back to article Obama open sources custom White House code

The Obama White House has contributed code back to the Drupal community, six months after it made headlines by adopting the open source CMS. Dave Cole, a senior advisor to the CIO of the Executive Office of the President, announced the code release this afternoon during a keynote at the DrupalCon trade show in downtown San …


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  1. AlexS


    He should have chosen DotNetNuke.

  2. frank ly

    scalability is good

    "One of the main reasons that we adopted an open source solution is that it gives us scalability,.."

    Is this true? If you want scalability then you should not choose proprietary (closed source) software?

    1. copsewood


      Proprietary vendors are not going to understand the specialised scaling requirements of individual users as well as the users themselves, assuming the latter have a clue. Contributing patches upstream and maintaining them there reduces the duplication of effort involved in maintaining a local fork.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      With open source you can examine the source and decide for yourself whether it is going to be scalable enough for your organisation's needs. With proprietary software you only have the salesman's word or a reference site (if you are a big enough prospect).

    3. Ammaross Danan


      What to learn about scalability in closed-source or proprietary (yes, there can be a difference) situations?

      Licensing models are to be considered, not just ability to handle large databases, user counts, etc. How much did the old CMS system cost per-processor? How much for the clustering add-on? Add-on for database connectivity of your choice? Cost of (probably) running their will-only-run-on-this database? Per-processor and clustering costs for said database? OS licensing, since it only runs in Windows on IIS6 or somesuch restrictions?

      Contrast that to an open source solution that can be ran on various platforms and databases of your choosing. I think that scales quite well actually, and we haven't even started talking about capabilities for massive data and user counts....

  3. BrentRBrian

    Dubya supporters

    I doubt that Dubya supporters would care what the website ran on

    Obama using open source and contributing back means no more to me than Microsoft doing the same.

  4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Recently I've been thinking about open source and "rogue states"...

    ...any nation that the U.S. has an argument with, and trade barriers. For instance Cuba.

    I anticipate that the White House will regret it if the Cuban government web sites are found to be running on software that the White House contributed.

    Or, "truth" being what it is in political discourse in the U.S., if it is merely alleged that that is the case. Or if it is pointed out - I suppose correctly - that that -could- be the case.

    I myself, indeed, am not taking the trouble to check whether Cuba even respects "intellectual property", and in particular from overseas, or whether all their computers run on one cracked version of Windows 98. (If that's what their hardware supports.)

    It's rumour that counts.

    I don't think that White House programmers necessarily would feel bad about their software being used by Cuban sysadmins, who probably aren't particularly evil people. But they'd feel bad about embarrassing their boss.

    I also wonder whether FOSS going around trade sanctions will at some point be made a reason to close FOSS down. For instance, suppose IBM was told to stop contributing to Linux because their work was supporting enemy states.

    Then again, have I just caused a lot of trouble for causes that I like and respect?

    Or... suppose that software was published with an open source licence that says you can't use it in a country whose government supports, practises, or uses torture...

    ...where in the world would you have to take your laptop to in order to run it?

    1. Lars Silver badge


      I you are not trolling I think you have fairly rogue problems.

      And firstly I would like to point out that the only reason Cuba has remained a communist state is the US trade embargo.

      Also most of the state owned cars are US made, must be embarrassing too, but bye now, I think I lost your plot.

  5. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    But there are specific laws about software.

    Cuba uses Linux, Iran uses Linux, Syria uses Linux... why is it legal for anyone in the U.S. to contribute to Linux, or acceptable to use it?

    I use Linux, although not all the time because I have special requirements that it doesn't cover. But I can see "associating with the enemy" being the next campaign after patents against GPL and other free-like-beer software.

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