White House Web site releases custom Drupal code

WhiteHouse.gov, which uses the open-source software to manage and publish its content, makes its first contribution to the project.

Six months after announcing it would employ the open-source software Drupal to manage and publish its content, the White House Web site has contributed some custom code to the project.

Dave Cole, a senior adviser to the CIO of the Executive Office of the President and the person responsible for managing WhiteHouse.gov, said Wednesday that the administration is contributing four modules it created for the president's revamped Web site.

"This code is available for anyone to review, use, or modify," Cole wrote in a blog announcing the contribution. "We're excited to see how developers across the world put our work to good use in their own applications."

The four new modules focus on improving scalability, communication, and accessibility, Cole wrote.

A module designed to improve scalability is called "Context HTTP Headers" and allows Web site builders to add new metadata to their content and gives instructions to servers on how to manage specific pages, such as cache scheduling. Another module focused on scalability called "Akamai" allows WhiteHouse.gov to integrate with content delivery network Akamai.

A communication module called "GovDelivery Integration" allows for more dynamic ways to tailor e-mails to users' preferences.

An accessibility module called "Node Embed"--designed to make it easier to manage rich photographs and video content--aims to help the site be in compliance with Section 508, the government's accessibility standard.

The White House's announcement in October that it was transitioning to Drupal was a high-profile endorsement for the open-source software, which allows anyone to see, modify, and redistribute the source code underlying the software that's actually installed on a computer.

 

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