Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

WhiteHouse.gov Releases Open Source Code

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the of-by-for-and-to-the-people dept.

Government 161

schliz writes "The White House has released four custom modules for the Drupal content management system. The modules address scalability, communication, and accessibility for disabled users, and the release is expected to benefit both the Drupal community and the WhiteHouse.gov site as the code is reviewed and improved by the open source community." Reader ChiefMonkeyGrinder adds an opinion piece with a somewhat envious view from the UK: "Open source is treated as something akin to devil-worshipping in some parts of government. So, the idea that a major project in the government backyard would be based on something as basic as Drupal is pretty far-fetched. No, this side of the Atlantic would have involved a closed-tender process; a decision made [behind] closed doors based on proprietary software and we'd be completely in the dark about costs, about delays, and about functionality."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Excellent ! (0, Troll)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954494)

Great move. Other governments should follow. Just as all of you should follow my first post :-P

Re:Excellent ! (4, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954584)

Let's do that then :
Trustbird [trustedbird.org] is a project led by the French Gendarmerie (a kind of police) in order to add military cryptography and chain-of-command features into thunderbird. It has been released publicly.

Re:Excellent ! (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954614)

Ahhh... I used to live and work in France, and dealt with the DGA a couple of times. I had not thought such a nasty outfit - they ARE arms dealers, after all - to make such a move. I am nicely surprised.

Re:Excellent ! (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954946)

Actually one hand does not know what the other does. Open source acceptance is not widespread in French public offices, but when one does manage to keep lobbies at bay, these kind of initiatives happen.

Re:Excellent ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954708)

Trustbird is a project led by the French Gendarmerie (a kind of police) in order to add military cryptography and chain-of-command features into thunderbird. It has been released publicly.

How much cryptography do you need to receive the order to surrender? ;)

France: a nation of warriors. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955108)

It's always amusing to see ignorant Americans ridicule the French, even though the French have known warfare for thousands of years longer than America has even existed.

When the French have seen war, it has been on their own soil most of the time. They have seen entire generations fight to the death for their freedom, and that's only within the past hundred years. Meanwhile, America has barely even been scratched on its home soil. Pearl Harbor wasn't even on mainland America, but thousands of miles away. And during some battles of WWI, the French would lose a number of soldiers and civilians every 10 minutes of fighting equivalent to that of the American losses on 9/11.

The French have shown more valor, bravery and courage under fire than America ever has. The French are true warriors, and true defenders of freedom.

Re:France: a nation of warriors. (0, Flamebait)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955272)

Yeah. How'd that work out for them in World War II?

Re:France: a nation of warriors. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955608)

Beyond that, they are America's oldest and most loyal ally. We may have a "special relationship" with the U.K., but how many times have we been at war with France?

Re:France: a nation of warriors. (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955878)

No one who has studied warfare doubts the French soldiers. The French leaders, on the other hand, tend to be panic-stricken, egotistical and unwilling to believe the reality in front of them. Which is why France has the reputation for surrender that it does: it's not the soldiers, but the leaders, who fall apart.

Re:France: a nation of warriors. (-1, Flamebait)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956272)

It would be hard to claim the french were the 'french' before the invasion of the (german) franks in 496, and have therefore known warfare at best for about one thousand years, not thousands. A more realistic date for the foundation would be at least 843.

And history suggests they pretty much suck at war, though they may have been brave, it's hard to imagine they were more brave than people who have been successful in war. France has been chronically conquered by others (including the franks!).

Re:France: a nation of warriors. (0, Redundant)

doug (926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956554)

AC,
you are basically right that the French have fought for centuries, and they've done well in most of those wars. With Napoleon they took on the whole world and nearly won. But since 1870 France has pretty much lost every war it has been in. In WWI the French did do most of the fighting, but it wasn't until the Brittish and Americans showed up in numbers that they started winning. France was simply a battleground and a footnote in WWII: France was a Major Power in May 1940, and before the end of June it had surrendered. The wars in Indochine (Vietnam) and Algiera weren't been any better. After a 140 years without a major victory, France's reputation as a nation of warriors is tarnished, and so it will remain until France wins something on its own.

BTW: I said as much when I lived in France. Yes, I'm perfectly capable of being an ugly American when I feel like it. This point of view wasn't popular, but what could they say?

- doug

PS: The French did win a battle with Greenpeace [wikipedia.org] in 1985, but I don't think that counts as winning a war.

Re:Excellent ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955112)

How much cryptography do you need to play a major role in winning US independence?

