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White House Website Switches To Open Source 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-world-is-this dept.
Falc0n writes "WhiteHouse.gov has gone Drupal. After months of planning, says an Obama Administration source, the White House has ditched the proprietary content management system that had been in place since the days of the Bush Administration in favor of the latest version of the open-source Drupal software. Dries Buytaert reflected on this, adding: 'this is a clear sign that governments realize that Open Source does not pose additional risks compared to proprietary software, and furthermore, that by moving away from proprietary software, they are not being locked into a particular technology, and that they can benefit from the innovation that is the result of thousands of developers collaborating on Drupal.'"
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White House Website Switches To Open Source

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  • Re:Why CMS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lukas84 (912874) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @09:30AM (#29864055) Homepage

    Are you a troll, naive or stupid?

    A CMS is required if you want content to be updatable by non-programmers, which is almost always a very requirement on larger corporates pages.

    A CMS will also allow versioning of content, making it easy to publish new content at specific points in time.

  • Re:Why CMS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 25, 2009 @09:42AM (#29864141)

    A better question is why so many practically static web sites use online content management systems. Is it just for convenience? Lack of thought? A life content management system on the server is a serious security liability. Many web sites could just as well use an offline CMS and push the data to the server when an update is made. A typical web server can handle orders of magnitude more visitors when there is only static content. Even if you aggressively cache the CMS output, that still leaves the security aspect. I guess it takes a Slashdotting / Digg effect before most authors realize that having a web site which can't handle 10 concurrent visitors is rather pointless.

  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @09:44AM (#29864153)
    The problem with using Drupal for the White House is that it's a popular CMS and has lots of people looking for exploits and vulnerabilities. The second a proof of concept piece of code or an easy exploit is discovered, a few thousand script kiddies will decend to get their 15 minutes of fame.

    I'm not sure how Drupal fares with bugs and patching speed (I know Wordpress seems to get some high profile holes discovered) but even if all vulns are patched before someone takes advantage of it, you're still going to need an admin who's going to be constantly alert to patching it.

    I'm not arguing against closed source vs open, more about popular vs obscure.
  • Re:Why CMS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Sunday October 25, 2009 @09:45AM (#29864159) Homepage

    Businesses have come to accept the limitations of software, and will often adjust the way they do things to fit in with whatever the software requires, sad but true.

  • Re:Why CMS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by andy1307 (656570) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @09:45AM (#29864165)
    do you write you own operating system?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 25, 2009 @09:52AM (#29864215)

    You could just as easily turn that argument around and say that because it's a popular CMS and has a lot of people looking through it's code for exploits, it's also a lot more secure than some other more obscure CMS which would have much less reviewed code.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 25, 2009 @09:55AM (#29864233)

    Such a system should not be exposed. It should be behind a modern firewall, with a solid IPS. With such measures in place script kiddies will find it considerably harder to get their 15 minutes of fame, and even seasoned hackers will have to go to great extra lengts to get there - if they get there at all.

  • that was my reaction. What ever choice the White House made, it would still be a target for malicious hackers.
  • Re:Cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oldspewey (1303305) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:11AM (#29864341)
    As stated in the article, this wasn't done to earn your praise.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:21AM (#29864391)

    The other side of the coin is that whitehouse.gov is a major target whatever it is running. If they used an obscure CSM there might not be many exploit scripts but the code might easily contain very bad vulnerabilities that black hats would quickly find, because they now have a reason to look at $OBSCURE_CSM.

  • Re:Cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:23AM (#29864399)

    "It's quite a sad state of affairs when moving to one of the most common and widely used back-ends for a website is considered "a significant step forward"."

    Bullshit - it's not a "step" anywhere.

