic seems a touch less organized. (Really, Matt, your job is to eat bar-b-q?)
A corporate sponsor can give an open source project shape, direction, and momentum, even though it's a small part of the whole. What that tells me is this race is far from over. Dries has had a better 2008. Will Matt have a better 2009?
Thanks to their competition we all will.