I fixed your typo.

Re:Excellent ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955154)

Are you American? If so, you should already know [warof1812.ca] all about surrender.

Re:Excellent ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955516)

Don't even try that shit. First of all, nobodies grandchildren's grandchildren are even alive of anyone who was around in 1812 so nobody really knows what even happened. Contrast that with WWII. Personally, I think all French should be put to death as nazi sympathizers. You are all a disgrace to humanity.

Re:Excellent ! (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955900)

Did we surrender Drupal to Canada? I seem to have not had any interest in RTFA, but that still sounds like a bit of a stretch.

Re:Excellent ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955998)

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!LOL

That's the best you can come up with? The war of 1812? One general with a few hundred men surrendered and you are comparing that with the entire nation of France which, as a poster noted below, are pure nazi sympathizers surrendering wholesale with barely a shot fired. The French are pathetic and you very poignantly highlight this fact with your ridiculous comparison. You frog bastards disgust me. Fucking coward motherfuckers.

Re:Excellent ! (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954992)

is a project led by the French Gendarmerie (a kind of police) .

And British BT. One in the eye for the negative summary.

Re:Excellent ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955032)

Yeah, that's right, bitched! Not only did AAPL hit $270 a share (I got in at something like $72:)), their market cap surpassed the mighty MSFT. Suck it up M$ fanboys, your brief moment of IT hegemony is coming to a fast close.

*Does happy dance.*

Re:Excellent ! (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955882)

Someone modded this down to "troll". Definitely some people around today who have no sense for fucking humor. Godverdomme.

Don't Install (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31956596)

Don't install this source. It will redistribute your cpu cycles.

Does this mean open source is socialism? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954514)

capcha:idiotic

Re:Does this mean open source is socialism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954620)

capcha:idiotic

"capcha" is right on the money; described your comment to a tee.

Obviously more evidence (5, Funny)

Xeriar (456730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954518)

that our government is sliding towards communism!

Re:Obviously more evidence (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954558)

Well, the mantra of communism is "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." That's... pretty much exactly how open source works. Everyone sees the benefits regardless of how much work they put into it, whether that be designing the architecture the system, writing code, submitting bug reports, or even just submitting crash reports.

Re:Obviously more evidence (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954634)

Well, the mantra of communism is "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." That's... pretty much exactly how open source works. Everyone sees the benefits regardless of how much work they put into it, whether that be designing the architecture the system, writing code, submitting bug reports, or even just submitting crash reports.

And the only reason that works with software is you can copy it ad infinitum.

You can't copy physical objects, which is why communism is an abject failure in the material world: when everyone gets what they need - no more, no less - there are no incentives for success. And that's ignoring the fact that Marxism childishly assumes all economic transactions are zero-sum and wealth can never be created.

Re:Obviously more evidence (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955016)

And that's ignoring the fact that Marxism childishly assumes all economic transactions are zero-sum and wealth can never be created.

Where did you dig up that nonsense? Yes, communism consistently fails because it never manages to come up with a viable alternative to the market for setting prices and distributing commodities. However, there is nothing in Marxism implying that transactions are zero-sum. Marx himself, in his sections on economics, is practically orthodox Adam Smith. He is completely in agreement with Smith's stuff about gains from specialization of labor(the famous Pin Factory) and was, if anything, even more fixated on the productivity advantages of capital goods, and the way in which capital goods could be combined with labor to produce a surplus with which to produce more capital goods. The only real difference was that he took the (wholly orthodox) notion that "In a competitive market, the price of a commodity is equal to its marginal cost of production" combined that with the (also wholly orthodox) idea of "labor as commodity", and drew the unpleasant conclusion that "in a competitive market, the price of labor will be equal to the cost of bare subsistence for the laborer."(and, given what the pre-welfare-state industrial slums looked like, this wasn't exactly without empirical validation)... The whole marxist idea of labor being oppressed by capital rested on this conclusion, and on the idea(explicitly opposed to the "zero-sum" notion) that capital + labor would generate surplus value; but that, since the market for unskilled industrial labor was extremely competitive, capital would end up holding basically all the surplus value, reinvesting it in capital goods, and obtaining even more surplus value in the next round, while labor would always be stuck at a subsistence level.

Later Marxists were fascinated with(and frequently sought to emulate) to work of industrialist innovators like Ford and Taylor, precisely because they recognized that those guys where on the cutting edge of non-zero-sum transactions and maximal productivity gains from the combination of capital and labor with scientific management techniques.

