För andra gången på tio månader skrivs Whitehouse.gov om och byter CMS. Denna gång lämnar sajten .NET-avsteget och blir istället en del av Drupals omfattande 126 Mkr utrullning inom Obama administrationens webbplatser.
Drupal är open source publiceringssystem och projektledare för CMS-implementationen var ingen mindre än Drupals belgiska grundare, Dries Buytaert.
Drupal tycker plattformsvalet väl speglar den nya presidentens stöd för ”en öppen och transparent regering”.
Fler leveramtörer än Dries support/konsultbolag Acquia vid implementationen var General Dynamics Information Technology, Phase2 Technology, Akamai och Terremark Federal Group.
NodeOne eldar i eget inlägg (http://nodeone.se/blogg/drupal/vita-huset-valje…) på om plattformens skalbarhet och säkerhet: ”Drupals höga säkerhet kommer sig av att tusentals programmerare över hela världen samarbetar för att hitta och åtgärda säkerhetsbrister. Det är möjligt tack vare att Drupal har öppen källkod. Detta skiljer Drupal från ett proprietärt CMS, vars källkod bara ses av en handfull utvecklare, och granskas av kanske ännu färre.”
Hård Drupal – Vita Huset kritik nu för några veckor sedan, ett år senare (via Tim O’Reilly): ”
I marvel that you talked about videos and live chat. There is nothing remotely like that on whitehouse.gov even a year later!
There is no interactivity *at all*. You can fill out a form that looks like it was made in the 1990s (!), and it ”goes nowhere” until you start getting White House spam in your email on various general topics. There are no polls, no ”likes,” and of course no ”forums”. There’s nothing to do but dutifully ”virally spread” whatever propaganda is put up for that day.
While it might be unrealistic to expect the government to put up a forums on whitehouse.gov, there are other things they could do that let people know that when they send a comment or proposal, that they are being heard, and that they are in a context, i.e. a map showing other people who may have asked about the same topics, etc. Creativity could be put into really making this be REALLY open, instead of merely fetishizing the opensourcedness of it all, instead of looking at content.
Once again, I demand to know the cost of the consulting and maintenance of this supposedly ”free” solution. We’re given all kinds of factoids in the transparency caper — let’s have this, too. Extensions and add-ons aren’t a reason to say it has such versatility when it has none except some techno shiny to click here and there and see a photo or video.
Open source is definitely not open government — that’s because it’s not open to start with as a governance system itself!
Of course it’s a concern, Laura, you’re just not looking beyond the tiny clique of tekkies that you reference admittedly.
Jack, spare me the condescending arrogance I so often hear from geeks. Duh, I know how websites are made. Herrr, I use Drupal myself at various jobs. I’ve seen systems put in at various settings. I’ve seen how Drupal takes ages and ages and has numerous problems and customized proprietary solutions simply take less time and have less surprises. (There are some VERY big places in Silicon Valley that have had some really awful and expensive experiences with Drupal, perhaps you simply haven’t heard.)
This silly notion that ”ready-to-use modules” really work and aren’t buggy and aren’t in fact inappropriate sometimes is simply belied by Drupal forums themselves.
A proprietary system and its consultants comes from a company with people who show up for work on time, who have a bottom line to consider, who look for a profit, and who have systems in place for billing, tech support, etc. None of that is present in the open source movement that just does whatever it feels like, and relies on unreliable ”communities” to help the occasional paid consultant.
*The user* cannot access these arrogant freaks who will only talk to other geeks and scorn ordinary people complaining about their software. The consultants on open source projects I’ve seen become utterly obsessed only with their problematic software, never looking to the user problem because they just aren’t schooled to care. A proprietary software solution company comes in usually on a bid, and has a full-services solution that includes user training and troubleshooting.
It doesn’t matter if the government, like big IT that vacuums up your free open source products, has Linux. So what? That doesn’t make Drupal less cumbersome or the essentially open source shill less phony. That old tiresome ”you’re soaking in it” argument is about as lame as telling someone they couldn’t criticize Bush because they lived on Platform America.
The *user does indeed matter*. I have used at least 6 types of CMS systems, open and proprietary. There is no *question* that a commercial online system like Typepad is simply easier to use and has more help; after that, comes a proprietary solution in a workplace setting that might only be available on a limited time basis but is more reliable; and definitely third place is the open source software and its uneven pools of consultants with their open-ended meter running and balloon payments always waiting at the end of every project.