    This is ONE part of the government changing ONE system over to open source. That's it. The whole "since the Bush Administration" comment is a red herring:

    a) Drupal only went Open Source in 2001. "Hey, it's time to update the Whitehouse.gov back end, and there's this new cool thing that just got released. It's maintained by a bunch of enthusiasts, and has no support, but I think it's a great idea!" "Perkins, go back to trolling for porn."

    b) Does anyone really think the president in ANY administration gives a rats ass about the back-end of the website? Remember, Bush was ridiculed for not even using email, but somehow it's his policy that only proprietary software be used for invisible parts of the website? Likewise, Obama was a lawyer, "community activist", professor, and politician. Which one of those would make him care about this?

    I'm more than happy another Open Source effort has been used for a high profile installation. But please - this isn't "Change", or even a policy change, or even an operations change from the White House point of view. This is changing from "Tide" to "Bold" to wash the Presidential underwear.

  • Re:Clearly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:25AM (#29864423)
    The new guy does not get to just through any random software into a government system with no oversight...
  • Re:Clearly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:27AM (#29864437)

    Huh. Now to me, this is a clear sign that they hired a new web guy who happens to have experience with and a preference for Drupal. I don't think there's a necessarily a political statement here.

    The top of the government and especially the president are HR people first and foremost. They don't do much personally, but act through the agents they select, rely on their judgement and trust them to condense issues of importance for them. Sure, they also get to make some decisions, but they decide based on the information fed to them and the decisions are broad, policy decisions in most cases.

    The point is, they didn't make a policy decision that "zomg, F/OSS ftw!", but they hired the guy who hired the guy who hired the guy who hired the web guy and the web guy seems competent enough to pick a F/OSS solution.

  • Re:Why CMS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pjr.cc (760528) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:29AM (#29864451)

    theres alot of good reasons people use cms... and let me try and use your own words... say you wanted a website that looked like cisco's.

    In a CMS, (such as drupal)... heres who does what:
    1) designer writes a theme for the website (to give it the look)
    2) content producers write the pages
    3) codes do the bits the cms doesn't already do.

    The point is, the CMS gives you alot to begin with without limiting you, sure you could code a website from scratch but something as powerfull as drupal is going to take a long time. You may not need everything drupal does so you can cut that down a bit. But ultimately you'll end up with something that allows people to do their jobs (i.e. content producers to write pages). Drupal CMS is also especially good at being extended (and there are virtually no limits that I can think of). So rather then writing a whole heap of code to do your website, your coders just write what they need to extend the CMS - "dang, drupal doesnt do rsa based two factor auth, we're going to have to code it in" as apposed to "ok, lets get started on coding a website - quick grab 15 people who know architecture".

  • Re:Why CMS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@justconne c t e d . n et> on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:41AM (#29864513)

    So when you write your own code, you've written a CMS. But you just passed one up because it was too heavy-weight...

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:50AM (#29864569) Homepage
    Popular OSS products are generally popular for a good reason. Many people find them to be useful. Lots of people looking for exploits on a popular product means that, all things being equal, the more popular product will be more secure, not less, so long as security holes are being attended to by the project's maintainers. If a product is good enough to become popular, that usually means that the product also has people working on it who know what they're doing, and with a lot of interest in a product it means that there's likely to be more interest in contributing improvements. Going with an unfamiliar/poorly known/obscure solution isn't going to help whitehouse.gov. People know about whitehouse.gov, and are going to want to attack it, regardless of what they implement the site in. If it's some obscure solution that few people know about, then you can be sure very quickly people will start to learn about it. So selecting a more obscure solution isn't going to help them out any.
  • by pmontra (738736) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:55AM (#29864595) Homepage
    Maybe the parent wished to be modded as funny. What happened along the years is that CMS products have been turned into commodities. The White House recognized that and switched the investment into the service of updating the contents. Optimizing the way one spends money looks a basic precept of capitalism to me, very American.
  • by yelvington (8169) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @11:05AM (#29864641) Homepage

    If some of the people who post here were as smart as they think they are, they'd figure out:

    * Whitehouse.gov is not running Drupal on a ten-dollar shared server at GoDaddy.com.
    * Building and maintaining a large, continuously updated website is not something you do in a weekend with Notepad, a giant bag of Cheetos, and a case of diet Coke.
    * Any Drupal project of this scale involves layers of extremely high-performance caching and multiple firewalls.
    * The site's administrative tools aren't available from the outside. (This is not difficult to implement.)
    * Life does not begin and end with your personal favorite programming language, database server, etc., or with the boundaries of your parents' basement.
    * Security reports are reports of vulnerabilities that have been fixed, not vulnerabilities that lie in wait to ambush your site. A properly run open-source project has a documented process [drupal.org] for handling security issues.