Obviously, none of this denies the existence of random pot-smoking dorm-room "communists" who wear Che shirts and think that "work is slavery, man!"; but the intellectual underpinnings of Marxism and communism(as well as the activities of communist states, which tended to explicitly emphasize the swiftest possible transition from near-zero-sum subsistence activities to high-surplus industrial ones) is actually in nearly complete agreement with orthodox capitalist theorists about the non-zero-sumness of transactions, and the gains from trade and specialization of labor. Communists just don't like how those gains are distributed. Unfortunately for them, they never hit on a more viable mechanism.

Re:Obviously more evidence (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955524)

And that's ignoring the fact that Marxism childishly assumes all economic transactions are zero-sum and wealth can never be created.

There is an equally childish school of thought that grabbing up whatever you can get your hands on is no crime, since you must by definition have "earned" it and therefore are entitled to it. Both extremes are wrong.

Re:Obviously more evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31956678)

And that's ignoring the fact that Marxism childishly assumes all economic transactions are zero-sum and wealth can never be created.

There is an equally childish school of thought that grabbing up whatever you can get your hands on is no crime, since you must by definition have "earned" it and therefore are entitled to it. Both extremes are wrong.

While the extreme you described actually exists and is plentiful in modern society, the extreme the previous poster described is not at all what Marxism actually teaches.

Re:Obviously more evidence (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954738)

With the one significant difference of OSS being "From each according to his abilities, if he feels like it, or is redistributing modified binaries, to each according to his needs if something matching his needs happens to be available, and because the provider of that something voluntarily made it available.

The difference between being voluntary(yes, BSD trolls, people are legally compelled to release their modifications if they distribute binaries from GPLed source; but they take on this contractual obligation voluntarily) and being a command-and-control scheme is not insignificant.

Looked at in a slightly different light, OSS development is basically a variation on the "consortium development" model, adjusted for the fact that, since duplicating data is virtually free, lawyers and restrictions to prevent free-riding are actually more expensive than free-riders are. BSD-style OSS makes no legal effort to rein-in free riding, either ignoring the issue or depending on the fact that maintaining your own fork is often more of a POS than staying up with the mainline, while GPL-style OSS makes no legal effort to go after free-riding users; but does seek to compel free-riding developers to contribute.

The handy thing about it is that, because it does have a slightly communistic flavor, it works for and appeals to your idealistic sharing hippie types; but, as experience has demonstrated, it is surprisingly compatible with capitalist incentive structures(just look at how much kernel development gets done, basically because large corporations find it profitable), and it involves basically zero state coercion, aside from legal enforcement of voluntary private contracts. Thus, it is largely agreeable to everyone from communists to libertarians, with the exception only of rent-seeking corporatist scum.

Not even a question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955696)

You don't have to get technical about it. Communism, like any form of government, requires that the centralized power hold a special "right" to employ physical force (or threat thereof) as their means.

Open source development, of course, is founded on the principle of voluntary association. That's exactly what makes it work: the participants work because they want to work, not because some centralized power is threatening them with coercion if they don't work.

The difference is so fundamental, I can't even believe this "question" comes up.

Re:Obviously more evidence (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956392)

I've always wondered what would happen if I took an Open sourced project and used it in a closed source solution of my own. The only way I'd come under legal threat is if the Open Sourced community notices me, and I figure there are some weird loopholes in copyright law that I could mandate that no one be allowed to view my source.

Re:Obviously more evidence (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956598)

Depends: If BSD, nothing(so long as you followed any attribution requirements).

If GPL, nothing, unless you distributed your proprietary binaries, at which point you would be legally obligated to offer the recipients of those binaries access to the source for no more than reasonable costs of reproduction(this is a common misconception: lots of outfits comply with the GPL just by slapping a zipped source bundle on an FTP server somewhere, just to save the hassle; but your legal obligation is only to recipients of the derivative binaries). If you did distribute, and they caught you, you could theoretically be on the hook for Real Serious (civil) Penalties. Thanks to our friends in big content, and the proprietary software industry, you can really get your ass kicked for knowingly committing commercial copyright violation. And, although there exists the sentiment that "GPL=free hippie stuff", GPL violations are, in fact, just as serious as violations of any proprietary license agreement. As a matter of style, the SFLC and similar tend to prefer cooperative approaches, and view litigation as a last resort; but that is purely voluntary. They would be legally entitled to nail you to the wall. Such case law as exists has upheld OSS.

