With this release I also announced my intent to hand over the module to a new maintainer. Since I'm now increasingly active with affairs in the MySQL community, both hacking as well as other community tasks, it is prudent to not let old projects dangle without attention but to formally hand them over to fresh minds.
It is almost precisely 5 years since Footnotes was created, for Drupal 4.6, that is 5 major Drupal releases of history! The first version of Footnotes was created for this site, OpenLife.cc, since the Open Life book uses footnotes extensively and I didn't want to hand code them as html. The first public release apparently was for Drupal 4.7 in June 2006.
At that time Drupal was starting to get popular, but wasn't yet the obvious first choice it is today for any serious CMS website. One of the decisions I'm secretly proud of in my career history was the selection of Drupal some time in 2005 as the CMS of choice. At that time there were still perhaps 5 or more PHP based CMS's that were all competing for your attention - half of them were called SomethingNuke :-) In fact, the MySQL community today somewhat resembles that situation.
I liked Drupal for it's clarity in setting up the basic site, and good modularity and extensibility - which we needed in that first project and I've utilized ever since. And if you looked close enough, you could already then see it had a more vibrant community than the alternatives. Remember that any PHP code this old does NOT have object-oriented programming - the way Drupal modules "inherit" from one another is pretty clever, I always thought.
And here we are today, with Drupal being one of the Top 9 largest open source projects in the world - and as such, largest software projects in the world. It is always interesting to follow Dries managing through the rocketing growth both of the community and his own company. Today there are over 7000 modules on drupal.org and this has doubled since 2 years ago. 950 people committed code to Drupal 7 - I'm proud to be one of them with 1 patch that I pushed 3 years to get in! I wonder if we even know the total of all contributed module developers too? Come to think of it, Drupal might have more people involved than the Linux kernel? The Drupal 7 stats are over 3 years while a kernel release gets contributions over only 3 months, so maybe not. But they are close.
Anyway, it is my dream that one day MySQL development will see similar momentum. Leaving the Drupal community for now, that is what I will focus on next. And I hope there will be many others to share that dream!