    I don't know any details of the site's technical architecture beyond the obvious, but it's blazingly fast. My bet is that when you hit the site, you're pulling completed pages out of RAM on a customized and hardened Varnish [varnish-cache.com], but that's just a guess. The HTTP headers identify the server technology as "White House."

  • by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @11:09AM (#29864661) Homepage
    Didn't most people agree that security through obscurity is bad? If using popular open-source software was so bad, how come so many servers use Linux?

    I'd argue it's the exact opposite: by choosing a popular, mature CMS, they're insuring a LOT of the vulnerabilities have been found, exploited and fixed. The major difference between the White House site and Joe Web Dev's site is that the former will probably only upgrade for security fixes and will be very careful with new features, since that's where the bugs and exploits can hide. With good sysadmins, proper security tools and good practices, the site can be very safe. I just don't see them using alpha versions of modules and such.

    On the flip side, I'm hopeful that WhiteHouse.org's programmers and sysadmins will also contribute to the codebase with fixes and improvements of their own. This could end up being very beneficial for the Drupal community.
  • by yelvington (8169) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @11:13AM (#29864685) Homepage

    Yes, but I don't want Whitehouse.gov doing that. Allowing feedback on the high profile website is STUPID and ignorant.

    Apparently, allowing feedback attracts the stupid and ignorant.

  • Re:Why CMS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by turbidostato (878842) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @11:30AM (#29864793)

    "Both of those things can be accomplished on your own code too"

    Yes, of course. And do you know how the internal app you developed so to allow non-programmers to update content, so PHBs can review the content prior to go public, so you can version contents and pre stablish the date it will go alive, etc. will be called? It will be called a "Content Management System".

    So in the end you won't avoid the CMS you'll just develop your own internal one: reinventing the wheel, at a cost, and probably worse.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 25, 2009 @11:51AM (#29864921) Homepage Journal

    First off, most leaders of the left wing imagine a future where scarcity is the norm, largely because they see the consumption of natural resources by the West as unethical in a larger world view. In their eyes, Americans already have "too much" and therefor should have to make due with less. This faux-conservatism, coupled with the right wing's stupid devotion to "free trade", is the underlying cause of this current economic crisis. It is that people want more stuff, resources are capped by environmental and ideological considerations, so, prices of goods are shooting up and people have less. Demand falls off, and unemployment shoots up. You add in free trade, and take away America's advantage in energy prices and expose our disadvantage in labor, and the country is totally fucked up.

    It's pretty simple, actually.

    Let's just think this through for a minute. Let's say that instead of having to borrow or raise taxes to have national health care, the USA simply turned around and issued permits to drill in ANWR and off the coasts. Instead of scraping to come up with 900B to pay for it, we would have that money coming in from ANWR alone, without a tax increase. Let's say for a minute that we build nuclear power plants everywhere, and lowered the price of energy to something like the 2 cents per kwh it is to operate a nuclear plant. Everyone would have effectively a 20% raise because of the energy savings not only for themselves but in the cost of every product or service that they buy, and that in turn would lower the price of medicine. If gasoline were a dollar a gallon, and electric bills not more than $20 a month, and food was cheap as well, everyone would feel pretty darned rich. Consumers would spend, tax revenues to the government would go up, and you could have an administration that throws national health care on the table coupled with a modest tax cut.