(What I don't know, and have never heard about a test case involving, would be some dodge like incorporating OSS into your product; but having contractual language in your sale agreement that requires recpients to agree not to exercise their rights under the GPL, thus keeping the code de-facto closed.)

Re:Obviously more evidence (1)

ZaphDingbat (451843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956648)

See the various busybox lawsuits, where they found strings related to the busybox source in various products. I believe you can be compelled to show your source code in response to a subpoena, but it won't necessarily become public record.

It also scares me that you think there could be "some weird loopholes in copyright law." If you don't know what copyright does for you, why the heck are you in a creative industry? Go! Read! Learn how copyright works and how and why the GPL works within it.

Re:Obviously more evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954790)

That breaks down when there's more need than ability. I need photoshop. You give me gimp. FAIL.

Re:Obviously more evidence (3, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954960)

You probably don't actually NEED Photoshop. Few people do.

Re:Obviously more evidence (1)

precaheed (764439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955102)

Needs are infinite, ability is not. Scrote.

Re:Obviously more evidence (0, Troll)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955860)

Well, the mantra of communism is "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." That's... pretty much exactly how open source works.

Well, except for that "small bit" of difference between enforced_by_the_government and given_voluntarily. It's sort of like the government telling you that you must build your neighbor's house, and you volunteering to help him out because he needs the help. Other than that, it's exactly the same....

IMHO, the only people who can't see the difference are communists and socialists.

My economics 101 teacher lied!! (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956458)

And yet Free Software's virtue of allowing users to maintain or hire anyone to maintain their software, make it the freest market. So you've got free market communism in one corner, competing with proprietary software's central-planned-economy capitalism. ;-)

...someone's sarcasm detector is off today. (1)

Xeriar (456730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954592)

Burning my karma kandle at both ends.

Re:Obviously more evidence (0, Troll)

newdsfornerds (899401) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955158)

Yes! Obamacode is infecting our networks! It's a TRAP!

Good move (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954526)

I have a lot of complaints about this current administration, but I'll give them credit where it is due. This is a good move, and I hope to see similar actions in the future.

Re:Good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955010)

Whew. Just when I was really starting to worry that everybody in politics had become too polarized, I see a comment by a critic who knows a good idea when he sees one and isn't afraid to say so. That was a refreshing read.

Re:Good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955128)

but I'll give them credit where it is due

I don't think you understand how our political discourse works. Here is a brief primer [slashdot.org] for you.

Re:Good move (1)

jimmy_dean (463322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955504)

Agreed. I have many, many complaints about this administration, but at least they're saving some amount of money by utilizing Drupal instead of some proprietary CMS system that might go out of business at any time.

Let's not lose perspective. This is minor. (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955536)

At the same time, on more important life and death issues (such as war and threats of war, health care, trillions for corporations while citizens go hungry, civil liberties) this administration shares a lot in common with the previous administration, an administration that even former supporters grew to dislike. In my congressional district people know that trillions on occupation hurts us at home in many ways. Drupal code contributions can't measure up to the impact of keeping that much money in our country solving domestic issues. President Obama won't get me to change my mind with something as trivial as this.

Re:Let's not lose perspective. This is minor. (2, Insightful)

gnieboer (1272482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955760)

Um, yes.

If anyone is basing their decision on who should be the leader of the world's largest economy/military/nuclear stockpile based on whether they use Drupal for their website and release any source their team creates, then... FAIL.

Doesn't mean it's not a good idea that shows action behind words.

Re:Good move (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955684)

Hmmm, let's check President Obama's record after just a year in office, okay?

-- stopped a depression in its tracks and converted it into what now clearly has been a severe, but tolerable, recession - check

-- raised public opinion around the world of the United States, and appropriately is re-focusing the Middle Eastern wars to Afghanistan, working finally in comity with Pakistan with successful tactics against terrorists - check

-- passed a health care bill that is far from perfect but will cut govt expenses over time, extend coverage to millions who previously were getting their health care at high costs to all of us in emergency rooms, and prevents insurance companies from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions, a bill desired by a majority of the US population - check

-- passed the largest middle class tax cut in US history - check

-- walked a middle ground that accepts faith as a positive force that can work with government (e.g. faith-based initiatives) but ends favoritism for the extreme religious right influence such as in regulations concerning stem cell research and abortions - check

-- overturned pro-polluter regulations of previous administration (remember Bush's EPA appointee who said the solution to air pollution was for people to spend more time indoors?) and dramatically increased investment on environmental research - check

-- and of course, this openness initiative including his Dept of Defense giving the green light to open source, and the types of actions this Slashdot article that we are responding to is all about.

