Feeds

Obama open sources custom White House code

A long way from Dubya

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.