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Government GNU is Not Unix Software News

Unsung, Unpaid Coders Behind Federal IT Dashboard 99

theodp writes "The Federal CIO got a standing ovation for the new Federal IT Dashboard. Federal contractors got the cash. But sneak a peek at the 'customcode' directory behind the Dashboard, and you'll see that some individuals also helped bring it to life with their free software. For starters, there's Timothy Groves' Auto Suggest (Creative Commons License), Alf Magne Kalleland's Ajax Tooltip and Dynamic List (GNU Lesser General Public License), and Gregory Wild-Smith's Simple AJAX Code-Kit (SACK) (modified X11 License)."
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Unsung, Unpaid Coders Behind Federal IT Dashboard

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  • Re:Not impressed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday July 12, 2009 @09:58AM (#28667063) Homepage

    As I have also recently learned, a dashboard is just that: a bunch of charts, graphs and maybe a few summary tables. To literate folks like you and I, it is a huge waste of time and space, but to the average bean counter with half a brain, it is supposedly a tangible vulgarisation of otherwise indigestible data.

    The good thing about this gov't dashboard is it seems to have good drill-downs, I was able to click through 3-4 levels deep to find out more and more details. They show you how they calculate a project's rating, and while it is a very simple and potentially misleading metric, at least they lay it out for you (how many deadlines were missed, how often did it go overbudget, etc). They even show a picture of the asshole in charge of each project, too bad you can't click the asshole and have it sort and rate HIS "specific concerns", but they're probably afraid of all the little McVeigh wannabes out there who would love to thin the herd...

    Dashboards suck, but this is one of the better ones I've seen. I wouldn't call it worthy of an standing ovation, but I'm just a prick that way. Why don't we ask the old Harvard Graphics folks if they ever got a standing ovation for drawing pie charts, hmm ?

  • by sjs132 ( 631745 ) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @10:11AM (#28667101) Homepage Journal

    I looked for an F'n article to read, but couldn't find one. It looks more like one person putting together an opinion to post on Slashdot, not '"News" for nerds' in any sense.

    Best I could tell from this headline: "Unsung, Unpaid Coders Behind Federal IT Dashboard", is that someone is pissed they didn't get part of the bailouts or federal stimulus. Guess what, whats how socialism works, they should get used to it, we'll see much more. It only really works on paper, eventually you have no motivation to work/create if you end up being "Unsung, Unpaid" and it will eventually collapse.

    If someone truly want to contribute to "society" with their code, license it on a per-case basis. Someone you like, license for a few dollars to feed your belly lunch. Someone you don't really like (Microsoft assumed usually in this case), then increase the license fee to where both parties are comfortable with the trade.

    (The trade = use of your code for cash. All of society is based on labor trades. Trade for food, clothing, shelter or something that can be later traded for those things, such as gold, guns, political power, etc. Society eventually breaks down when those that produce no labored product expect to be compensated on the same scale as those that do produce a labored product.)

  • Re:This is great! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nacturation ( 646836 ) * <nacturation @ g m ail.com> on Sunday July 12, 2009 @11:06AM (#28667379) Journal

    FLOSS coders at least want recognition. Not everyone, but many do. Who has said "thanks" to them, who has said "this would not be possible without works of so-and-so"? That's what coders want, at the very least. Apple acknowledges FreeBSD's work. Did the US Government?

    Do the license terms require someone to say "thanks" to them beyond the usual copyright notice and attribution statement? No? Then nobody cares that you didn't get the recognition that you didn't ask for, emo kid.

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