Feeds

Obama open sources custom White House code

A long way from Dubya

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

DrupalCon 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 Francisco. The administration is contributing a quartet of Drupal modules it built for the new-look WhiteHouse.gov, a site meant to provide improved communication between the President and his people.

"One of the main reasons that we adopted an open source solution is that it gives us scalability," Cole said. "That's scalability in terms of actually getting people to see the website - we have hundreds of thousands hitting it at any given time - but also in terms of expanding our code base. There are a lot of interactive features, and we need more people to be part of building the platform. The Drupal community is our extended development team in this sense."

"As we contribute code back, we hope to extend that partnership."

In October, the Obama White House announced that it had switched to Drupal from the proprietary CMS adopted by the Dubya administration, and now, a majority of the code driving WhiteHouse.gov is open source. But this is the first time the White House has contributed code back to the community.

We can only assume that Dubya-lovers view this move as some sort of amoral socialism.

Cole and crew have contributed four modules. The first is called "Context HTTP Headers," a means of altering http headers based on the content a site is serving up. The White House uses this to help communicate with its content delivery network (CDN), Akamai, sending caching instructions to edge servers. You can, say, tell the edge server to cache a particular type of page for a particular number of minutes.

This dovetails with a second module open sourced by the White House, known simply as "Akamai." This provides the integration with the Akamai Cache Control Utility (CCU) Web Service, letting you purge cached URLs in response to particular site events.

The third module, "GovDelivery," replaces the standard Drupal mail-send function with a web service call. This is used not only by the White House but also by various other government agencies, letting the lot take advantage of the same mail infrastructure. It isn't something that could be used by sites at large, but in open sourcing the module, Cole hopes to encourage other agencies to use it.

The last module is known as "Node Embed," a means of managing the meta data attached to photos and videos. It's used to layer content atop pages, Cole says, and is designed to keep the presentation of such content consistent. It gives you a button in your WYSIWYG that lets you choose content for embedding in a page.

All modules are now available at Drupal.org, and you can read more from the White House here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?