Josh Tauberer is the proprietor of one of the finest open government tools available: GovTrack. It's a database that includes information on every current and former member of Congress, every roll call vote in history, and every bill since 1973. It's pretty handy, and GovTrack has done a fantastic job making all that information easily … Continue reading GovTrack’s Modest Proposal
Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said Tuesday in London that open source has grown up and it's time to dispel lingering misconceptions about this technology and development process. Maxwell told the Intellect 2012 conference: “Opensource software is not three guys in a shed anymore. There are a lot of misconceptions about open … Continue reading UK Gov’t: Open Source is the future.
The Government Open Source Conference, masterfully curated by Deb Bryant and the good people at the Oregon State University Open Source Lab, is one of my favorite open source events. Every year, they manage to pull together quality speakers from innovative agencies and projects in a warm, collaborative, and exciting environment. Before the earthquake unpleasantness … Continue reading GOSCON: Climbing the Mountain
Chan said he believes in open technology approaches – including re-using solutions developed by other states – whenever feasible to avoid unnecessary expenses. The strategy was cemented by the success of myBenefits.ny.gov, a 2008 portal he helped develop as CIO of the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. In building the site, his office … Continue reading New York CIO Dr. Daniel Chan
The prospect of funding cuts for e-Gov initiatives like data.gov, USAspending.gov and friends is worrying. Everyone should join the Sunlight Foundation's effort to Save the Data. At the same time, this is a good opportunity for reflection. There's no doubt that the proliferation of Open Government websites has been a great first step for transparency … Continue reading The Hazards of Open Data Exceptionalism
Over the last couple years, many of us involved with open source in government have had discussions about what it means for citizen coders to become involved in state, local and federal efforts. There are all kinds of legal, ethical, and logistics questions that haven't been answered. Everyone seems to be solving them individually, but … Continue reading Citizen and government collaboration: let’s work it out.
It's a phrase you'll hear often in the open source community: "patches welcome". It's sometimes earnest, sometimes passive-aggressive. It's a cultural norm that's tough but fair: you've voiced an opinion, and now you need to back up that opinion with working code. Without code, it's just a distraction. It's an important component of what makes … Continue reading “Patches Welcome”
So 19 months into the Open Government Directive, we seem to have a backlash. The government has spent millions of dollars collecting, organizing, and cataloging its data to make it more available to the public. An unprecedented effort. Some of this data is frivolous, some of it is valuable, but I think we can all agree … Continue reading The government doesn’t look good naked.
The GSA is currently planning forge.gov, which is widely assumed to be based on forge.mil, the much-discussed collaboration platform from the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA. forge.mil is a pretty incredible idea: a single destination for testing, certification, and software development in the Defense Department. It sounds obvious, but the idea remains revolutionary. For … Continue reading The future of the government forges
The Obama Administration's Open Government Directive ordered Federal agencies to produce open government plans by April 7th, and while some advocates are disappointed, we have before us a bewildering number of initiatives to improve transparency, collaboration, and participation across the Government. It will not surprise you to learn that I spent some time looking for places … Continue reading Open Source headlines from the Open Government plans