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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Goes Open Source

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced this week that when it creates software or contracts with others to create software, it will share the code with the public at no charge. “We use open-source software, and we do so because it helps us fulfill our mission.”

  • The CFPB’s source code policy: open and shared, By Matthew Burton, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau blog (Apr 6 2012).

    We’re sharing our code for a few reasons:

    First, it is the right thing to do: the Bureau will use public dollars to create the source code, so the public should have access to that creation.

    Second, it gives the public a window into how a government agency conducts its business. Our job is to protect consumers and to regulate financial institutions, and every citizen deserves to know exactly how we perform those missions.

    Third, code sharing makes our products better. By letting the development community propose modifications , our software will become more stable, more secure, and more powerful with less time and expense from our team. Sharing our code positions us to maintain a technological pace that would otherwise be impossible for a government agency.

Open Source Data.gov code

White House Begins Open Sourcing Data.gov, By J. Nicholas Hoover, Information Week (December 05, 2011).

The Obama administration has begun to open source pieces of the Data.gov platform and plans to launch a full-scale open source project early next year. This open data platform–called Data.gov-in-a-box–will allow other governments to easily stand up their own versions of Data.gov.

Data.gov developer and General Services Administration software architect Chris Musialek last Wednesday posted to open source development site Github some early test code for what appears to be a database management system and Web app that will serve as key pieces of Data.gov-in-a-box….

LoC launches free, open-source platform for digital collections

Viewshare is a free platform for generating and customizing views, (interactive maps, timelines, facets, tag clouds) that allow users to experience your digital collections.

Viewshare is available to individuals associated with cultural heritage organizations including, but not limited to, individuals associated with libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, colleges and universities.

  • Get an account.
  • Import your collection. (Ingest collections from spreadsheets or MODS records. Upload from your desktop or import them from a URL. )
  • Generate views (distinct interactive visual interfaces to your digital collections, including maps and timelines, and sophisticated faceted navigation).
  • Embed and share. (Just copy-paste to embed your interface in any webpage. Provide your users with novel and intuitive ways to explore your content.)

See more:

  • Announcement: “ViewShare.org: Create and Share Interfaces to Our Digital Cultural Heritage,” by Trevor Owens, Digital Archivist with the Office of Strategic Initiatives, Library of Congress, Digital Preservation Blog, “The Signal” (October 31st, 2011)
  • Terms of Service


The Importance of Open Standards for E-Government

Open standards explained, OpenSource.Com, by Jason Hibbets (13 Oct 2010).

Hibbets introduces two videos by Venky Hariharan (Corporate Affairs Director, Asia-Pacific, at Red Hat).

In this two-part video on the importance of open standards, Venky Hariharan details what open standards are, why open standards are appropriate for e-government, why you should care about how your government preserves your data, and why governments should adopt open standards.

Open Source code from the White House!

White House contributes to open-source project, GCN (Apr 22, 2010).

Much of the [White House website] is already open source as part of the Drupal project…. Today’s release [of open source code for Whitehouse.gov] adds custom code to Drupal, making the White House a participant in open-source development.

The release adds four modules to enhance three key characteristics: scalability, communication and accessibility.

See the announcement “WhiteHouse.gov Releases Open Source Code” Posted by Dave Cole on April 21, 2010 at 04:26 PM EDT at http://www.whitehouse.gov/tech.