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We the Coders

+The White House  open sourced "WeThePeople," its epetitions platform, & released it on Github http://oreillyradar.tumblr.com/post/30073717898/we-the-coders-white-house-commits-open-source-code

One small step for humans, one giant commit for mankind. The White House has open sourced its e-petitions platform on Github, fulfilling a commitment to the Open Government Partnership that the President of the United States made last September.

“…we’re launching a new online tool — called “We the People” — to allow Americans to directly petition the White House, and we’ll share that technology so any government in the world can enable its citizens to do the same.” — President Barack Obama, September 20, 2011

+Macon Phillips, the White House director of digital, explained the move at the White House blog. In the post, Phillips indicated that the roadmap for We the People includes creating an API for third party clients and more integration of social media.

In the larger sense, it’s notable that the White House is releasing software code developed for the people, back to the people, with the hopes that with the people that code base will be improved upon.

That’s a big deal, and while the White House has been making open source part of open government for some time now, from open sourcing Data.gov to the IT Dashboard to contributing to Drupal, moving onto Github is a notable move. Open source is now playing an important role in open government, although it’s hardly a precondition for it. Whether it’s Energy.gov or House.gov moving to Drupal, middleware for open government data or codesharing with CivicCommons, open source matters more than ever.

On that note, after reading the post linked below, you can watch an interview on open source and open government  with Chris Weinstrath, co-founder of Github.
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