White Goes Open Source

It’s being widely reported that the White House has moved its main website, whitehouse.gov, onto an open source platform.  This is big news for the open source movement.

The details of the move are that whitehouse.gov has moved its content onto Drupal running on a Linux server.  Drupal is a leading content management system.

Tim O’Reilly, a leader in the open source movement, hailed the move as a big win for open source.  O’Reilly quotes John Scott of Open Source for America (a group advocating open source adoption by government):

This is great news not only for the use of open source software, but the validation of the open source development model. The White House’s adoption of community-based software provides a great example for the rest of the government to follow.

The move was widely hailed in the FOSS community.  Here’s another quote from blogger Sean Micheal Kerner:

The move by the White House means a few things to me about the direction of the Obama Administration and also about Drupal itself.  For the new President, he has made numerous commitments to have an open government. With the new Drupal powered WhiteHouse.gov not only is the content open, but so is the underlying code that delivers the content. Can you get more open than that?  For Drupal, it means a very high profile site that will, by virtue of the open source model, actually contribute enhancements back to the global open source Drupal community.  No doubt, the government’s security experts (and hackers alike) will test whitehouse.gov in an aggressive manner. Any improvement (or flaws) would be contributed back to the community and benefit millions of users, not just whitehouse.gov.

As Lerner concludes,  the White House move shows that FOSS isn’t just for hobbyists any more.

Way to go Barack!

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