I'm not a mouthpiece or a shill, just a slob American voter like anyone else here who didn't even vote for the guy, but I've got to admit this seems like an incredible record to have established in a short time in office. He's certainly more than meeting my expectations as a president.

So I'm curious when you say, "I have a lot of complaints about this current administration" what are they? I am at a loss to understand the vehement reaction of negative groups like the so-called "Tea Party" to this president. I know good and deserving fellow citizens of mine don't like being painted as racist, but I can't otherwise make sense of the reaction. This is a president with an excellent beginner's record. Why all the hate?

Re:Good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31956258)

One thing missing from your list that has been quite a relief to me personally is the CARD Act [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Good move (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956694)

So I'm curious when you say, "I have a lot of complaints about this current administration" what are they?

For the most part I agree with you. But I do agree with the previous poster in that I too have a lot of complaints about this current administration. Handling of the ACTA comes to mind, along with appointing RIAA lawyers to positions within the DoJ seems pretty scary. Their chiming in and interfering with the Joel Tenenbaum case on behalf of their former employees is repugnant to me and seems to directly contradict Obama's campaign promises about lobbyists and industry insiders role in his administration. He has done nothing about allowing US citizens to buy drugs from Canada as he promised. He has not stopped no bid contracts above $25K as he said he would, although he has made some noise, nothing that sticks.

That said, I'll second the person who responded with regard to credit card reform and I'd add I was very happy to hear about his new policy on former executive branch employees and lobbyists (can't lobby for years after being one, can't be hired on if you were a lobbyist) but saddened that he signed so many waivers making exceptions to this rule. For the most part, he's exceeded my expectations as well but there are certainly things to dislike.

I am at a loss to understand the vehement reaction of negative groups like the so-called "Tea Party" to this president.

This seems mostly to be because marketing is more powerful than truth. People want a different option to what they see as a frightening change, even though few of them can explain what that change is or why they find it frightening. The tea party has disparate goals and many people are trying to make use of them for entertainment dollars or for political gain. It's a movement of unfocused anger and fear and also a way to disassociate with the Republican party whose approval is in the toilet, while still advocating all the things that party supposedly supports.

Seriously, Drupal is the greatest thing (4, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954690)

since sliced bread. Easy and damned rapid to deploy, reasonably scalable, easy to modify and customize, flexible enough to build everything from a blog to an e-commerce system to a social networking platform to a cloud-based RDBMS front-end to a personal document and photos filing system.

A million things I used to do with my own C code, shell scripts, and hard drives are now done on a hosted domain using Drupal. More and more of the work I do for others just slides into Drupal by default because it's the easiest, most powerful, fastest, and most growth-capable way to accomplish it.

I just love Drupal.

Re:Seriously, Drupal is the greatest thing (4, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954734)

Spit it out man, what are you trying to say? Do you or do you not like Drupal? Damned kids, being so mysterious these days. Back in my day, you stated flat out how you felt about something. And we liked it that way.

tl;dr (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955464)

Old people are annoying.

Re:tl;dr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31956484)

Uh.. yeah.. but you owe them your life.

Re:Seriously, Drupal is the greatest thing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955260)

like my dick slides into your mouth?

Re:Seriously, Drupal is the greatest thing (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956494)

Drupal is the greating thing since sliced bread.

Woah, woah woah, Woah woah woah, woah. Yes, this warrants 7 woahs, now 8. Everything you mentioned can easily be done with bread.

Its easy (water and flour) and damned rapid to deploy (Little while in the oven), reasonably scalable (just need a bigger bun-cake-pan), easy to modify and customize (dough!), flexible enough to build everything from a blog (bread-log, also known as a baguette) to an e-commerce system (ancient romans often bartered with wheat) to a social networking platform (http://www.breadtalk.com/ apply to join!) to a cloud-based RDBMS front end (okay what the hell is that? You can't just make stuff up you know) to a personal document and photos filing system (Sliced bread makes great seperators, see: Club sandwhich)

Don't get me wrong, Drupal is pretty amazing, but lets not go around belittling the great invention that is sliced bread.

Re:Seriously, Drupal is the greatest thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31956636)

NAAH so I can't mod you up, but awesome post.

Re:Seriously, Drupal is the greatest thing (2, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956642)

Taking it literally, I believe "greatest thing since sliced bread" may still indicate that sliced bread is the greatest thing, but the new thing being talked about is greater than all achievements after (since) sliced bread.

