White House Opens Code Up to Critique

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Soon programmers and webmasters will be able to get their hands on the same programs the Obama Administration uses to construct and maintain its website.

A number of custom Drupal mods specifically designed for the creation and maintenance of the whitehouse.gov website have been released as open source software on The White House Blog. Drupal is an open source program that allows users to manage and construct website content, as well as attach their own modifications for specific effects.

“By releasing some of our code, we get the benefit of more people reviewing and improving it,” Senior Advisor to the CIO David Cole said. “This code is available for anyone to review, use, or modify. We’re excited to see how developers across the world put our work to good use in their own applications.”

It’s interesting to see how receptive the White House is to users modifying their original content and how enthusiastic they are to see their programs used by the general public. The modules, now publicly available, include a cache program that allows precise control over content, an HD network interface, a program that allows users to access and sign-up for a number of different mailing lists and services, and a program that makes image data more accessible to screen-reading technology used by the visually impaired, all programs the Administration feels users can benefit from. We can expect it’ll be closely monitoring the way people use and improve their programs, using this data to further improve its own operations.

Source: The White House Blog via Digital Trends

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