    Bottom line is, regardless of whether you want to have the government doling out the goodies, or get yourself a tax cut, or even a combination of both, the most effective thing the government could do to do that would be to say screw the environmentalists and get cheap energy, no matter what. Energy -is- wealth, and the more wealth you have, the more stuff you can swing.

    If everyone felt rich, than putting a national health care plan would be no big deal.

  • Re:Why CMS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jfengel (409917) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @12:03PM (#29865001) Homepage Journal

    It's not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, sometimes it cuts off new and creative ideas. Often, those are bad ideas, and everybody else is doing it the regular way for a reason.

    This is especially true when a business is getting outside of its domain. If you're the best bottle-maker or book-binder on the block, do that. But your accounting and web site is almost certain to be identical to any other businesses, and crafting roll-your-own accounting or web management software specialized to your thing is quite likely the wrong thing.

    Not always, but I've found too many businesses err on the Not Invented Here side.

  • by Ykant (318168) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @12:37PM (#29865205)

    Proper firewalls do more than simply block ports.

  • Re:Why CMS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cliffiecee (136220) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @01:13PM (#29865405) Homepage Journal

    Not only that, but using Drupal means you have a built-in security/programming team, constantly updating, improving, looking for bugs, etc. If you write your own software, YOU have to maintain it, by yourself. Are you as good as the Drupal devs? (I know I'm not)

  • My first take is (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shivetya (243324) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @01:33PM (#29865615) Homepage Journal

    does this even offset a Administration which takes all the bad habits of the last and compounds them with super sized bills that no one gets to review and a good dose of intimidation against any who speak up?

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 25, 2009 @01:52PM (#29865751) Homepage Journal

    Externalities, Concentrations of Wealth, etc... is a made up word excuse for socialism.

  • Re:Why CMS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dhalka226 (559740) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @02:07PM (#29865869)

    With all due respect, are you a web developer?

    For starters, a well-developed CMS and some competent IT people can produce a site every bit as quick as a static HTML site, because that's exactly what they'll be serving up with good server-side caching. Any "weight" in the backend is more than offset by the increased ease with which content can be updated.

    Moreover, a CMS allows non-technical people to be involved in the process. Most likely, people from the press and communications offices are going to be the ones in charge of the content on this website, and it's not at all unreasonable to assume that most of them aren't going to be any good with HTML.

    And why should they be? CMS is exactly what it says it is -- a content management system, letting people focus on content by hiding away the markup and technical nonsense they're not concerned with anyway. Sometimes it's fully inappopriate; sometimes a custom one is better than off-the-shelf. But you really can't see why anybody would want to use one? Ever?

  • by Xeriar (456730) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @03:32PM (#29866541) Homepage

    They picked Drupal, not Joomla or Wordpress

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 25, 2009 @04:01PM (#29866749) Homepage Journal

    but I am saying you've just made a direct statement of fact with no justification whatsoever

    Yes and no. I think your out would be that if you could address your concerns of concentrations of wealth and externalities without some of federal assumption of ownership, its pretty hard to avoid socialism.

    The thing is, that, if you have a government to keep wealth from getting concentrated, it's wealth will get concentrated. If you make the government the sole arbiter of some bit of land or sky, then, it will be corrupted as that arbiter... and that's really foolish from a risk management standpoint.

    The whole point of private ownership isn't some magical devotion to Adam Smith (who was totally wrong on trade)... its just that having lots of private entities makes it easier to spread social risk about. If we all had our one acre of land, even if one of us screwed it up, humanity could continue. But if the King owned all the land, then, the King could screw up all the land, and frequently, will.

    Really, when it boils down to it, just that the tragedy of commons doesn't look at risk management at all, and so is therefor totally wrong. I'm migrating my site to Linux and once that is done, I'll post a computer simulation about the tragedy of the commons that really makes it stand out why this is so. You have to admit, seeing something like that on the old Freeper will be a heck of a lot more interesting than the boring old "well, golly, that's socialism if we do that!"...

