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26 October 2009, 11:32 goes open source with Drupal

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The US Presidential web site has switched to the open source Drupal content management system. The site provides information on President Barack Obama's administration and its operation, policies and legislative activities, as well as blogs, video streams of Obama's Weekly address and other video. The switch to Drupal, which is replacing a customised proprietary system installed during the Bush Administration, was meant to be transparent to users, but it has been noted that for example, official's names are now listed with announcements. The use of the open source CMS in a competitively bid contract like this is seen as a big win for the Drupal CMS. Dries Buytaert, creator of Drupal, says in his blog that "This is a big day for Drupal, and for Open Source in government, and something all of us in the community should be very proud of."

Macon Phillips, the White House new media director, told US media that "This is state-of-the-art technology and the government is a participant in it". The White House asked the developers of the previous system General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) to deliver them a new, more flexible platform that could support question and answer forums, collaborative tools and live video streaming. They engaged Buytaert's company Acquia to help develop the new system. Also involved in the implementation of the new system were Drupal specialists Phase2, IT Infrastructure company Terremark Federal Group and content delivery specialists Akamai.


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