Of course, this might still imply the possibility of things greater than sliced bread existing before sliced bread...

In other words: 3 18 9 2 5 8 3 5 2 15 12 11 9 14

In the above list, 14 is the greatest element since 15. If 14 where changed to a number, say 16, then it would become the greatest number since 18.

Ok, I think I've officially over-analysed this.

The more I hear about Vivek Kundra's work (4, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954722)

the more impressed I am by his lack of respect for the status quo of government IT. Keep up the good work. It's about about time someone applied some common sense.

Re:The more I hear about Vivek Kundra's work (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954886)

+1000

Re:The more I hear about Vivek Kundra's work (2, Interesting)

itsdrewmiller (1346931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954948)

Kundra is great, but this wasn't his brainchild. This is 20-somethings fresh off the campaign getting inside government and fixing it. Change I can believe in, indeed.

Um... bullshit? (3, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954772)

About the UK and Open Source:

No, this side of the Atlantic would have involved a closed-tender process; a decision made by closed doors based on proprietary software and we'd be completely in the dark about costs, about delays, and about functionality.

http://www.google.com/search?q=uk+government+open+source [google.com]

Odd... seems the opposite to what the esteemed "ChiefMonkeyGrinder" claims. Of course, one of the links there is "words, not deeds" so perhaps all the noise about open source is just that.

Re:Um... bullshit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955220)

What we do is buy a godawful mess, and then open source it. I think it's some kind of information warfare.

Re:Um... bullshit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955404)

my experience with the NHS is they would use MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server).. at huge cost just to update some static content for reasons I can only guess have very little to do with technical fit.

Re:Um... bullshit? (2, Interesting)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955672)

Of course, one of the links there is "words, not deeds" so perhaps all the noise about open source is just that.

Indeed if you read the article you would have seen a comment by a VP at Ingres that sounds remarkably similar to the criticism from the UK commentator cited at the top of the story:

This is not the first time such platitudes have been made by the government. Over the past 12 months the office of the CIO has continually pointed to open source as the key to reducing capital expenditure on large public sector IT projects. We at Ingres work with public sector bodies daily and have not seen the enforcement of these policies at a practical level and so view this announcement cautiously. Right now there is a very large negotiation underway to renew Oracle's contract with the MOD which in theory should be put to competitive tender but sadly is being conducted behind closed doors.

Of course, Ingres has a vested interest as a competitor to Oracle, but I'm not surprised to hear that the Ministry of Defence conducts its IT negotiations behind closed doors, "in the interests of security," I'm sure.

Re:Um... bullshit? (3, Interesting)

aitala (111068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956170)

How about http://data.gov.uk/ ? That's Drupal too.

Or is the site not really part of the Gov't?

Eric

Air Source One? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954814)

"The development of this module was done as part of the Whitehouse.gov project and was sponsored by The Executive Office of the President."

A shining example (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954826)

When the BS is removed, some bright people can do some brilliant work. Congrats WH IT Team! Bravo!!

It happens this way because ... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954846)

We truly have awesome hardware (as noted in the summary):

decisions made by closed doors

Really, does anyone else have doors that can make important decisions for them? It's no wonder other countries hate us for our freedoms; I'd be jealous of sentient doors if my country didn't have them! And you don't even want to know what our doors can do when their open...

Re:It happens this way because ... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955628)

How do they force numbers to paint in those "Paint by Numbers" books?

Are you f_cking kidding me? (-1, Troll)

iCantSpell (1162581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954858)

Seriously? Where were the security advisors when they decided to go with drupal? They should of just installed phpbb and set there ftp password to 1234. It's almost the equivalent.

Re:Are you f_cking kidding me? (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954890)

And they've been cracked and exploited now how many times?

Re:Are you f_cking kidding me? (1)

kroyd (29866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955042)

Whitehouse.gov is mirrored through akamai (netcraft [netcraft.com] ).

Transparent mirroring is of course only one way among many to use drupal (or any other cms) securely. It is my impression that the current US administration actually allows hiring someone with a higher IQ than the president, so someone probably did a google search. [lmgtfy.com]

Re:Are you f_cking kidding me? (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956010)

Not to rain on your partisan parade, but much of IT staff for the WH now were also here in the prior administration.

Low-hanging fruit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954876)

I gotta commend this, but that's low-hanging fruit: The biggies are the large complex applications like those involved in the FBI's occasional headline-grabber.

