It marks the second high-tech faux pas for the vice president, who was criticized last month for declaring that he helped invent the Internet. Gore is running on a platform that promotes the "new economy."
"This is your Web site--it's open source--and I want you to help us build it," Vice President Gore declares on his political Web site.
Those in the open-source software movement were puzzled. "Can a Web site be open source? Funniest thing I've seen all morning," said a posting on the Slashdot.org Web site. "I wonder if this will meet the open source requirements."
Slashdot.org recorded more than 300 responses.
The gaffe rattled Silicon Valley. "Is this a joke?" San Jose Mercury News' Dan Gillmor asked in his column today. "Apparently not. Which makes this a transcendently clumsy attempt to co-opt a newly popular buzzword and turn it to political advantage."
Some took the statement less seriously. "So what if Gore declared his site open source?" said another posting on Slashdot.org. "They're obviously not asking people to declare an Al Gore operating system. It's just their way of asking everyone out here for their input."