  • because it's a popular CMS and has a lot of people looking through it's code for exploits, it's also a lot more secure

    As pointed out, Wordpress easily proves this long-believed mantra false. It's one of the mostly widely used blogging applications and it is consistently in the news for high-profile hacks and exploits. That, and Drupal hardly seems immune [google.com].

    What's even more interesting is the possibility for intentional security flaws in the code. Interested parties can start submitting patches and changes to the Drupal codebase with inherent flaws. These might even be distributed (module A has a flaw that uses module B's flaw that uses module C's flaw...), which combined with submissions over a series of weeks or months and it seems unlikely they'll be easily spotted.

    This is the real downside to using open source code in government applications -- In four months the White House website may be running code written by Chineses (or Russian or whoever) hackers (who may or may not be government employees) for the sole purpose of exploiting the site. Expand this into internally used applications like MediaWiki, Pidgin and it has even bigger implications for intelligence gathering and infiltration.

    Major programs like these are big and complex. If the Debian OpenSSH fiasco taught us anything it should be that when you combine big and complex, don't be surprised if those many average eyes are insufficient to catch what the few skilled and experience hands put in the codebase.

  • by James Carnley (789899) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @04:46PM (#29867003) Homepage

    Actually most people have been praising Drupal for its excellent security. You aren't going to find a CMS with a much better track record than Drupal.

    What they were mainly saying is that Drupal is extremely popular with lots of people looking to exploit it, so it might theoretically be a high risk. A less well known CMS would not have many people looking (well, that would definitely change overnight if whitehouse.gov chose it :) and is therfore a lower risk, but also has tons of exploits not found yet.

    Stick with Drupal if you want a tested, secure, and reliable CMS.

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @05:00PM (#29867105) Homepage

    "If we all had our one acre of land, even if one of us screwed it up, humanity could continue. But if the King owned all the land, then, the King could screw up all the land, and frequently, will."

    And if one of those people on their one acre of land makes a bioengineered plague, then everyone dies? Or, when the nuclear power plant next door melts down, we permanently evacuate Manhattan?

    Here is something to consider, by Manuel de Landa:
    http://www.t0.or.at/delanda/meshwork.htm [t0.or.at]
    "Indeed, one must resist the temptation to make hierarchies into villains and meshworks into heroes, not only because, as I said, they are constantly turning into one another, but because in real life we find only mixtures and hybrids, and the properties of these cannot be established through theory alone but demand concrete experimentation."

    Manuel de Landa suggests we need a healthy balance between meshworks and hierarchies.

    By the way, make sure you get enough Vitamin D while working inside on simulations, as I agree the public health agencies have dropped the ball on a lot of things:
    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/vitamin-d-and-h1n1-swine-flu.shtml [vitamindcouncil.org]
    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/treatment.shtml [vitamindcouncil.org]
    http://curtisduncan.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-michelle-obama-is-more-likely-to.html [blogspot.com]

    Also, on "socialism":
    http://digg.com/political_opinion/Socialist_Agencies_Destroying_America_Graphic [digg.com]
    """
    This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy.
    I then took a shower in the clean water provided by a municipal water utility.
    After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like, using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    I watched this while eating my breakfast of U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
    At the appropriate time, as regulated by the U.S. Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level
    determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.
    On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.
    After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.
    And then I log on to the internet -- which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration -- and post on Freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in me

  • by g253 (855070) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @06:34PM (#29867533) Homepage
    So they fork it and maintain it themselves. Problem solved.
    (okay, it's not that simple, but it's still a nice option to have)
  • Why do you assume they're not doing that?

    Because he's a moron who doesn't understand how CMSes are actually used in the real world, and thinks the only point of them is for 'dynamic' content.

    When in actual fact something like half of all CMS sites are mostly 'static', with maybe a forum and an RSS feed block being their sole 'automatically changing' area, and then rest is so that people who don't know a hell of a lot about web sites can fricking manage the site, or at least their area of it, and add and remove content.

