The Obama administration has held a long term plan, to present their online presence as more owner and user friendly, by switching to the Drupal content management system last year, and dropping their proprietary system, therefor increasing usability. Taking this plan a step further, the administration, on Wednesday, released some of its custom code “to be used, reviewed and modified by anyone.”
What does this mean for the American people? For starters, a new, bigger and better portal for communicating with legislators a great deal easier than in the past. Placed in the public domain by the government’s I.T. gurus, is a bit of code which improves photo and video hosting abilities. This has the potential in create two-way traffic, allowing citizens to post on government websites, their personal content to bring notice to issues in their communities and cities.
The Obama administration has continued to preach transparency. In addition to great PR, Obama’s move should delight taxpayers. Through open source, the White House will be able to minimize the costs of its ginormous I.T. modernizing project, instead of the administration paying over the odds, for financially out of control, slowly moving government contracts.
There are four modules, seen fit for release to the public by Vivek Kundra which programmers will be clamoring for. Accessibility, scalability and communication are the initial concerns in the first wave open source code. Akamal, and Context HTTP Headers, are two of the code modules. These integrate whitehouse.gov with its content delivery network, and allows web masters to include metadata to their content.
Using a CMS, email service will be improved through the GovDelivery module. Enhancing the usability to watch video and view photos, put up by the government, The Node Embed module is the fourth.
Security issues should not be a concern in any of the code released. Bits of code deemed by the government to be safe, not risky, are all that will be released.