Does any one else see the irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954888)

That the news is coming from a .com.au?

Re:Does any one else see the irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954984)

That the news is coming from a .com.au?

Does anyone else understand (unlike the AC above) that even though Slashdot has only linked to a single story, that there are many other sources out there reporting the same thing?

Very good. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954918)

Now let's make the rest of out government as open & transparent as the code that was just released. :D

Re:Very good. (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955052)

What the fuck planet are you living on? Nancy Pelosi drained the swamp and has given us the most ethical, open, and transparent congress ever!

Re:Very good. (2, Funny)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956152)

But what about the swamps delicate ecosystem?!

I don't know what to think yet (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31954966)

Rush won't be able to tell me for a few more hours.

Mister Mayor, the city payroll database is broken (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31954994)

"Last week hundreds of people got over a million dollars in paychecks, and others got negative values. Something about data corruption. Who is this Data and what money is he getting?"

"Why are you telling me? Call some software people and fix it. And investigate about this money thing."

"They said they it can't be fixed, the whole things needs replacing. The company that made it closed, and we have no sauce codes for it, and it will take at least a month, and cost a gazillion more to adapt with all the other databases that have no sauce."

"I do remember something about this sauce for the codes back when we got it in 1982, we talked about it in the city council but nobody understood anything."

GPL or public domain? (4, Interesting)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955012)

The GPL requires copyright ownership, but work done by the Federal Government can not be copyrighted. I looked at a couple of the modules and they all include GPL v2 license. Shouldn't they be public domain?

Re:GPL or public domain? (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955466)

Nope, do you think the NSA distributes or gives out all the code it uses.

Re:GPL or public domain? (2, Informative)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955546)

There's no requirement that work done by the Federal Government has to be published or released. Unreleased code can be classified or avoid FOIA for various reasons, but it cannot be protected by copyright.

In this case, they actually did release code and they attached a copyright notice to it. They don't have to publish it, but if they do, they can't copyright it either.

Re:GPL or public domain? (5, Informative)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955690)

I'm sure this is a minor oversight and the person responsible just didn't realize this. Here's some more info on copyright re: the government:

3.6) Can the government copyright its works? This one has to be taken slowly, and we'll look at federal and state governments separately, because the rules are different. With one exception, works of the United States government are public domain. 17 U.S.C. 105. The only exception is for standard reference data produced by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce under the Standard Reference Data Act, 15 U.S.C. 290e. However, there's a big loophole here: while the U.S government can't get copyright for its own works, it can have an existing copyright assigned to it. So if the U.S. government produces a work, it's not copyrighted. But if an independent contractor working for the government produces a work, it is copyrighted, and nothing prevents that contractor from assigning the copyright back to the government. This reconciles the fact that the U.S. government can't copyright its works with the fact that if you stay up late on weekends, you'll see Public Service Announcements against drunk driving that say "Copyright U.S. Department of Transportation." Also, there are some entities that might seem to be part of the U.S. government, but are not. For example, the U.S. Postal Service is no longer a branch of the U.S. government. In addition, while under U.S. control, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and organized territories of the U.S. are not considered to be part of the U.S. government for purposes of copyright law.

Re:GPL or public domain? (1)

SavTM (1594855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955694)

The GPL requires copyright ownership, but work done by the Federal Government can not be copyrighted. I looked at a couple of the modules and they all include GPL v2 license. Shouldn't they be public domain?

Seconded for this question. Are public domain code snapshots subject to the license in the comments or are they truly public domain? Is the code usable by for-profits without necessity for citation or adherence to the original license (like public domain print/music/artworks)? I wonder if RMS senses a disturbance in the force.

Re:GPL or public domain? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955950)

There seems to be a common perception by a lot of people that the GPL isn't just another licence agreement and that it's the same as public domain.

It's somewhat amusing looking at some code sharing sites which allow you to specify the licence. There are scores of GPL'ed ~5 line code snippets for generic algorithms the use of which would easily be excused under fair use laws making their GPL status moot.

Both! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955978)

Obviously, just because the government uses GPL v2, which is based on copyright laws, doesn't automagically make the entire works public domain. The copyright holders still have rights to their respective works, unless they handed it over to the FSF (a wise and noble move in order to make things less complicated copyright-wise pun intended).

The work done by the government will be public domain, but the remaining work will of course retain the copyright of the respective copyright hoders. Nothing to fret about. Existing laws can easily accomodate this although it is a scenario which has not played out before.