  • by Alpha830RulZ (939527) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @08:42PM (#29868135)

    You're certainly right the Drupal has a lot of visibility. On the other hand, is it the end of the world if Whitehouse.gov gets exploited? If we can assume that the site is reasonably managed, and does not have a direct pipeline from the front end web server into the CIA's servers, then the likely worst result would seem to be that misinformation would be published. This isnt' good, but it would probably get detected fairly quickly by partisans. We're not talking missle launch systems here.

    If Drupal helps the government interact better and communicate better with us, and reduces their costs for doing so, I think the security risk is probably reasonable. That said, I'd be surprised if Drupal is particularly weak. We don't hear much about exploits. The top link from a google of "drupal exploit" is dated 2005.

    Lets ask the question a different way: Should the whitehouse use an open source webserver like Apache or Tomcat for the webserver, or should they use IIS? Should they run on open source Linux, or Windows Server? Or should they write their own webserver and OS, to avoid the hacking risk that an opensource system creates?

  • by Alpha830RulZ (939527) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @10:00PM (#29868449)

    The key really is, how do create a social mechanism to prevent excessive concentrations of wealth, without creating a defacto concentration of wealth?

    I think you're framing the problem incorrectly. I think the question should be, how do we make sure that enough wealth is distributed such that society can reasonably function, and that we feel decent about how we are treating the least fortunate among us?

    Focusing on the concentration at the top is just jealousy. The ethical concern is at the bottom of the pyramid, in my view.

    If the wealthy are prudent, they will remember the lessons of the French Revolution and Russia in 1917, and make sure that they pass enough around so that people can live. If they don't, then they run the risk of having their wealth appropriated, either piece-meal through taxes, or in total, through revolution. I do not suggest that is what morally -should- happen, merely that history indicates it -will- happen.

  • Yes, whitehouse.gov is a very attacked site, for all sorts of reasons, and I bet it will be the very first place to try out any new Drupal vulnerability, and at least one of those will succeed sometime in the next couple of years.

    But, um...who cares if it does? It's not a mission critical web site. It's stupid fluff pieces about the president and his initiatives. If something goes wrong it gets flipped offline, restored from backup, patched, and brought back online.

    It's interesting to see the government try OSS, and that might be an interesting discussion, but way too many people(1) here instantly leapt to the non-existence security implications, acting like important government computers were going to be exposed via any security issues in Drupal.

    1) And half the remaining people appear to be morons talking about how CMS are useless. They haven't realized that stating 'people don't need CMSes' doesn't, like they think, show that they're some elite HTML coder, it just reveals them as someone who's never been hired to make a web site for someone else who then can add and remove content.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday October 25, 2009 @11:47PM (#29868907) Homepage

    Perhaps you would also like to talk about all that closed source proprietary code that government espionage agencies all over the world have access to. In fact most governments are now refusing to you closed source proprietary code unless they have access to the code to scan for back doors not only put in by corporations for then own advantage but put in by governments via secret warrants and not disclosed for national security reasons.

    The biggest difference between closed source and open source in government. When government start analysing, bug finding and error correcting private closed source code, they are in fact corruptly subsidising the business activity and profitability of one company ahead of all other companies. When are government conducts the same identical activity with open source, that investment is in fact return to every single member of the public and every company has access to and can make use of those efforts and expenditures.

    As for intentional flaws in open source, what a load, most secure places do not run the latest version but let it run around in the wild for a few months, not only given them time to fully and publicly audit the code but also allowing time for faults to be discovered across the wider community. Want to know the biggest example of corruption in closed source proprietary software code, a glaring example of why it should never ever be trusted, Diebold voting software, those people actually even fought it out in court to hide their source code from the foolish governments that used it after it was proved to be extraordinarily and perceived by many to be purposefully faulty.

    The reality is any downside of open source is inherently in closed source as well, on the other hand there are many downsides to closed source that are not associated with open source software.

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