Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Open Source Dot Gov

In the course of discussing Python vs. PHP last night at Wanderers, someone brought up the fact that the White House has switched to Drupal, a PHP application.

Likewise the DoD has been touting open source as more of an answer to its prayers. "Just because a proprietary solution is way more expensive, doesn't mean it's that much better, or even could be worse" is a message to military intelligence personnel. Many in the commercial sector have already learned this lesson.

You might think that all this talk of automating medical records and/or outcomes research might yield some new open source assets, even outside the Forge dot mil domain. If there's tax money involved, then shouldn't the code be of, by and for the people? GOSCON is a traditional forum for such rhetoric, lots of Portland people already on board with that.

Speaking of Portland, OSCON is coming back here again next year, after bouncing down to San Jose in 2009.

Slate has been making fun of the WH decision to go with Drupal. I'm not sure the CIA's use of Plone ever got such attention. NSA put out it's own SELinux distro a long time ago, is still putting out new releases, like in March of last year.

Then of course we should remember DARPA's role in helping Guido get IDLE off the ground, a big step in making Computer Programming for Everybody (CP4E) seem a little bit more real.