Re:GPL or public domain? (2, Interesting)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955788)

What an insightful observation! I'd guess the developers just followed the usual procedure and attached the GPL license text.

Have other projects using the GPL had to deal with this issue? Can Drupal modules be released as "public domain" even if the rest of the code is GPL? Since the Federal Government has no copyright to transfer, it's probably not even possible for them to give the code to the Drupal developers and let them place it under the GPL or transfer the rights to the FSF.

Re:GPL or public domain? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956296)

What an insightful observation! I'd guess the developers just followed the usual procedure and attached the GPL license text.

This is one of three possibilities. The other two being, they started using the code from open sourced modules and thus are still bound by that license or they contracted the work out and the copyright was reassigned to the whitehouse, in which case they can license it.

Can Drupal modules be released as "public domain" even if the rest of the code is GPL?

Drupal modules can be closed source or have any license.

Since the Federal Government has no copyright to transfer, it's probably not even possible for them to give the code to the Drupal developers and let them place it under the GPL or transfer the rights to the FSF.

As I said, the works are either public domain (not really a bad thing) or GPL, but it all depends upon how on the ball the white house people are with regard to federal copyright laws.

Re:GPL or public domain? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956220)

The GPL requires copyright ownership, but work done by the Federal Government can not be copyrighted. I looked at a couple of the modules and they all include GPL v2 license. Shouldn't they be public domain?

The part added by the government can't be copyrighted, but if they are derivative of GPL code, the original copyright holder still has copyright on that.

I was the same kind of broken process over here. (1)

newdsfornerds (899401) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955132)

Until this administration, hasn't the White House been a 100% MSFT shop? Somehow the U.S. Navy manages to stay afloat with many systems running Windows server OS. Then again the Navy can afford to have lots of people massaging/patching/rebooting the Windows boxes 24x7.

Isn't Goverment work public domain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955232)

I though anything created by the federal government was public domain by default. How can they license it under GPL when there should be no license of any sort required?

Tax money (1)

jimmy_dean (463322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955290)

Although I applaud this because at least the federal government didn't waste gobs of money on a proprietary system that might not be around tomorrow, I still can't help but yawn at this news. This has nothing to do with the President or probably even his CTO that he nominated. It was probably just some developer that the federal government has hired who recommended the use of Drupal and suggested open sourcing the modules that they developed.

Re:Tax money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31955906)

General Dynamics IT is responsible [personaldemocracy.com] for developing and maintaining WhiteHouse.gov

(Disclaimer: I work for GDIT, and don't know the specific details of this contract)

Re:Tax money (5, Insightful)

gnieboer (1272482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955962)

...I still can't help but yawn at this news. ... It was probably just some developer that the federal government has hired who recommended the use of Drupal and suggested open sourcing the modules that they developed.

True, but the interesting thing I think is that the people that the developer has the contract with took the suggestion, ran it through a government staff, and got the idea approved. A staff that gains nothing (directly) by giving the code away, has to take the time to understand the implications of their decision (since they'll be on CNN and fired if they do something dumb), and would normally consider something like this a security risk by default.

So I think it's fairly groundbreaking for a government bureacracy. And it gives the rest of government a precedent to use when having a similar discussion with their bosses.

Re:Tax money (1)

hercubus (755805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31955994)

... some developer ... recommended the use of Drupal and suggested open sourcing the modules ...

and _someone_ in the government said "yes we can" [tm] release the source

i'm thinking no code even remotely related to the White House would have been released from the previous administration's sealed bunker

Re:Tax money (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956182)

This has nothing to do with the President or probably even his CTO that he nominated. It was probably just some developer that the federal government has hired who recommended the use of Drupal and suggested open sourcing the modules that they developed.

I'm curious as to why you think that. Is it because you have information we don't or do you just have a bias against the current administration so you mentally refuse to assign credit to them for acts you approve of?

In case you're interested in reality, this project was the baby of David Cole, a well known Drupal developer and OSS supporter who was appointed by Obama to several positions in the White House technical staff (currently senior advisor to the CIO) and who previously worked as data analyst for the Obama campaign and later on the transition team planning the new infrastructure. Now he probably did not come up with the idea since he just gave a talk with the guy who open sourced 24 Drupal modules developed by the New York State Senate. (An event that seems to have slipped under the radar of Slashdot.)

As basic as Drupal (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31956330)

Well thank you. >:P

Powered by credit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31956700)

Would be cool to see a "Powered by Drupal" somewhere on the www.whitehouse.gov pages - even just a tiny one way down at the bottom!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?